How Can I Remove Negative Thoughts?
No matter how hard you try to be positive all the time, there is inevitably going to be a moment where negative thoughts creep into your mind. These negative thoughts can get stuck in your brain and cause you to replay scenarios and situations over and over, which will ruin your day and potentially cause some pretty bad health issues. But these negative thoughts don't have to stay stuck in there, all you need are a few tools to get rid of them.
Removing negative thoughts is not as hard as one might think. In fact, it's actually really simple, all you have to do is show a little dedication to some key practices. Things like keeping yourself surrounded by positive people as well as reframing your mindset or even writing them down and then throwing it away can all help you remove those negative thoughts and allow you to embrace a more positive life.
Understanding how is very important, but having a core understanding of what negative thoughts are and the effects they can have on you is also important. So in this quick guide, we're going to take a look at everything you need to know about negative thoughts and how you can remove them from your life.
Naturally Negative: The Brain and Negative Thoughts
You might find it pretty interesting to know that our brains are actually hardwired for negative thoughts. These are leftover remnants of the systems that evolved over time to help us survive. To protect us, our brain created pathways that allow us to detect threats easier, which means our brains are always looking for them.
These threats are naturally filtered through our brains as negative information and looked at as more vital to our survival than positive thoughts. This system, though as we've become more technologically advanced, has almost become like a flaw in our system.
Things like seeing strangers as danger and envisioning our planet as much larger than it is are ways that our fight or flight system utilizes negative information to trick our brains into behaving in certain ways.
Because the brain is basically trained to look for these, it becomes a cycle that is hard to break. We tend to reinforce negative thoughts and overthink them and this causes more negative thoughts to build on those, and it just goes on and on.
So by really looking at ways to remove negative thoughts from your mind, you're not only helping rewire your brain, but also building skills that will help you live a more positive life.
Effects of Negative Thoughts
Knowing that our brains are hardwired to take in more negative thoughts and emotions than the positive ones may lead you to wonder what happens if these negative thoughts are allowed to linger. After all, if our brains are meant to find them, how bad can they actually be?
The truth is that our brains are designed to read through the negative thoughts that can have a great impact on a whole slew of different aspects of our lives. Not only in relationships but also in our health (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual).
Here are some of the ways that negative thoughts impact our lives the most:
Affect Mood & World View
It's been proven that negative thoughts often release certain types of hormones that were important during those times in the past when we needed survival skills. Because of the release of these hormones, moods can be affected and so too can a worldview. Negative thoughts often make you feel sad or even hopeless, and this can really skew your worldview.
Oftentimes those that dwell on negative thoughts find themselves not trusting anybody and keeping themselves guarded for protection. This may lead you to miss out on opportunities and create a whole wealth of other problems.
Inability to Achieve Goals
Frequently, negative thoughts will cause you to rethink goals and activities. This could in the end create an inability to achieve the goals that you have set forth for yourself.
That can affect not only your personal life, but your professional life as well. These negative thoughts can diminish your drive and self-worth so much that you talk yourself out of actions that will help you achieve those goals.
Negative thoughts keep your body in a constant fight or flight mode. This means that all your systems are working overtime, from your circulatory system to your brain. That is going to increase stress, which eventually could lead to mental health issues and depression.
On top of that, continual release of certain hormones can affect your body's circulatory system and organs and cause them to work improperly, which could impact your physical health as well.
If you're always telling yourself you're worthless, or you're unattractive, eventually it's going to impact your mental health. On top of that, it's going to lower your self-esteem, and eventually, you will start believing these negative thoughts even if they are not right.
Lack of Confidence
With lower self-esteem comes a reduction in confidence. Confidence is what you use to achieve those goals and live a life that you are proud of. But negative thoughts impact that and will reduce your confidence and can potentially affect those around you as well.
Once again, your body is in constant overload if you are continually dwelling on negative thoughts. This will overtax your physical and mental systems and lead to exhaustion.
Also, on a whole other level, being in a constant negative mindset is going to interrupt your spiritual energy and throw that out of whack, leading to a lack of energy.
How Can I Remove Negative Thoughts: Tips to Help You Clear Your Head
Now that we've looked at why our brains like negative thoughts and the consequences of those negative thoughts, let's take a look at how you can go about removing negative thoughts.
There are a whole plethora of ways to do this, and here are some of the ones we like the most:
Sometimes the best way to remove negative energy and vibes. Positivity really is contagious, and those that have friends or family that are continually positive tend to be more inclined to look on the bright side.
Also, by hanging out with these types of people, their habits will rub off on you and this could eventually lead to you having fewer negative thoughts. Or at the very least being able to combat the ones that crop up.
Write It Down & Throw It Away
Many people like to journal, and this is a great way to help their mental health. Along those lines, writing things down sometimes allow you to remove them from your mind.
Taking negative thoughts and putting it on paper and then throwing away or even burning them can help you release those negative thoughts and really clear your mind for more positive affirmations.
Drink Some Tea
Negative thoughts appear for any number of reasons, but there's something about sitting down with a nice warm cup of tea that can really clear your mind. Scientifically, there have been studies that have shown that people feel that there are fewer negative feelings when they have something warm in their hands. That means having a hot cup of tea and holding it in your hand could allow your mind to focus more on happier thoughts.
Looking at things in a different light or through a different lens is something that we've all been told to do when we are problem-solving. And really, when you're looking to remove those negative thoughts, what you are doing is trying to problem-solve. So when you hear those negative thoughts, re-framing them can actually train your brain to have fewer negative thoughts.
For instance, if someone cancels on you, instead of thinking it's about you, maybe just think this frees you up to do something that you would put off on your list. Either way, reframing it will help you reduce the negativity of the situation and look at it in a more positive light.
One of the best ways to deal with negative thoughts is to stop and breathe. Breathing is an important aspect of many practices including yoga and mindfulness because it allows your brain and body to take a second.
By taking that moment and inhaling and exhaling for a couple of breaths you're not only putting more oxygen in your body which will make your brain work better and release different types of hormones to combat the negative ones, but it allows you the time to identify the feelings, work through them, and then release them.
Create a Trigger
You can also take the time to create a trigger. This can be a mannerism or a sentence that when you start to think negative thoughts, you automatically react with. It could be something as simple as putting a smile on your face.
Or something like repeating to yourself a funny but inspirational song lyric. Whatever it takes, once you've built that habit when a negative thought appears, doing this will signal to your body that it's time to be positive.
There are many ways that you can remove negative thoughts from your life. Though the truth is you'll never be able to completely get them to disappear, you can develop tricks and habits that allow you to deal with them quickly when they do appear. By doing this you'll be able to mitigate some of the consequences negative thoughts have on your health and that in turn will leave you with a happier, healthier life.