What is Negative Thinking?
Have you ever felt like you always see the worst in every situation? Or always think about bad scenarios that may happen? Are you feeling like it is so easy to pick up negative points in things? Then, those thoughts affect your feelings to feel depressed, stressed and anxious. Before you know it, this has become the destructive cycle of your thoughts and feelings, and started to disturb your daily life, destroy your happiness, and invade your relationships with others. This is how negative thinking can affect your life.
Negative thinking can happen from time to time to everyone. It is how our brains work, to notice threats and protect our survival, to try to find the causes and solutions, to see the flaws and seek improvements. But if it has started to create negative feelings and unhappiness in daily basis, this is when we need to be aware and take care of it.
If you allow yourself to dwell and submerge into the negative thoughts continually, the vicious cycle of negative thoughts and feelings can increase your worry and fear, affects the way you think about yourself and the world around you, and even interferes with everyday functioning. This may lead to more complex psychological conditions such as chronic stress, depression, and anxiety.
Do I have negative thinking pattern?
You can notice if you have negative thinking pattern by being aware of your own thoughts and feelings. The negative thinking pattern may include:
- Seeing the worst in every situation
- Always thinking about what could go wrong
- Taking others’ words and actions personally
- Searching only for downsides in everything and everyone
- Cannot find good aspects in situations
- Feeling low, down, stressful, or anxious for no particular reasons
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Lost of appetite or over eating
- Avoiding social events
- Feeling lonely
- Feeling frustrated
- Feeling that life is meaningless
What you can do to help with negative thinking?
- Be aware of when and where you have negative thoughts
- Distract yourself to do something else to stop dwelling on the negative thoughts
- Consciously find nice little things around you (i.e. sunshine, comfortable seat, nice colour of flowers, aromatic scent of tea, warmth sensation under the blanket, anything!)
- Practice mindfulness (the easiest way is to count your breathing)
- Noting down your thoughts and worries
- Set aside a worry time and allow yourself to worry only during that time
- Challenge your negative thoughts by seeking opposite evidence
Negative thinking is a habit and can be changed and replaced by positive/constructive thinking pattern. The combination of positive psychology, CBT, and mindfulness is highly effective treatment. Do not wait until it has gone out of control. Get in touch.