Five ways to manage negative thoughts

People spend a lot of time thinking. Some experts suggest we have tens of thousands of thoughts each day, and unfortunately, not all of those thoughts are positive. While it’s normal to have negative thoughts, they are generally unhelpful when it comes to emotional well-being. If negativity is affecting you, here are some tips to manage them.


Five ways to manage negative thoughts

Acknowledge and challenge negative thoughts

It’s human nature to push away negative thoughts, but that can make them scarier. Try to be brave, face the negative and recognise it for what it is. Once acknowledged, challenge yourself. Is it accurate, or are you overthinking? Answer honestly, and you might start to look at things differently.

Five ways to manage negative thoughts

Recognise judgements

We all make judgements about ourselves and others. Still, when we produce lots of negative reviews, it can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction or terrible feelings towards others. Try to be more aware of when you’re judging and if you find yourself criticising, think of a positive as well. This will help prevent a spiral of negativity, and the positive works to cancel out the bad.

Five ways to manage negative thoughts

Start a gratitude journal

Research has proven that recording the things you’re grateful for can make you a happier person. A gratitude journal will help you connect with your feelings and emotions and gain perspective. Take time each day to write down things you are grateful for, no matter how small or simple. It can also help to write down why you are thankful for those things.

Five ways to manage negative thoughts

Put pen to paper

Writing down negative thoughts can help us to distance ourselves from them and reduce their intensity. So if something’s bothering you, try writing it down. Bonus points if you write it in the third person, as a story that’s happening to someone else. This will help to shift your perspective and take power out of the thought.

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Manage stress

Stress can be a trigger for anxious worry. Think about what may be causing you stress and how you may be able to reduce it. Exercise, mindfulness, socialising, or even a warm bath with a candle can calm the mind. If you’re finding it difficult to manage stress on your own or feel negative thoughts taking over, professional therapy will help you take control of intrusive negativity and get back to enjoying life as you should.

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