Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How do I prevent negative thinking?

255 Answers
Last Updated: 12/16/2021 at 10:36pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Halayma Khatun, M.A Theology(U.K, UAE), Diploma With Distinction in Counseling, Certification trauma abandonment


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

Top Rated Answers
May 8th, 2021 4:56am
Quite honestly, you don't. What I do is work past them. So, say it's a rainy day. And you hate rainy days. Well, it helps to make a list of all the pros and cons of rain and rainy days in general. Once you make this list/diagram, it becomes clear that while your feelings are definitely valid, it's important to see the other aspect of it as well. When you do write out all of the pros and cons, it helps to mentally balance the negativity in myself and makes it easier to not let my own negative thinking negatively affect my life.
May 15th, 2021 3:33pm
Dealing with negative thinking is tough! I’ve been trying for so long and I’m still nowhere near perfect but that’s okay! I think when you’re first starting to learn how to deal with negative thoughts, starting small and building up is a good way to minimise pressure on yourself if you don’t get the immediate results you might be after. So maybe start off recognising the thoughts, noting them, learn about cognitive distortions and why you might be having those thought, acknowledging why they’re unhelpful and then reframe those thoughts. We’re always going to have some negative thoughts but practicing mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques can help to manage and minimise. Good luck x
May 26th, 2021 2:12pm
Here's a very cool tip that I recently came across. It requires self-awareness and some determination, but I have no doubt that anybody asking this question already has both of those in their arsenal. So here we go: The next time you catch yourself in the early stages of negative thinking (for example; rumination, worry, anticipatory anxiety, etc.), try to fill your short-term memory with something neutral and arbitrary. For example, rather than allowing yourself to continue going down a path of worry, start counting instead! Start from 1, and go all the way up to 50... or 100... or 250... Or, go from 1-30 and then from 1-30 again. You can also try different sets, like listing colors, or listing months. You could even do these in different languages to add some greater mental exercise in there. As a bonus challenge, you could also combine listing with positive associations by, for example, listing your favorite things - foods, places, songs, films, etc... :) Hope this tip helps some of you out there the way it's been helping me! Love, forestfires87
June 9th, 2021 9:41am
Positive affirmations are a really good starting point! Tell yourself positive things about yourself even if you don’t currently believe those things. This could be “I am strong”, “I am worthy”, “I deserve love”, whatever you don’t believe but still need to hear. This definitely can help eliminate some negative thinking. Always try to find one positive thing in a negative situation. For example, say you had a sports game you were super excited for but then it got cancelled, think about a positive, like how you can now practice something you weren’t sure about before! I hope this helped : )
July 4th, 2021 4:48am
There are number of ways we can prevent negative thinking. One such way is through scheduling activities. The goal is be distracted from thinking negatively through activities that is goal-oriented or pleasurable. Some example of activities include exercising, talking to a friend we like, and solving problem. These activities can occupy our time and distract us. Another way to prevent negative thinking is through a cognitive restructuring. For example, through reframing, we can use more positive thinkings to outweigh the one single negative thinking. For instance, we might found the food we just ate in a restaurant to be bad. We might feel down about it and we might blame ourselves for choosing this restaurant. What we can do to combat this negative thinking is to find and think some positive traits and things around us.
July 8th, 2021 11:45am
First think about what is triggering it, is it about the same thing over and over or different things at different times or everything. Try to find the pattern of your negative thinking. And start with why on that particular thing you are thinking negatively. Is it too often or normal than average? Does it related to your past experience or from someone you know. Identify the factors which can narrow down and help you to figure out what is triggering it or why are you thinking about it. You could use a diary to write down your thoughts, if you do so, you can find yourself are you having more or less.
July 14th, 2021 2:46am
I have experienced negative thinking for a very long time. The best way for me was to set positive goals and work on them. This made me feel more at piece knowing that I was doing at least something to reach my goals which made me feel that the outcomes would be more likely to be positive. Everyone always says that hard work pays off, and it is true. You just have to be dedicated and you will start thinking more positive outcomes than negative. This will also increase self esteem which will also help with positive thinking about yourself.
July 30th, 2021 3:46am
A great way to refrain from getting sucked into the negativity drain is to seek positivity. A great strategy for this is "Counting your blessings", or rather, focus on what is going well for you. I realize, sometimes this can be difficult and a lot of what is considered positive or negative is relative to the person going through the experiences. If it is difficult at first to find positivity in your life, start super small, build momentum, and create a snowball of positivity. Something tiny to be thankful for could be "Hey, I woke up today!" Another thing I like to do is make my bed first thing in the morning. This allows me to think "Hey! I've accomplished something today!" This in turn helps me feel optimistic and more motivated to approach the next challenge of the day. Cherry-pick those small wins of positivity, build the momentum, and you'll find yourself feeling less negative in no time.
August 8th, 2021 8:51pm
There's no logical way to completely *prevent* negative thinking; it's part of human emotion and human nature - who we are. Even those who live in monastic settings or were raised in environments with peace and kindness could become distracted by a rogue, adverse thought. A remedial question could be, "how do I prevent negative thinking from controlling my life?", and that could be approached at several angles. To name some: 1.) acknowledge that you have the negative thought the moment it comes up, rather than letting the residual emotions control you, 2.) question the reasons and validity behind the thought, e.g., cause/effect, whether the intense emotions warrant the cause 3.) Consider other factors in your present environment that have nothing to do with the negative thought, but lack the negative basis of what you're thinking.
August 12th, 2021 4:30pm
Taking some time out and focusing on yourself could be very useful. For example, doing something like meditation, listening to music or cooking can help relieve stress and appreciate the positive things that you might overlook or not see due to negative thinking. Talking to someone you trust or maybe to a volunteer like on 7cups can help too. Sometimes journaling and putting your thoughts and feelings onto paper can help you understand your thoughts and also prevent negative thinking in the future if you can spot any common causes of it.We all at some point probably think negatively, but it’s all about finding out what helps you cope and trying to (if applicable) stop the thinking at the source- I.e- cutting off negative friends or trying to do school work when it’s set to avoid stress and cramming later.
October 27th, 2021 8:11pm
I try to counteract my negative thoughts as soon as I realize I am thinking them. For instance if I go back to focusing on my weight and think about how I feel as though I am "fat", I try to remind myself how strong I am, how I have overcome so much through eating disorder recovery, what my nourished body is capable of, and so on. I try to have the positive thoughts almost lined up in my mind, ready for a negative thought to come through. It has helped me a lot because if I am able to catch it before I go down a dark path then it is easier to stop having those thoughts all together.
October 30th, 2021 2:21am
A good way is to avoid comparing yourself with others, since we tend to only look at their results and overview all the challenges they faced to get there, therefore making us think they are better than us. Instead, focus on the good things you have done so far or on things you could do in the future. Set small, realistic goals that you can accomplish, and as you reach them, you will feel better about yourself. This goals can be related to anything you want, maybe become a better friend a message someone, or be a better student and turn in all your homework on time this month! It can be any aspect that you wish to improve ! Best of luck!
October 31st, 2021 4:54pm
Pause a moment. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or stuck in negative thinking patterns, PAUSE. sit back and breathe. Ask yourself if the thought is realistic. Actively challenge the thought and look for alternative explanations. Recognize if your thought is actually a result of a cognitive distortion, such as catastrophizing. Consider what you'd tell a friend having the same thought. Just think about a time when you thought something bad was gonna happen but turns out something good happened. Be hopeful and patient. Hopefully everything will be good for you. With good thoughts come good things indeed and eventually.
December 1st, 2021 5:18am
I try to find positives in whatever I am thinking about. There is always something. Training your brain to think on the positive side can really help. When you think a negative thought, try to come up with five positive thoughts. It can take some time and commitment, but it is completely worth it. You could also try finding healthy ways to distract yourself from or cope with negative thoughts. For example, reading a book, getting some exercise, or hanging out with friends. If you feel yourself getting caught up in negative thinking, try a mindfulness exercise using your five senses. This can bring you out from inside your head and help you.
December 16th, 2021 10:36pm
There's a vey popular phenomenon you may want to look into. It's called the Law of Attraction. Basically, the way this goes is like this. "What you think about, you bring about." Learning this was absolutely the most significant turning point in my life. You see, when you think negative thoughts, worry or are fearful of something, you attract more of those very things. The reality is.... thoughts become things. Yes, yes, of course. It's hard to just stop thinking negative thoughts. Here's the simplest and fastest way to enjoy the benefits of this Law of Attraction. Try it for one day. All you need to do is be grateful for as many things as possible. Just be grateful for everything and everybody. Every little thing you own. Every friend you have or had. And especially for everyone who has every loved you. This will change your thought pattern. And suddenly all those good and great things that you were grateful for, will attract more of the same. More good things. More great people. Really! It works! Try it!