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What's the best way to stop negative thoughts?

28 Answers
Last Updated: 03/15/2021 at 2:28pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC

Art Therapist

Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.

Top Rated Answers
May 20th, 2015 1:54pm
1. Meditate: One of the first things I did was head to a yoga class. It took my focus away from my thoughts and brought my attention to my breath. 2. Smile: stand in front of a mirror force yourself to smile. It really does help change your mood and relieve stress. I also felt lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. 3. Surround yourself with positive people: When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking. 4. Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive: For example, instead of thinking, “We are going to have a hard time adjusting to our living situation,” think, “We will face some challenges in our living situation, but we will come up with solutions that we will both be happy with.” 5. Don’t play the victim. You create your life—take responsibility: Even if our living situation becomes unbearable, there is always a way out. I will always have the choice to make change happen, if need be. 6. Help someone: Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. It will take your mind off of things and you will feel better for helping someone else. 7. Remember that no one is perfect and let yourself move forward: It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. I felt terrible that I acted this way and that I wasted our weekend. The only thing I can do now is learn from my mistakes and move forward. I definitely don’t want to have a weekend like that again. 8. Sing: When we sing, we show our feelings and this provides an amazing stress relief. 9. List five things that you are grateful for right now: Being grateful helps appreciate what you already have. 10. Read positive quotes: Use Post-It notes with positive quotes on my computer, fridge door, and mirror as reminders to stay positive. Also, I’d like to share with you a quote by an unknown author; Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. Happy positive thinking!
April 2nd, 2015 5:07pm
Surround yourself with optimistic and grateful people. Read inspirational books and see movies with a moral. However, thoughts can't completely be controlled. So best if a negative thought does occur, just identify then and their if you are being too harsh on yourself or others. Keep a journal to identify thought patterns, this will help change the way you think ^.^
May 20th, 2015 8:08pm
Push them aside with a full force of positive thoughts until the evil negative thoughts can no longer creep up onto you and effect your everyday thinking. Stop them before they can attack full on.
October 19th, 2015 2:52pm
One of the simplest ways to increase the amount of positivity in your life is to surround yourself with things that inspire positivity. This applies to all areas of your life. Seek out art that makes you feel good, tack up inspiring quotes that inspire positivity, and surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook. We have all heard the phrase “Birds of a feather flock together”, this applies to those that you allow into your life. The more positive the people around you the easier it will be for you to be positive yourself. Fill your home and life with things that make you ‘feel’ good and remind you of all that life has to offer. Another great way to inspire happiness is by sharing it with others. A friendly smile or a simple hello is contagious, share your positive outlook on life and watch it come back to you with even greater power.
March 22nd, 2015 4:22pm
For me music is the best way for stopping these thoughts. While playing the guitar or singing, there is no space for negative thoughts, because my focus is on the music. If they are too loud I'm writing. I'm writing all the negative thoughts and after a while they get less intensive. Then I see that I'm again far away from reality and deeply inside my negative thoughts. Awareness can help.
April 28th, 2015 10:45am
Fill your mind with as many positive things as possible and do healthy activities that you enjoy to distract yourself when it gets bad.
May 7th, 2015 3:59pm
There are a some strategies that you can use to stop negative thoughts. Thought stopping and reframing are two of these strategies. Look up these strategies and practice them. Hopefully, they can help you stop your negative thinking. I have tried the strategies before and hope they will help you.
May 30th, 2015 12:46am
This sounds quite silly but the way I stop the negative & intrusive thoughts is to talk to those thoughts, out loud! You can even write down those thoughts and throw them away, physically throw them away into a waste basket. Those negative thoughts do not control you, you are in charge. If that doesn't work try to distract yourself from those thoughts; wether it's going for a walk or spending time with friends. The best thing to prevent having negative thoughts is to train your brain to have a positive outlook, to find the good in every situation.
May 30th, 2015 3:58am
I find that talking back to those negative thoughts whenever they arise can really help. For example, I tell myself: "I am a horrible person"(unhealthy voice). To talk back I tell myself " I am a good person. I have friends and if I was horrible, I wouldn't have friends." (healthy voice)
June 22nd, 2015 8:41pm
Negative thoughts will always be there. If you try to stop them they will come back with a heavier force. But if you want to reduce the power of negative thoughts I would suggest mindfullness. Just download an app on your cellphone and try to practice at least five days in the week. (your brain is going to change itself because of this practice. But it will take time of course.) Further you might Google for cognitive behavior worksheets. They might help you to change your way of thinking. Good luck!
July 27th, 2015 7:07am
The best way to stop negative thoughts is to stop them in their tracks and ask yourself, "Can I think about this differently?" Try to put a positive spin on your thoughts for just 24 hours and see what happens. It is very, very tough, but highly rewarding in the long run to diminish the amount of negativity in our lives.
August 24th, 2015 4:47pm
Listening to music is a good way to. I also like watching anime and randomly complimenting people. It's good to make others feel good about themselves. It gives you a sense of purpose and happiness too.
August 25th, 2015 10:34pm
My go-to thing is to think why I'm thinking these negative thoughts and to weigh the evidence for the truth to these thoughts. But I find that doing this when you have these thoughts is tricky, so I first just take a deep breath, accept that I'm having these thoughts and let them pass, and then work on these thoughts more logically.
August 31st, 2015 12:26pm
The best way to stop negative thoughts is to first try and recognise them. A good way to do this is to realise the kind of things you're thinking when you're feeling down or negative and maybe write them down if that helps you to identify them. From then on, you should be able to recognise these negatives thoughts and stop thinking them, and try to replace them with positive thoughts instead.
September 1st, 2015 9:05pm
Things you think often are easier to think. So imagine your negative thoughts are a highway that goes in circles and the positive ones are not yet existing trails, that will lead to the most beautiful places. Force yourself to think positive a few times a day. turn the bad thoughts into something wonderful (especially whenever you are thinking of negative things). At first it might feel rather strange to you, not natural. But after a while you will start to believe them, you will feel stronger and more self confident. Also smile brightly as much as possible, as the brain cannot really tell a difference and it will cheer you up! I wish you the best! Stay strong!
December 15th, 2015 11:51pm
Negative thoughts can be tough to deal with. For me, If i'm having a bad day with them, I like to go for a run. Running can be a great way to deal with the raw emotion of negative thoughts and just clear your head. And afterwords, you feel great because the natural endorphin's and running and exercising give you!
January 12th, 2016 6:11pm
1) Workout hard til you feel very tired 2) Take a hot shower with calm music 3) Write down all negative thoughts 4) Cross out what are less negative 5) Brainstorm to fix the problem 6) Don't ignore friends and ask them for advice 7) Try not to be stubborn and accept the reality
February 15th, 2016 10:41pm
When negative thoughts start to flood my mind I catch myself and think "stop. These are negative thoughts, and you don't need this negativity in your life. You're ok, everything will be ok." I put on some music that makes me happy, or if I have time my favorite is to watch something funny. Laughter is powerful.
February 23rd, 2016 12:06am
Personally I surrounded myself by my favorite positive quotes and fun designs by hanging them on the wall next to my bed. I think that really helped me and could possibly help others. I just remind myself that there is most than just the negative.
February 23rd, 2016 11:15am
Believing that every coin has two sides. There are positives to. As we focus on negatives in the situation one should try to focus on positives too. There are situations in which it can be really difficult. But we are in a situation and if we can have those negative thoughts there's surely room for the positives. Believing in them. And Yes. relaxing,calming the mind.taking it step by step.
April 11th, 2016 10:21am
thinking positive thoughts! coming in terms with yourself about not accepting the world as it is. if you don't blame yourself for the things that go wrong around you or in your life, you will stop having many bad thoughts.
July 12th, 2016 3:19am
To think positively! Life has a lot of positive and negative to it, but that's what makes it an exciting adventure. Many times when you're thinking negatively about something, in the past there was something positive involving it that you could think about to try and balance it out!
July 12th, 2016 9:37pm
The most general answer to this is to think positively, but what also works for me when I have positive thoughts is to do something I enjoy and try to get distracted. I found that the more alone time you have to yourself, the more time you get to think about the negative. I hope this helps! :)
September 5th, 2016 2:17am
clear your mind!! take a walk, listen to upbeat music, watch a funny tv show, go play outside, go shopping, draw, paint. just do things that make you happy.
October 10th, 2016 8:50pm
The best way to stop negative thoughts is to distract yourself from them. Remember, there only negative if you let them impact you. Try doing something active, like going for a walk. Or try doing an activity with your hands, like making or drawing something. If they persist, speak to your therapist or doctor.
October 25th, 2016 12:49am
The best way to stop negative thoughts, is to do things that make you happy. Focus on your passions in life, or try new things, anything to keep yourself busy and present instead of dwelling on the past or the unknown.
April 24th, 2018 11:34pm
Don't focus on them. Focusing on the negative thoughts only makes it worse. You have to counteract with more uplifting thoughts.
March 15th, 2021 2:28pm
I found myself struggling very hard to stop negative thoughts. Sometimes you just have to "manage" your negative thoughts, it can't always be avoided or stopped. Things I've done whenever the negative thoughts occured: 1. Label them in my head, recognize what they're saying and identify the cause of it (if possible) 2. Write it down on my journal or a piece of paper, all of them, then tear it up and throw them in a trash can! 3. Alternatively, you could talk to someone if they're willing to listen unconditionally, or just having a two-way monologue with yourself. Sometimes, talking about those negative thoughts and elaborate it really helps.