Rewrite Negative Thoughts
What are Negative Thoughts?
Negative thoughts are simply thoughts that make you feel bad. They can be pessimistic, self-critical, and unrealistic. Negative thoughts produce feelings of fear, worry, or anguish. These types of thoughts can hijack our emotions and cause us to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed. Many times, negative thoughts are irrational and not based on reality. This can make them even more challenging to deal with.
Examples of Negative Thoughts
- “I’m not good enough.”
- “I’ll never be able to do this.”
- “I’m such a failure.”
- “Nobody likes me.”
- “This is too hard.”
- “I can’t do this.”
While it’s impossible to avoid negative thoughts altogether, you can learn to rewrite them. If you can’t replace them completely, you can at least train your brain to focus on neutrality over negativity – even if you’re struggling with positivity.
Examples of Positive Thoughts
- “I’m doing my best.”
- “I can handle this.”
- “I am capable and competent.”
- “I am liked and valued.”
- “This is a challenge, but I can overcome it.”
- “I can do this.”
- “I am doing this.”
How to Rewrite the Negative Thoughts
- Acknowledge your negative thoughts – Don’t try to ignore them or push them away. Accepting that you have negative thoughts is the first step to managing them.
- Challenge your negative thoughts – Once you’ve acknowledged them, ask yourself whether they’re true. Are you too hard on yourself? Is there another way to look at the situation?
- Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones – This takes some practice, but it’s worth it. When negative thoughts intrude, counter them with positive ones. For example, if you’re feeling pessimistic about your job prospects, remind yourself that you have valuable skills and experience.
- Replace your negative thoughts with neutral ones – For example, if you replace the thought, “I’m going to fail” with, “I’m going to do my best,” you may feel more confident and less anxious.
- Practice mindfulness – Being present in the moment and accepting things as they are is key to even realizing you are thinking negatively or positively. You’re less likely to get caught up in your negative thoughts when you’re mindful.
- Seek support from others – Talk to your friends and family about your negative thoughts. Your support network will offer some helpful perspectives.
Everyone has negative thoughts at times. Managing negative thoughts can be difficult, but it’s definitely worth the effort. With some practice, you can learn to control them and start to shift your perspective. Notice how different you will feel by replacing those negative thoughts.