5 Tips to Avoid and Overcome Negative Thinking

5 proven ways to cultivate the habit of having good thoughts

We often find ourselves caught in a cycle of negative thoughts and emotions that seem impossible to shake. This article explores practical tips and strategies that can help you shift your perspective from negative to positive - one step at a time.

Whenever someone calls our thinking negative, we tend to get offended. How can they say we indulge in negative thinking when we are just stating what reality is, is our usual thought. But we often fail to see objectively. Our world is riddled with issues and disparities of many kinds and negative thinking is a habitual way of thinking where we start focussing only on the negative aspects of our life situations. Such thinking can be triggered by stress, anxiety or even boredom. But it doesnt just stop at that. Negative thinking can lead to feelings of pessimism, anxiety and depression. One thing is for certain, it makes it difficult to see the positive side of things.

Negative thinking is often the result of learned behaviour. We can learn to be negative from our parents, friends, teachers or even the media. Once we start down the path of negative thinking, it can become a habit that’s hard to break. Underlying psychological reasons also play a role. People with anxiety or depression are more likely to have negative thoughts. Interestingly, negative thinking can also be a form of self-protection. If we think bad things will happen, we might not be as disappointed or hurt if they do happen.

Whatever the reasons behind our negative thinking, it’s important to remember that we can always change our mindset and cultivate good thoughts in life. It is never too late.

Develop a positive mindset

Many among us are tired of feeling stuck and weighed down by pessimism, anxiety or self-doubt. They struggle with negative thinking patterns that impact their mental health, relationships and overall wellbeing. The good news is that breaking free from these harmful habits and cultivating a positive mindset or having healthy thoughts about life is possible from the moment we choose to work on ourselves.

A positive mindset is a state of mind where you believe in the power of positive thinking. It is the idea that if you think positively, you will achieve positive results. A positive mindset is not about always being happy or pretending that everything is perfect. It is about accepting life and making the best of every situation.

The first step to developing a positive mindset is to recognise when you think negatively. Pay attention to your thoughts and see if you can identify any negative thinking patterns. Common negative thought patterns include all-or-nothing thinking (I failed, so I’m a failure), overgeneralising (I always screw up), catastrophising (this will be a disaster), personalising (it’s my fault), and negative filtering (I only see the bad).

Once you have identified your negative thought patterns, you can challenge them. For each negative thought, ask yourself if there is any evidence to support it. If not, then the thought is likely unrealistic and must be replaced with a more realistic one.

Another way to challenge negative thoughts is to reframe them in a more positive light. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t do this,” try telling yourself, “I can do this.” Although it may seem like a small change, it can make a big difference.

Change your perspective

Negative thinking can bog us down. Whether it’s dwelling on our past mistakes or feeling anxious about the future, negative thoughts can take over our minds and leave us feeling hopeless. But changing our perspective and looking at the situation from a different angle can be helpful. Instead of focusing on the negative, try to find the positive in what’s happening. For example, if you’re worried about an upcoming test, concentrate on studying hard and doing your best instead of thinking about how you might fail.

Practising gratitude also counterbalances negative thoughts. Whenever you feel down, take a moment to think about things you’re thankful for in your life. Focusing on what’s good in your life can help you change your mindset from negative to positive.

Steer clear of toxic people 

It is important to avoid toxic people and places. Toxic people constantly complain, gossip and put others down. They drain us of our positive energy. Avoiding such environments is essential because they can trigger negative thoughts and emotions. And do note it is always easier to focus on the negative things in life.

The house help took a leave, the pet puked on on the carpet, the colleague spoke rudely; all these things have the potential to take us on a negative spiral. So when you’re feeling down, take a step back and think about all the positive things in your life. The house help keeps your house clean for most part of the year, the pet brings you unconditional love and the colleague helps complete work projects with you. Focusing on the good things helps overcome the immediate negative thinking and steadily helps cultivate a positive mindset.

Practice gratitude and self-care

Gratitude has many uses. Even when it comes to negative thinking, practising gratitude takes us far. Gratitude helps us focus on the good in our lives even when things are tough. Along with gratitude, self-care must also be practiced as it recharges us so that we can deal with whatever challenges come our way in a better way.

One can practice both gratitude and self-care by keeping a gratitude journal. Make time to write down three things you’re grateful for every day. This can be anything from your job, family, pets or simply a bright sunny day. In addition to this, show yourself some love. Give yourself a break and spend time doing things you love, such as reading, walking outside or grabbing coffee with a friend.

Helping others can also help you feel good about yourself. When we give back, it helps shift our focus from our problems to the needs of others. You can volunteer at a nursing home or an animal shelter – doing simple acts of kindness is a great way to boost one’s mood and change one’s outlook on life.

Live in the moment

It can be challenging to stay positive when life gets tough, but it’s important to remember that each moment is a new opportunity, to win or to become stronger in the process. Dwelling on negative thoughts only make things worse, so we must try to focus on the present and what can be done to make it better.

One way to stay in the moment is to practice mindfulness; being aware of your thoughts and surroundings without judging them. Accepting things as they are will help you move on from negative experiences and have good thoughts in life.

Indeed, living in the moment is important because it’s the only time we have. The past is gone, and the future is uncertain, so all we can do is make the most of the present, cherish our relationships, enjoy our hobbies and savour every moment, good or bad. These experiences will shape who you are, so make them count!

Finally, learn to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Be sure to get enough sleep and exercise, eat a healthy diet and find ways to relax and destress. When you take care of yourself, it gets easier to have only the best thoughts on life and living.




Your wellbeing is a few clicks away.

Subscribe to your weekly dose of positivity, wellness, and motivation and get a free printable
Soulveda Gratitude journal