negative thoughts

Overcome your negative thoughts in 5 simple steps

To be productive, you need to derive meanings from your thoughts instead of being anxious, depressed, or concerned.

Many times in life, you face situations when your mind is congested with random thoughts. It is safe to assume that at these instances your productivity is at the lowest as your focus is crippled by intrusive thoughts you can’t shake off. Such troubling thoughts can be a reflection of concerns that need to be addressed. Yes, it is a good habit to introspect, but it is equally harmful to overthink at the hinge of negative thoughts that make you stressed, anxious, and unproductive.

What you think has a direct impact on your wellbeing. Like the writer, Israelmore Ayivor once said, “Your thoughts carry you wherever you want to go. Weak thoughts don’t have the energy to carry you far.” If you continue to dwell on negative thoughts, your productivity in daily life gets compromised.  To act productively, you have to derive meanings from your thoughts instead of being anxious, depressed, or concerned. This can only happen when you put the negativities in your mind to rest. Here’s how you can do it:

Search for positive perspectives

There’s a famous saying, “An empty mind is a devil’s workshop.” When you are idle, your mind dwells on thoughts that can be diverse in nature. These can be random thoughts that are always in your subconscious mind, but your head processes them only when you are inactive. Suppose you are enjoying the sunset on your balcony with a cup of coffee on a fine Sunday evening. Suddenly you remember the project that you have been working on, whose report you have to submit on Monday. Your mind starts spinning negative thoughts like “What if I cannot do it?” “What if it gets rejected?” “My promotion will go for a toss.” This is when you need to stop thinking and breathe. Turn on the switch for your positive thoughts. Think of all those long hours, revisions, and efforts you put into your project. Remind yourself that giving your best is all that matters. Such positive perspectives can easily vaporise your negativity.

Change your environment

Often, when you are worried, you choose to isolate yourself from the world. You assess the situation to be more complex than it is and conclude that isolation or silence is the best refuge you can find. In reality, however, seclusion can make things worse as it further feeds your negativity. Instead, consider a shift in your environment. Isolation does not help, but a change of scene can. Go for a walk, hear the vehicles passing by, watch the hawkers push their carts on the road, or visit your favourite restaurant. When you change your environment, your mind hops to a different frequency, away from negativity.

Write down your thoughts

Writing is one of the most effective ways to track your mood—which is nothing but a combination of your feelings and thoughts. When you write down what you are thinking, you can see the patterns in your thoughts, whether they are positive or negative. Read aloud what you have written. This will not only help you understand your thoughts better but bring fresh perspectives too. By doing so, you can see the irrationality in your thoughts clearly and take action to address what’s bothering you. That’s why you are better equipped to quell the negativity in your thoughts when you write them down first.

Practice laughter therapy

Laughter is like a vacation for your mind. When you laugh, you subconsciously defeat all the negativities blowing in your mind. That is why many experts advice laughter therapy to those struggling with stress and anxiety. And the best thing about laughter therapy is that you can laugh without any reason and it still works. You might have seen morning joggers laughing in a park, as they raise their hands in the air. That’s laughter therapy that enables you to kick-start your day with joy and positivity.

When you laugh, your brain registers the activity and releases ‘happy hormones’ to make you stress-free. In his book, 59 seconds: Change Your Life In Under A Minute, author Richard Wiseman writes those who use humour spontaneously to cope with stress have healthier immune systems, and are 40 percent less prone to suffer a heart attack. So, when negative thoughts try to take over, laugh out loud—even when you don’t feel like to.

Sweat it out

When your mind is filled with worries and you are scared for what tomorrow holds for you, put a break on your thoughts. The more you think about a problem, the more complex it becomes. Instead of letting your emotions run amok, try to indulge in physical activity. Regular exercise or yoga is the best way to put your negative thoughts to rest. When you run, jog, or stretch, your mind becomes focused and distant from your problems. Emotions like anger, jealousy, and sadness get replaced by joy, confidence, and calmness when you exercise daily.


How can I overcome negative thoughts?

Focus on positive perspectives and change your environment.

What can I do to track and address my negative thoughts?

Write them down and analyze the patterns.

How can laughter help in dealing with negative thoughts?

Laughter therapy can release “happy hormones” and reduce stress.

What activities can help me put negative thoughts to rest?

Engage in physical activity, such as exercise or yoga.


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