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Ways to Be Less Negative in Your Thinking

Positivity for Mental Wellness, Ways to Be Less Negative in Your Thinking, Reframe Negative Thoughts

It is common to get caught in a cycle of negative thoughts that spiral out of control. Suddenly, every little thing seems to be going wrong, and anxiety and sadness creep in. If you find yourself frequently caught up in negative thoughts and pessimistic mindsets, it may be time to turn toward more positive thinking.

Negativity can quickly become an enemy in your life. When you’re focused on the downside of a situation, you tend to overlook potential upsides or solutions. Negativity can drain your motivation, zap your energy and joy, and leave you feeling helpless. Over time, negative thoughts take a toll on both your mental and physical health.

Chronic negative thinking pumps up the production of stress hormones like cortisol, which can negatively affect your health by:

  • Disrupting sleep
  • Increasing inflammation
  • Weakening your immune system over time

It can also increase the risk of developing mental health issues like anxiety and depression. At its worst, an overly negative mindset can become self-destructive, increasing the likelihood of unhealthy coping behaviors like addiction. 

Flipping the Switch to Positivity

The good news is that positive thinking is something you can develop over time, no matter your age. Negativity is like any other bad habit; you need to make an effort to break it.

Here are some tips to get started with moving towards positivity:

Track Your Thoughts

Start paying closer attention to your inner voice and thought patterns throughout the day. You may be surprised how frequently you think negative thoughts like, “I’m doing a terrible job,” “I can’t do anything right,” or “Bad things always happen to me.” Make a mental note of when your thoughts are negative. Learning to catch negative thinking in the moment is the first step.

Reframe Negative Thoughts

Once you observe negative thoughts creeping in, you can reframe them into something more positive or realistic. If you find yourself thinking, “This is too hard; I am going to fail,” reframe it as “This may be hard, but I’ve overcome challenges before, and I can do it again..” Replace negative language like, “This is the worst!” with something more objective like, “This is frustrating, but I can get through it.” Look for opportunities to reframe pessimistic thoughts as you have them.

Practice Gratitude

It’s hard to hold onto resentful, negative thoughts when focused on appreciating the good things in your life. Start a daily gratitude practice by writing down five things you’re grateful for daily. Savor positive experiences and successes instead of brushing them off as fleeting or unimportant. Gratitude helps rewire our brains to be more optimistic. Some examples of things to be grateful for are:

  • Health
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Job
  • House

Spend Time with Positive People

All too often, we adopt the negative perspectives of those closest to us. If you have people in your life who always complain and say negative things, this mindset can pass on to you. When they begin to talk negatively, try distancing yourself. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who exude optimism. Their attitudes are likely to rub off on you over time.

Find the Positive in Bad Situations

For particularly challenging situations, look for the positive. Rather than sinking into a pit of despair, look for potential hidden upsides or lessons within the struggle. Perhaps this setback will push you to grow in unexpected ways or uncover new opportunities you might otherwise have missed. There’s almost always a silver lining if you look for it.

Embrace Positivity for Mental Wellness  

Positive thinking and optimism are directly linked to improved mental and physical health outcomes. Positive people tend to live longer, have lower rates of depression, better cardiovascular health, and greater overall well-being. Meanwhile, pessimism and negativity have the opposite effect, weighing us down mentally and physically.

If you’re struggling with chronic negativity or pessimism impacting your mental health and causing anxiety, help is available. At Creekside Behavioral Health, located in Kingsport, Tennessee, we offer programs and services designed to address anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions. To learn more about how we can help your loved one, please contact us today.

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