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How do I prevent negative thinking?

256 Answers
Last Updated: 12/23/2021 at 8:41pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
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Halayma Khatun, M.A Theology(U.K, UAE), Diploma With Distinction in Counseling, Certification trauma abandonment

Counselor

Compassionate, patient, experienced depression counselor. I use Psychodynamic counseling techniques. My counseling experience is +8 years, I counsel women.

Top Rated Answers
AnnGoodHeart1
June 18th, 2020 5:55pm
I know that this is not directly the answer to the question, but what I've found more useful than preventing negative thinking is being curious about it. Thoughts are sentences in our mind that in majority we "inherited" from our environment when we were young - created on the basis of our early experience. When I started learning where my habitual negative thinking comes from, why it occurs and how it was often the only way for me-child to survive, It was much easier to let go of it and replace it with more adequate one. It's been a really interesting journey for me and changed a lot in my life. Maybe this way could be useful for you too.
revenger0197
June 20th, 2020 10:45pm
For every negative thought, try and think of 2 positive things. For example, if you are thinking "I am very self conscious today about my body." Try thinking, "I have things about myself that I find beautiful." This really helps me when I have anxiety. Another example is this; instead of thinking " People are judging me and watching me eat this food" think " Everyone is enjoying their food, just like I should be doing. They aren't watching me. " It is natural for people to look around, when there is movement around them. It is just a human thing, I guess.
Keepyourmindcalm
June 27th, 2020 11:26pm
«Negative thinking» is multifaceted. It’s something all people have, even the most positive people. How you see the world/society/yourself/others is how YOU CHOOSE to see them. You can DECIDE see the world as the worst place to be, however this wouldn’t be fair because there so many beautiful places, people, situations,etc. that you don’t take into consideration. One way to prevent negative thinking is to understand that almost everything is not just black OR white. It’s IMPORTANT. Not every situation is positive but it surely has positive parts. The exact same applies for negative situations. Good luck :)
Maya1016
July 4th, 2020 6:56pm
There are a few tips and techniques that you can use to prevent negative thinking. I have listed a few of them below: 1) Try to distract yourself by using meditation or mindfulness thinking. Another method of distraction can simply be to keep yourself busy. You can try reading a book, baking, painting, etc. 2) Try to reframe your situation. This can be beneficial if you find it difficult to distract yourself. Simply thinking about your negative thoughts from a different perspective can assist you greatly. 3)Surround yourself by positive people. This can help you by lightening your mood and decreasing the chance of possessing negative thoughts.
APomegrenateTree
July 8th, 2020 1:43am
Hi! Firstly, I wanted to acknowledge that feeling bad is not always easy, but it is okay to let yourself feel it. It might be uncomfortable and difficult, but sometimes allowing ourselves to have "negative" feelings is okay. Otherwise, you just end up bottling everything else. Once you've accepted your emotions, then it could be interesting to find out what triggers those negative thoughts. Why are you feeling this way? It's okay if it's not for a particular reason too. In the end, thoughts are a bit like passing clouds. If you let them go and not put all your focus on them, they will end up crossing you.
sunnyCat57
July 15th, 2020 11:29am
Unlearning negative thinking is a journey. It can take a long time so it's important to be kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts. 1. Notice when these thoughts come up and ask yourself "why now?". Again, try not to berate yourself for negative thinking. Try to be curious. You're a scientist observing how your mind works. 2. Write down the negative thoughts. If they are negative thoughts about yourself, challenge them. Try to find evidence that proves them wrong. 3. Ask yourself "when did I start believing this?". 4. Try to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. The important thing is to keep it realistic. If you're stressed or anxious, things like "everything will be wonderful!" are going to sound hollow. Start with things like "I'll survive this" and "what happens if it goes well?" Once again, it's really important to remember not to be angry or upset with yourself if the negative thoughts persist. It's a journey. It's something you have to practise over time.
BenevolentFish
July 22nd, 2020 5:36am
I think preventing thoughts is a very challenging thing to do, as you cannot stop many thoughts, like intrusive thoughts from popping up - its more like how do you accept and let negative thoughts pass! While I cant give advice, what I do is notice a negative thought as it comes, think about why I am having this negative thought, and how this negative thought makes me feel! It normally makes me feel not great, but I know that I am NOT my thoughts, and that i can take a deep breath and say postive affirmations to boost myself up instead of tearing myself down ! I hope that helps
Anonymous
July 28th, 2020 11:39am
Negative thinking can be hard to stop once it becomes a habit. One needs to make a conscious effort to stop doing so. For instance, whenever you feel like you are starting to go down the spiral of negative thinking, try to focus on doing something you enjoy like playing a sport , painting or listening to music. It can be anything. These activities release good hormones which will help you feel better. If there is something that you can do about what's worrying you, do it. Worrying doesn't do anyone any good. Know that you are doing the best that you can and that its all going to work out as long as you keep working towards it.
elgor6744
July 30th, 2020 6:47pm
You can prevent negative thinking by forcing yourself to think about good things only. A good trick that I saw a few months ago was to replace every negative thought with two positive thoughts. For example, if you say that you're unworthy, tell yourself you're funny and smart. Over time, you'll start to believe what you're telling yourself and you'll see yourself in a better light. Negative thinking is something that is really easy to do and if not controlled, it can take over your whole life. If you practice positivity over negativity, you will start to see things in a whole new way. It doesn't hurt to try, so just go for it!
Anonymous
August 5th, 2020 11:55pm
I think of negative thinking more as a bad habit. And you fight against a bad habit, by 1) identifying it and recognising how and when you do it. Then, 2) actively dismantling and stopping it. If you do that to yourself: Think, would you say that to another person? Every person deserves gentleness and so do you. Don't stress yourself over it and don't be frustrated if you don't get better immediately, it's easier said than done. Give yourself time to unlearn. It takes very much strength just to realize that you are having negative thoughts; you can be proud of that, give yourself that credit.
AnomalousGregor
August 13th, 2020 11:51pm
You can prevent negative thinking by doing what you love to do, or keeping yourself busy. Doing stuff such as listening to music, reading, taking a walk or drinking water are some of the many things you can do to keep yourself out of the negativity. Keeping yourself busy is a good way to prevent negative think is because you're more focused on something other than the negative thoughts. Doing something proactive can also helps you think about what you can achieve, while also help you focus on the positive side of life, like having fun. Doing calm things or having fun can have an impact against the negative thoughts.
Anonymous
September 3rd, 2020 1:11am
Negativity will not help you to have a better life. Theres a lot thing you can do to avoid negative thinking such as, writing down your worries everytime and think of a positive events in your life and apply it. Always smile even though how hard life is. Be positive in life and throw all negative thoughts in your mind. You can kept yourself busy to avoid it. Do what makes you happy. Talk to someone if you have worries. Also, you can do exercises,meditation to help you. All over, dont let your negativity ruin your life and be more positive. Keep fighting and never give up!
calmingFriend2210
October 8th, 2020 2:16am
I prevent negative thinking by thinking the exact opposite. Such as being positive. This help me think around the negative. By this I can continue to do things without getting sad with all the negativity. Though when your overwhelmed with all these negative thoughts it good to try and find a solution to it all. Negative thinking can lead to stress or more anxiety. So try to do things that make you happy. Also by express these negative thoughts to other people. Such as letting it all out and being able to live on and taking the next step forward.
YouDeserveToLetYourVoiceBeHeard
October 28th, 2020 3:14am
We can’t prevent it because it’s part of human nature to have negative thoughts (unless of course they are excessive and accompanied by other symptoms in which case, there may be need for a mental health assessment to determine whether evidence-based treatment is needed). I would suggest changing the question to something like “how can I learn to manage my negative thinking?” While we can’t prevent negative thinking, we can change our relationship towards it. Instead of reacting, we can practice mindful noting: “oh look, a thought” and then return to whatever we were doing. If another negative thought pops up, we note it again, “oh look, another thought.” This is a mindfulness activity. It can also be helpful to research “cognitive distortions” and see whether you relate to any of them.
Enbyowl
October 30th, 2020 3:01pm
I understand wanting to try to prevent negative thinking. It’s hard to prevent negative thinking due to the fact that everyone has some sort of negative thinking. Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time, some people more than others. The key is to not let those negative thoughts control you. As hard as it is to believe, you control your thoughts, they don’t have to control you. You can let yourself not be controlled by those thoughts by not allowing them to have that power over you. You could try to reframe those negative thoughts so that they are not as scary
Followurheart00
November 7th, 2020 11:17pm
I prevent negative thinking by writing down of all the positive things in my life and all the positive things I have already accomplished so far. Even when I feel like nothing is going good in my life, I think of the small things like the fact that I woke up this morning, I have food to eat, I have family and friends who care about me and that I am capable of doing so much. I believe light always outshines the darkness and that can be applied here too -- positivity always outshines negativity, especially when it comes to your thoughts.
Anonymous
November 11th, 2020 7:16pm
One great way to address negative thinking is to utilize the "stop sign" technique. When you catch yourself in a negative thought, as best you can, envision a big, red stop sign. Refuse to finish having that thought, cut it off, interrupt it. If it arises again, show it that same big, red stop sign. Soon enough, these thoughts will bombard you less and less because of your refusal to engage with them. Another great option for coping is to become aware of your thoughts by sitting silently and simply noticing them. By observing your own thoughts, you are recognizing that you are not your thoughts, but something separate. Recognizing your thoughts as separate from you disavows your thoughts of a lot of power, because you recognize that they are not your identity, they are not you, you can control them, and ultimately, you can make them work for you by choosing which thoughts to continue engaging in.
amethystLantern
November 14th, 2020 3:42am
Sometimes you can't prevent negative thinking, but it can help to focus on how you respond to your negative thoughts. For me, I have a bad habit of doing negative "what ifs." Like "what if I talk to this person and they think I'm stupid or they hate me." I've learned to respond to that thought with, "What if we get along really well, and I make a new friend?" and spend time to actually think through what that would look like. I think this could also apply for other types of negative thoughts that aren't what ifs. Maybe also trying to focus on a positive that's related or counter to the negative thought.
Anonymous
November 15th, 2020 3:08am
Negative thinking can always be really upsetting. Everytime we are worrying about something that we care about, it gets really hard for us not to think of the worst scenario. This may be due to over thinking and racing thoughts - this is why certain anti-anxiety techniques mai be used when dealing with such thoughts, or prevented by things such as meditation and the presence of good & healthy habits in your life. Mindfulness and Pzizz, Headspace or online meditation, is really useful into freeing you mind from negativity. Also, building up healthy habits and having a fixed, normal sleeping pattern may make a huuuuge difference!
kindSummer9997
November 18th, 2020 10:46pm
Do things that you love, concentrate on what you are good at and the things you can do. Challenge yourself and see what your boundaries are. TRY NEW THINGS. distract yourself from the things that could make you think negatively. Positive thinking isn't always easy, but if you make it easy, by knowing what you can do and concentrating on your strengths when things are hard, then you can do anything you put your mind to. Know yourself. Know what you are. Know how wonderful you will be. Pick yourself up in hard times. And keep your positive vibe alive. Tell yourself you can do this. Because, you can.
DarkPiT23
November 22nd, 2020 9:05am
A common cold, exhaustion, stress, hunger, sleep deprivation, even allergies can make you depressed, which leads to negative thoughts. In many cases, depression can be caused by negative thinking, itself. Thought Stopping. When you notice that negative thoughts or images are starting to enter your mind, try actually say “stop!” to yourself. ... Positive Affirmations. Positive affirmations can be used in a couple of different ways. ... Enforcing Boundaries. ... Writing and Destroying. ... “Just Because” When you're in what seems like a negative situation, find what's good. ... Reminder: people don't care that much about what you say or do. ... Question the thought. ... Replace the negativity in your surroundings. ... Stop making mountains out of molehills.
Rainbowsandmiracles888
December 2nd, 2020 1:55pm
That’s a great question. One thing that helps me a lot is keeping a gratitude journal. It helps to shift to more positive thoughts. Its amazing what happens when you list things you’re grateful for each day. They tend to multiply as you look for things to be grateful for. It doesn’t have to be big things. One thing I’m most grateful for is the sunroof in my car. Just small things make a difference! Also working on forgiving myself and accepting that I’m human and it’s okay to make mistakes has been helpful. Mistakes mean we’re progressing and moving forward. It’s part of being human. Self compassion can make a huge difference. When you find yourself in negative thinking and are aware of it, you can shift your thinking.
ListeningEar2323
January 6th, 2021 3:11am
Sometimes in life we can't help but to think negatively at times, which can impact our whole being. I prevent negative thinking by asking myself how I would encourage someone else that was in my shoes. By doing this, I find myself wanting to have a more positive outlook. I also start to rethink the situation in a new, more productive way. In life, we sometimes are able to share positive attributes with others but, not always with ourselves. Finding opportunities to give ourselves the same positive space and nurture we’d give someone else can truly be beneficial and rewarding.
PainisPoetry16
January 6th, 2021 9:35pm
Start with a gratitude list! Make sure to name atleast 5 different things that you are grateful for every day. Spend time around people who have positive attitudes, read a book about it/listen to podcasts. Try meditating or any other thing that brings you inner peace, as we often notice and appreciate the sunny side more when we feel good. Ask for advice from a friend who's bright, sunny, and who generally has a positive outlook. Avoid people who speak 90% negativity and in turn watch the things you say as well, correct yourself when you think negatively and last but not least try to find one good thing in every negative story/situation.
siatheyouth
January 9th, 2021 3:12pm
To write positive affirmations on my board that is place in my room and look at it everyday especially when I feel negative so that I can feel good about myself and bring back the positivity back that varies in the challenges I face.Looking at these affirmations as well gives me the courage and determination to want to give my ultimate best in every aspect in life as I am someone that gets motivated very quickly when there is positivity radiating from not only the external but mostly internally as that would be the main source of grit,persistence and determination
Everydaysuperhero13
February 19th, 2021 3:55am
I find that when I am having negative thoughts, trying to think of the alternate scenario is helpful. For instance, when I believed I would fail my driver's test and I would have to wait a month before I took it again, I thought about what it would be like if I passed. The great satisfying feeling of accomplishment that would have. Once I was able to focus on that, I asked myself which was more likely and why? It was more likely that I passed because of the amount of time I put into learning how to drive. But even if I didn't the worst case scenario was not has bad as I believed. A month is really not that long. Its all about putting thing in perspective.
AnitaCZ
February 20th, 2021 5:13pm
What really helps me is stopping for a moment. I try to focus on my body, my thought and the present moment. I calm myself down with breathing (inhale, exhale). Then I try to put my emotions aside for a moment and think of the negative thought. I ask myself if it is really that bad, what are the chances that it will really go as bad as I imagine it could. What can I do to prevent that the results/future event will be a disaster? For example, I prepare better for my presentation, I manage my time in order to have enough time to prepare myself and I remind myself that panicking or imagining the worst case scenario is not going to help. Rather I make a plan and I start dealing with the situation.
Anonymous
March 6th, 2021 10:39pm
Be kind to yourself. Please forgive yourself. You are not your negative thoughts. You are strong. You will get through this. And if it comes back to haunt you again, it may be like meeting your ex on a date with your new partner. It may creep up on you and stalk you from the back of your mind. But you will ignore it because you have grown and you have been through so much to let it bother you again. Until then, please be easy on yourself. You deserve good things, you deserve love, you deserve to hope. I hope you never forget that.
Anonymous
April 3rd, 2021 4:41am
Preventing negative thinking may not be possible. It's like saying "don't think of pink elephants"... bet you'll think of a pink elephant. The difficulty comes in believing negative thinking. A negative thought unchecked can lock into one's mind, and take one down some challenging paths. I try to focus on challenging my thoughts, or coming up with alternatives. I have a type of cognitive behaviour therapy journaling which starts with 1) my moods and actions, then 2) identifies the thoughts that have sparked those moods, 3) my thinking on each of those thoughts, 4) challenging whether those thoughts and perspectives are realistic or replacing those perspectives with alternatives, and 5) how I'm subsequently feeling or acting. I may not be able to control my thoughts, but I work to control how seriously I take them and my responses to them.
scenicShoe3640
May 1st, 2021 2:11pm
Negative thinking is very difficult initially, even asking how you can overcome it and accepting that you do think negatively is a huge step. So give yourself a pat on the back! I find that when I overthink, I think of the worst possible outcomes that have not yet happened, whether that is about interviews, job, school etc. I like to think of it this way, yes the worst possible outcome could happen but the best possible outcome could happen too! If I use the time I have being positive about whatever is going to happen then it might, but if i’m negative about it and spend time dwelling over it now, i’ve already conditioned myself into thinking it won’t work out for me and then when it doesn’t work out i’ll be negative again anyway. It’s a waste of your energy that you could use thinking positively instead!