Negative thinking can be a habit of mind. Thoughts sink in and linger there until you take action to get rid of them.
When you first start thinking negatively, it can be tempting to try and force those thoughts out of your head. You try as hard as possible to stop thinking about them and push them out.
But this approach often backfires. Resisting those negative thoughts can actually reinforce that thinking pattern and just make things worse. The more you try not to think about something, the more you actually end up thinking about it.
To get rid of negative thinking, you need to try a different approach – something that will clear your mind of those negative thoughts once and for all.
Here are seven ways to clear your mind of negative thinking.
1. Change your body language
Take a moment to observe your body language. Are you slouching with a closed stance? Are you frowning?
If you are, you’re more likely to think negatively.
Bad body language can lower your self-image and lead to a lack of confidence. In that emotional state, it’s only natural to start having bad thoughts.
Sit up straight in a confident manner. Open your stance and smile more.
Fix your body language and you’ll feel a lot better. It might be just what you need to clear those negative thoughts.
2. Talk it out
Sometimes negative thinking occurs because you have issues or emotions you need to get out.
It’s not good to keep things to yourself. If you have something that needs to be addressed, you should talk through them with someone.
Putting things into words gives your thoughts shape and form. That can help you put things into perspective so you can deal with them at the root of the problem.
3. Spend one minute calming your mind of all thought
When your mind is running a mile a minute, it can be hard to keep up. With everything racing around your head, it can be hard to control the thoughts going on inside – especially the negative ones.
Slow things down. One minute of calming is often all it takes.
It’s kind of like meditation – you’re emptying your mind. Think of it as a reboot. Once it’s empty, you can fill it with something a little more positive.
4. Change the tone of your thoughts
Sometimes negative thinking is the result of poor perspective. Take a look at the point of view you take on the things going on around you.
For example, instead of thinking, “I’m going through a difficult time and I’m having trouble,” think “I’m facing some challenges, but I’m working on finding solutions.”
You’re basically saying the same thing, except the second way has a more positive spin to it. But sometimes that little tonal shift can make a huge difference to your thinking patterns.
5. Be creative
When negative thoughts come, it can pay to spend some time creatively.
Find a creative outlet for your thoughts. Write things out. Draw or paint something – even if you have to use a crayon. As long as you’re using your creativity to get your negativity out, it can work.
Exploring your emotions through creativity acts like auto-therapy and can elevate your mood.
Creativity can feel like a release. When you put your emotions through an art form, you get them out of your system and clear them out.
6. Take a walk
Because thoughts arise in the mind, it’s easy to assume that’s where they’re formed. Well, that’s only partly true.
Sometimes our thoughts are a product of our environment. For example, if you surrounded yourself with negative people and negative imagery, you’d probably start to think negatively in turn.
Stepping away from a negative environment can help immensely. Take a walk alone away from your usual atmosphere. Head somewhere uplifting like a park or museum.
Time spent distancing yourself from those negative influences can bring you great peace of mind.
7. Start listing out what you’re grateful for
Have you forgotten all the good things you have going for you? Sometimes in the daily grind, we lose focus on all the ways things that are going right in our lives.
If that’s you, then you need to re-train your mind to focus on all the good happening around you instead of the bad.
List off everything you’re grateful for no matter how small they seem to be.
Don’t take anything for granted anymore. Sometimes the good things in our lives are right in front of our faces and we still fail to see them.
Stop being blind to the positive things you already have going for you.
Steve is the writer behind Do Something Cool where he blogs about travel, motivation, personal growth and adventure. He’s always looking for ways to make life more interesting. Get tips on living life to the fullest through his Facebook fan page and Twitter.