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What's the best way to get over negative automatic thoughts?

25 Answers
Last Updated: 09/24/2019 at 6:35pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Theresa Gulliver, Registered Clinical Counsellor


Problems cannot be solved using the same level of thinking that created them. We must try something different. Gently, we turn your challenges into opportunities for healing.

Top Rated Answers
December 17th, 2014 6:59am
i was told that the first thought that comes to your brain doesn't matter. it is the second thought that shows your character. so i would let that negative though come in and then let it leave right away and replace is with a second though of positivity :)
December 12th, 2014 7:06pm
Asking oneself "Is what I'm thinking based on reality?" and coming up with alternative interpretations to the events. One can be helped by relatives or friends in this area.
June 18th, 2015 1:34am
These thoughts can be very overwhelming. What i find helpful is acknowledging the thought, and thinking about it. why do you think that thought? In perspective is it accurate or is it exaggerated or put in a black an white context. By acknowledging and analyzing the thoughts you learn more about yourself that perhaps was hiding behind the automatic negative thoughts. No one is perfect, but you are amazing. :)
December 10th, 2014 12:18am
WHAT’S IN THE PAST IS OVER, I CAN’T CONTROL IT, IT’S GONE, FORGET IT, THE PRESENT IS WHERE I WANT TO STAY! A longer statement that is said more forcefully (not angrily) to put the past where it belongs – in the graveyard. Focusing on the present ensures that your future will be bright
December 10th, 2014 10:04am
Be creative , divert your mind into something that is fruitful. Think about being what is good in life and what you are grateful for. Meditate. Try on new things. Enjoy life and stay happy . And the most important believe yourself.
December 11th, 2014 5:15pm
i wrote down a list of questions to read everytime these thought arised. i asked myself if i have any evidence that proves my bad thoughts, and also asked myself if anyone would agree with them. the answer was always no!
December 14th, 2014 2:56am
Personally, I think that CBT is most helpful. I use the CBT method of challenging your thoughts. (Google will bring up many different worksheets you can try). Distorted Thoughts (or automatic negative thoughts) are hard to change, and the first step is to notice them when they arise. Then to notice they are distorted/not fully accurate. Following that, you can begin to ask what might be a more accurate way of looking at the situation (like, what would you tell a friend? what is the best/worst/and most realistic thing that will happen? etc). Through this, you can come to practice noticing, identifying, and replacing your automatic negative thoughts, and eventually it can make the thoughts less frequent, less powerful, and less of a harmful impact on your day to day life.
December 26th, 2014 5:58pm
Find out what those thoughts negative are exactly, where they come from, find the source, then you can start finding a way to get over them. It is not simply to get to the bottom of them in most cases and can be painful sometimes but knowing what it is, is the first step to solve them.
May 30th, 2015 4:29am
I think that talking back to those thoughts will help. Whenever you have a negative thought, it can help to negate what the unhealthy voice told you. For example: automatic thought: I am a bad person....healthy voice: I am a good person. I have friends and they wouldn't be my friend if I was a bad person. Keep at it and it can really make a difference.
September 29th, 2015 11:30pm
I was taught something by my therapist. Think about the negative thoughts you have. Have you thought about them? Good. Now think of a color you really really like. Something that brings you happiness. Something that brings you calmness. Do you have the color in your mind? Okay. Now think of a color you don't like. A color that brings you bad feelings. Something that displeases you. Do you have it? Okay. Now, inhale deeply. Think about the color you like has you hold it. Think about some places or objects that are that color. Now, let out a long exhale while thinking about the bad color. Think about something that might be stressing you. Inhale the positive thoughts, exhale the negative thoughts. Release the negative thoughts into the air, forever gone from your body.
December 9th, 2014 9:34pm
Imagery, relaxation and deep breathing. Everytime you see a flow of negative thoughts coming, start breathing in and out. Close your eyes and relax.
December 27th, 2014 10:57pm
If you are experiencing these negative thoughts about the past, what you may be suffering from is known as Rumination which is quite common. There are many techniques out there to help with this, and finding the one that works best for you is something that you should invest some time into. A long-term way of dealing with this may be attempting to understand why it is that you have these almost automatic negative thoughts, talking about it or seeking a professional's assistance may help with this.
June 7th, 2015 9:39am
There is a good guide about that here on 7cups, inside de Emotional Management guide. Sumarizing what it is said there, a good way to slowly reduce your negative thoughts is, when you realize you have had one, write down what it was about. Then write what you could think instead (try something a bit more positive), and finally think how you felt with the first thought, and how you feel with the second. The point is to slowly stop those thoughts from being automatic, by realizing there are alternatives. For further and more detailed information, please check the Managing Emotions guide.
June 18th, 2015 6:59am
Try to think about something else and if that doesn't work try doing things to take your mind off it that usually works
June 30th, 2015 6:02pm
Think of something that makes you very happy. Ignore all those negative thoughts because it can and will get better if you think about different things.
September 28th, 2015 3:25pm
The best way to get over negative automatic thoughts would to replace them with positive thoughts "artificially". It is important to recognise these thoughts and turn the tables around to become more positive/less extreme thoughts. While it is impossible to stop these thoughts from appearing, it is possible to limit their impact on you. Practise it more and visualise it, by penning it down on paper and with more practices, you will be able to "get over" your negative automatic thoughts. :)
October 26th, 2015 3:11pm
Try to replace them with positive thoughts, as hard as that may be. Try to challenge yourself and think positive.
January 4th, 2016 6:07pm
Respond with a positive second thought. There's an expression that says that the first thought you have is the one you've been conditioned to have, and the second one shows who you really are.
March 7th, 2016 7:25am
Do something you like. Engage in positive work . Take a long breath ,tell yourself every one gets a down moment ,walk few feet ,listen to music and go back to what ever you are doing
August 2nd, 2016 3:44pm
Think of the positive things. Surround yourself with positive people. Talk to people who can put things into perspective.
August 9th, 2016 6:48am
Negative automatic thoughts are something which we may can;t stop to be in their our mind but can be minimize by not to to focus on them and ignore them because some how we know that what we need to do and what we really have to do so ignoring useless thoughts would be helpful
September 5th, 2017 3:42am
Every time you catch yourself thinking negatively, replace it with a positive contradictory thought! Also, keeping a gratitude journal could be really helpful. You write down 3-5 things you're grateful for and never repeat the same answer, and you'll slowly realize how much there is to be happy/positive about! That helped me a lot.
January 9th, 2018 12:40am
When negative thinking becomes automatic, it can be hard to break the brain out of a pattern of negativity. You have to retrain your brain, in a sense. For example, if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts automatically, consciously think about (or even write down if you can) three positive ones.
May 1st, 2018 12:48pm
Each time they appear in your head try to replace them with something more positive. Like if you were to think "I am a failure, I can not do anything correclty'' gently stop yourself and say to to yourself: ''But is that really true? When I think about it, I guess I am pretty good at math.'' Try to find hope in each situation. Love yourself.
September 24th, 2019 6:35pm
The first thing is to recognise they are negative. After that you can deliberately change your perspective. For example if you think that someone is not worthy your time, give them a chance to speak and then decide. Or if you expect that something bad will happen, think about the reasons why it will not happen. Also try to notice the good small things during your day. Did someone smile at you or opened the door for you if you are a woman? These can change your perspective and make you aware that good things also happen and you wont be so fixated on the negative things.