We all know that negative thoughts are directly linked to stress. Negative thinking has an adverse effect on your existing problems and the feelings that trouble you. Fortunately, with practice, you can learn to develop a healthier viewpoint. The key is to use healthy thoughts for encouragement instead of negative thoughts that bring you down.

Once you stop negative thinking, you’ll be able to handle challenges better and live a stress-free life. You’ll be able to cope with sleep issues, anxiety, and other problems. Here are a few ways to put an end to your negative thoughts.

1. Stop seeing things as black or white

Thinking in extremes is a common pit that we all fall into. You may have the tendency to see things as overly negative. For example, if you have a speech to give, you’ll believe that people are bound to hate it. Or feel intense panic about a new business venture, assuming it’s going to fail. This all or nothing attitude will cause you to miss out on the subtle joys of life. It makes you view the future through a negative lens and worry unnecessarily about failures and disasters.

2. Surround yourself with happy people

It is important to be aware of the effect that other people have on you. Your mood is often influenced by the company you keep. Your mental state is impacted by the kind of people you spend time with. If you’ve been dealing with stress so long that you don’t know who affects you negatively, try maintaining a diary. Every time you feel stressed out, note down the thought and what triggered it. With time, you’ll start to identify patterns and understand that some people stress you out more than others.

3. Distance yourself from people who make you anxious

Once you identify the people who seem to get you down consistently, it’s a good idea to maintain a distance. Establish healthy relationship boundaries and cut back on the time you spend with these individuals. If talking about certain topics with that person makes you anxious, avoid bringing these up and make them off-limits. Be careful when choosing the people you confide in. Taking to the wrong people will make your worries, fears, and doubts worse.

4. Stop blaming yourself for negative occurrences

Stop internalising negative emotions by blaming yourself for every bad thing that happens in your life. There are usually several factors involved such as the actions of others. Negative thinkers tend to condemn themselves for all kinds of incidents that have little or nothing to do with them. Instead of doing this, step back and take an objective look at the things you really have control over. Give yourself a break and do not obsess over past events.

5. Give positive self-talk a try

Be kind to yourself, especially when it comes to placing blame. A simple rule to follow is to never say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. Think about the things and people you are thankful for and appreciate the simple pleasures of life. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself focusing on your best qualities. If a negative thought occurs to you, evaluate it and respond rationally.

6. Transform the negatives into positives

Most of us have something we don’t like about ourselves that we obsess over. These worries such as not meeting your fitness goals or financial woes can take over and start to dominate your mind. Take these “problems” and put a positive spin on them. You can start by repeating affirmations. For example, if you hate your acne, repeat the phrase “I’m beautiful just the way I am,” to yourself. This may not help with your acne, but it will leave you feeling more positive and confident.

7. Maintain a gratitude journal

Taking the time to jot down your thoughts in a gratitude journal has a positive effect on stress. It can be as simple as writing down five things you’re grateful for each day. These can be tiny positives such as a book that you’re loving or more significant things like a promotion at work. Spend a few minutes every day focusing on the things you enjoy about your life. This is a self-healing practice that can alter your mood and keep you focused on the positives.

Being a less negative person takes practice, and you cannot become an optimist overnight. Eventually, you’ll begin to criticise yourself less and accept yourself for who you are. You’ll also learn to appreciate the world and the people around you more. It is important to have an optimistic outlook on life as this will help you handle stress more constructively. Tap into the health benefits of positive thinking and lead a happier, stress-free life.

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Author: Luke Carter

Luke writes about mental wellness and benefits of brain supplements @Nootrina. He’s a big fan of Yoga and mindfulness and feels that these two are the real key to mental well-being. Being a foodie, Luke loves cooking and brings several cuisines to bear at his dinner table. He’s looking to improve the awareness aofmental health issues and share ways to handle them among people of all ages.

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