Negativity bombards every aspect of our daily lives, so it’s no surprise that many people battle with negative thoughts intruding on their minds. These thoughts can weigh you down and hinder a more positive and productive mindset.
Negative thoughts can affect your physical and mental health. A constant feeling of doom or failure accompanies an ill mindset, and breaking the cycle is difficult.
Fortunately, there are some simple ways to chase away negative thoughts and free up space in your mind for more welcoming and productive ideas.
What Causes Negative Thoughts?
The source of negativity varies from person to person. Some suffer from a clinical diagnosis such as Depression, while others feel insecure or lost. Some people think more negatively after an illness or challenging life event. Negative thoughts often occur in people with mental health diseases, personality disorders, or substance abuse.
Cynical thoughts, excessive criticism, and self-doubt all send negative thought signals through neurotransmitters (the brain’s messenger system), inflating feelings of sadness and negativity.
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How to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts
When negative thoughts become habits, it’s difficult to break the cycle. But having a clear, more positive mindset isn’t hopeless. You can take steps today to clear your mind of negative thoughts and keep them at bay.
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Practice Deep Breathing
Breathing is a simple way to calm your mind and body. Deep breathing lets you focus on one controllable task and drown out the world around you. But, there is a method to making deep breathing successful.
Get comfortable and focus on slow deep breaths. Concentrate only on the air filling and leaving your lungs. As you inhale, focus on bringing positive thoughts in and slowly exhale out negative thoughts.
Deep breathing is a meditation method that calms the mind, relaxes the body, and eases the tension of negative thoughts.
Identify Your Triggers
Triggers are common attributes or scenarios that result in negative behavior or counter-intuitive lines of thought. When you analyze your feelings, emotions, and ideas, you become more aware of things leading up to an episode.
You can dive deep into the feelings and emotions behind your triggers and trace the root cause. Upon identifying root causes, you can better handle intrusive thoughts. Triggers are also a warning that something is amiss.
Triggers can be physiological (hair and nails breaking, sweating, feeling pressure in your chest, etc.). Triggers also appear in your mental state (intrusive thoughts, negative thoughts, and emotional instability).
After learning to identify your triggers, you’ll begin to understand when you may face a problem. Then you’re more prepared to handle it with a clear mind.
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Self-care looks different for every person. There is no one-size-fits-all self-care routine. Self-care encompasses various tasks to help your mind and body function more efficiently.
Exercise, rest, meditation, cleaning, and taking care of your physical appearance are all forms of self-care. Some people thrive by clearing the space around them; others thrive with meditation (clearing the clutter in their minds).
When you intentionally focus on yourself or your environment for a few minutes every day, your mind will become clear, letting you tackle negative thoughts before they become problematic.
Read or Watch Something Funny
Laughter may be medicinal, after all. Studies have shown that smiling lowers a person’s heart rate and blood pressure. Watching a funny video or reading a comic book is an excellent way to switch your emotions from sad or depressed to funny.
Watching a comedy is an excellent way to invoke smiling, but if you can’t run to YouTube right now, smile anyway. Take every opportunity to laugh and release negative thoughts into more positive, manageable emotions.
Identifying negative thoughts and pushing them away with comedy or things that may make you feel joy is an excellent way to reign in damaging emotions.
Talk it Out
One way to acknowledge intrusive negative thoughts is to address them directly. Known as the “Critical Voice,” everyone has an internal voice that offers, often unhelpful, input. This critical voice can be constructive when navigating dangerous or uncomfortable situations. But it can go haywire and make you miserable.
Addressing this critical voice helps you acknowledge the information your brain is processing while redirecting it to more productive, positive thoughts. As some would say, give yourself the advice you would give your best friend. Acknowledge what you’re feeling and why. Then, talk it out, working toward a solution.
Occupy Your Mind with a Task
It’s easy to become lost in a negative thought cycle. If not caught early, the negativity and self-doubt will pile up until you feel completely lost and overwhelmed. Sometimes you must step away from your problems and focus on a task that brings you peace or joy.
Some people enjoy simple, mindless tasks such as easy puzzles and coloring. Others may prefer more complex activities like Sudoku or Crossword puzzles. Regardless of what you choose to do, switch gears and try something different for a bit.
Start Using Affirmations
Affirmations are words or phrases that lift the spirit and affect your mindset. Positive affirmations redirect your brain to more favorable places where negative thoughts might tell you that you aren’t good enough or won’t complete a project on time.
Positive affirmations replace negative thoughts and emotions with more positive ones. These affirmations don’t have to be complex, and you can do this anywhere. What’s better is that affirmations can be single words you repeat, sentences, or simple phrases.
Clear Your Mind Of Negative Thoughts With These Techniques
The impacts of negative thoughts on the mind and body are plentiful. It’s so important to learn why you’re having these intrusive thoughts, understand the root causes, and learn to redirect your thoughts to have a brighter, more positive outlook.