Overcoming Negative Thinking

art-518-01It takes time and practice to transform negative thoughts into positive ones

To foster positive thinking, you should learn to overcome negative thinking.

Dwelling on negativity and experiencing related emotions including pessimism, anger and stress can lead to symptoms like headache, body aches, nausea, fatigue and difficulty sleeping.

They can also trigger the release of stress hormones, as well as affect metabolism and immune function; the longer these continue, the higher the risk of having diseases such as heart disease, stroke and dementia, and subsequently a shortened lifespan.

Thus, it is important to turn negative thinking into positive thinking to handle negative situations better and be able to lead a healthier and more optimistic life. This takes time and practice because it involves creating a new habit and outlook.

One way to get started is to identify any negative self-talk in your daily life, and then incorporate more positive self-talk to replace them. Instead of saying “I’ve never done it before” or “It’s complicated”, tell yourself that “It’s an opportunity to learn something new” or “I’ll tackle it from a different angle.

According to Mayo Clinic, some common forms of negative self-talk include filtering (focusing only on plans for more job tasks instead of compliments received, for instance); personalising (blaming yourself automatically when something bad happens); catastrophising (always anticipating the worst even during a minor situation); and polarising (perceiving that life is either good or bad and never in-between).

Other ways to focus on positive thinking to reduce self-criticism and improve self-acceptance are:

  • Identifying areas where you usually dwell on negative thoughts and changing them, be they work, relationships, daily commute or other parts of your life.
  • Evaluating your thoughts periodically. Should there be any negativity, try re-looking at it positively.
  • Being open to humour in everyday happenings and even during difficult moments, because sometimes laughter can truly be the best medicine.
  • Following a healthy lifestyle – exercise regularly, eat well, sleep enough and manage stress.
  • Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people who can give you helpful advice and feedback.

Comments are closed.