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How can I control my repetitive negative thinking when I'm feeling anxious?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 02/24/2020 at 12:04pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Elena Morales, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe silence creates a cycle. With empathic and collaborative therapy, we break the cycle. I help clients feel validated and supported passed anger, shame, and anxiety.

Top Rated Answers
becandbones
January 30th, 2015 6:39am
Stop and focus on your breathing. Put your hand on your abdomen and concentrate on your breathes going in and out. Breathe and breathe and breathe until things stop racing. Then get a piece of paper and write down each thought clearly. Then rationally argue the reality of each one.
Anonymous
April 3rd, 2015 12:19pm
One can control repetitive negative thoughts by talking about it to someone or having a positive outlook, i.e. by looking at the other side of the coin.
Anonymous
January 30th, 2015 1:07am
There are many different ways but I would say the best way is to talk to someone you trust. Or just distract yourself.
Anonymous
April 1st, 2015 12:56am
Trying to think of things that make you happy can help.Or trying a breathing technique,being in a room or space in which you feel most comfortable. http://www.adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress
Zora17
April 1st, 2015 2:26am
The best is to challenge that negative thinking by questioning the negative thoughts. Ask "so what if this happens?", "how do I know this is going to happen?", "what is my evidence for thinking this way?", "could things be different?", etc. Question, question, question negative thinking.
SpiritWolfNYC
May 30th, 2015 2:36am
Begin to question your negative thoughts with logic. For example: why am i having these thoughts? What are the chances of this actually happening? I know this is just anxiety so why worry?
originalLion57
June 7th, 2015 11:06am
Try as best as you can to fight against them. Like having an inner voice that says mean things to yourself, try creating an inner voice that says sweet things to yourself so it can battle against the negativity. And know that your anxiety is a misguided way of trying to protect yourself, meaning it wants what's best for you but because you've been burned before, it's trying to take care of you so it won't happen again. But know that you need to take some chances to feel alive and to go against the negative thinking you've created a habit of having.
Jiim
August 11th, 2015 11:13pm
When I feel like that, my thinking is often based on a projection of a POSSIBLE bad outcome rather than an ACTUAL bad outcome. In those cases, my preferred approach is to talk to a close friend about it, get it off my chest and have them listen to me. Saying it out loud to someone else often leads me to the conclusion without their help! When that's not possible, I find writing down the problem along with a mind map of related thoughts and issues often helps. Seeing it on paper, I can think about each element in a controlled way without constantly looping out of control, only moving on when I've "resolved" it or reduced the extent of that worry. Once I've thought things through and contextualised POSSIBLE bad outcomes, I'm usually feeling better.
Anonymous
September 22nd, 2015 9:44am
Its in your hands to control your thoughts and emotions. Say it out loud in your head till it becomes clear to your mind that it is actually in your hands to control your thoughts. Negative or positive. Believe that you are the owner of creating them within you, gradually this will become a habit that whenever the unwanted thoughts would arrive you would look for the ones which are positive. I am no professional. I just believe it to be true. You can give it a shot. Don't over exaggerate anything in your mind just go easy on your self. Take charge of it. If one says that this or that particular thing is not in my control then they would never try to own it. Thoughts too are like clothings they are worn by us the way we wear clothes, we chose clothes in market out of various options there are pretty and there are not so pretty clothes in our eyes, you chose the ones which appeals to you or the ones you need the most. Mould your thinking this way. It can help you too. Please tell me if it helped. I would like to know if it did or didn't. :* be your own fashionista in your head with thoughts.
Spfee
October 26th, 2015 11:34pm
Practice, practice, practice. It can be hard to get out of thought patterns, but don't aim to control them. Have them, then let them go. It's not easy, but with practice it gets easier to bust out.
Anonymous
November 30th, 2015 5:09am
Think of positive things that has happened in your past life. Imagine how wonderful your life is going to be in your future. Frame everyone around you is happy and the reason is you.
Anonymous
December 28th, 2015 8:08am
Don't, try to stop yourself by wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when you think negatively, this will remind you to snap out of it and feel and think positive
Anonymous
January 4th, 2016 3:10pm
Surround yourself with positive things/thoughts/people. Try to make others feel less nervous. This often works for me because while encouraging others I realize that my own fears are irrational.
Anonymous
April 11th, 2016 9:01pm
Take a deep breath, hold it in for 7 seconds then exhale. Smile, think of a happy memory, chew gum as gums reduce the fight of flight reflex, listen to cheerful music.
mistymountaindreamer
May 22nd, 2017 2:38am
Observe my breathing and body sensations. Become aware of what the fear is trying to tell me so that I can address the concerns if they are real and relevant.
healingJewel58
November 14th, 2017 8:33pm
I know be positive and reading positive Affirmations or quotes will,help you can write them on posted notes post them in places like your mirror or fridge
Anonymous
August 14th, 2018 2:50pm
Breathing in and out slowly and thinking of all the things i enjoy in life help me relax when im anxious
themarionet667
November 25th, 2019 7:10pm
Just think of something you love about yourself or the world, in your free time write a few things down that you like or that make you happy. Then every time you feel down get that paper out and think about those things. Sometimes people can be rude, don't let them stop you from feeling great. You are an amazing and beautiful human being and no one can tell you otherwise. If you are feeling anxiety just doodle on a paper even if your not good at it. I hope that this was helpful to you.
SchrodingersCat00
February 24th, 2020 12:04pm
This can be so distressing, as repetitive negative thoughts do well at trapping our minds, but it's absolutely possible to reprogram yourself. Make a list of distracting things you enjoy, such as spending time with a loved one or pet, writing in a journal, coloring, playing an instrument, something active that you need to focus on. As soon as the thoughts begin, pick up one of those distracting activities for at least two minutes. Another option is to simply sit with these thoughts and listen to what they have to say. Attending to and observing negative thoughts can often dissipate their power.