I know what it’s like to have negative thoughts circling around in your head. I also know that these thoughts don’t go away unless you do something about them.
Whether you’re having these thoughts due to a life event or some trauma, or you just have lingering doubts and negative thoughts that won’t go away – you have to do something about it.
There are a number of ways you can clear negative thoughts and change your thought patterns.
Below are some of the ways I’ve personally changed negative thoughts into positive ones. As well as some techniques I’ve used with other people:
How to Get Negative Thoughts out of Your Head
Meditating has had a huge positive impact on my life, and the lives of millions of other people all over the world.
If you’ve never tried meditation, I can’t urge you enough to start.
You don’t have to find the perfect moment to set the scene. It can be as simple as using a few spare minutes wherever you get time.
Meditation is a mental exercise in which you practice training your mind to focus, relax, and ultimately let go of negative thoughts and energy. It’s a profound and powerful way to let go of negative thoughts.
Related – Check out these awesome meditation apps for guided meditations, calming music, and more.
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to improve mental health. It stimulates your body to produce more feel-good hormones, reduces depression, lifts your mood, and will help you clear your head.
Don’t worry if you’re not in the best shape. You don’t have to join a gym, you can take a brisk walk outdoors. In fact, being outdoors is another positive thing you can do to clear your thoughts.
Learn to Let Go and Forgive
For most people, negative thoughts are attached to an event in their lives.
Until you find true forgiveness in heart and head and let go of whatever you’re holding on to – you won’t be able to stop the negative thoughts.
This is incredibly difficult for most people, but it’s something you have to do. How you let go is a topic in itself, so I recommend doing some research and finding out what’ll work for you.
Write Down Everything You’re Grateful For
When we’re stuck in a cycle of negativity it’s easy to forget – or not clearly see – all the good things in our lives we should be grateful for.
This is why sitting down and writing down these things is a lot more effective than thinking about them.
Get yourself a piece of paper and a pen (that’s right, don’t use your phone), and start writing down everything you should feel grateful for.
This means everything from your health, financial state, friends and family, your job, and more.
Write Down Some Positive Goals for the Future
It’s likely that you’re stuck in the now, or even worse stuck in the past. Make your future, and it’s going to be a positive future, present.
Write down some positive goals that you want to work towards. This can be anything from some fitness goals to making new friends or getting a new job.
It’s a simple process, but you’ll spend more time thinking about your new goals and less time thinking about the past.
Find Your Creative Passion
(Almost) everyone has a creative passion somewhere deep inside. That is if you don’t already know what creative activities make you happy.
Creative outlets are a great way to stimulate our brains, get more positive hormones flowing, and letting negativity out.
It’s actually a form of self-therapy. Things like adult coloring books journals have been on the increase in recent years.
You might find your passion for art, music, dance, landscape gardening, the list is endless.
Talk It Out With Someone
Talking about problems can help release pent-up emotions and feelings. Whether you’re more comfortable talking to a close friend or finding professional help, it’s something you must consider.
There’s a saying I love, “A problem shared is a problem halved”. It’s so true. It’s amazing how much better you feel just by talking out loud about what’s bothering you.
Hearing someone else reassure you that everything is going to be ok or giving you a solution is also a huge part of the process.
Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
If the types of thoughts you’re having revolve around thinking bad things are going to happen, doubting yourself, and generally thinking you’re not good enough – it’s time to challenge these thoughts.
If you challenge them with a positive mindset I can guarantee you you’ll realize that the thoughts are not true.
They might not even be rational.
So, why are you having irrational thoughts? Why do you keep thinking these negative things that you know are not true and not going to happen?
That’s step two, which you are able to move onto once you’ve challenged these thoughts. You can then start doing one or more of the things I’ve already mentioned to work on your mental health.
Related – Check out these inspiring quotes about mental toughness.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Help
There is a stigma around mental health and seeking professional help. It’s based around people feeling that they’re “different”, or “broken”, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
I bet you wouldn’t hesitate to go to a doctor with a physical issue, right? So, why is a mental issue different?
We need to work on our minds just as we do our physical wellbeing. The process of healing either is similar to the other too.
It takes time, practice, and repetition to work on both physical and mental issues.
If your negative thoughts are becoming overwhelming or nothing is helping you clear them, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
Exercise for mental health – ncbi.gov
7 Ways to Deal With Negative Thoughts – PsychologyToday.com
Image credits – Photos used with permission from Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.