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How to Stop Negative Thoughts: 4 Important Steps
Everybody has negative thoughts from time to time, but if you find yourself experiencing them more often than usual, you should consider taking steps to prevent them. Negative thoughts will not only impact your own mood and sense of well-being, but will also begin to affect those around you. This can be particularly important in a work environment, where negative thoughts will impact greatly on your productivity.
Take a deep breath
When you feel yourself becoming frustrated and that the negative feelings are creeping up on you, stop what you are doing, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Concentrate on your breathing, and block out whatever else is happening around you. Do this for a few minutes, until you feel calmer. You may want to repeat this regularly throughout the day, in order to reduce the number of negative thoughts that you are experiencing.
A light state of meditation is known to bring a sense of peace and harmony due to changes in the brainwave patterns occurring. This will help you to avoid negative emotions and reduce the levels of stress that may be leading to such thoughts and feelings.
Meditation boosts the levels of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is extremely important for regulating moods, and low levels of this chemical are known to result in depression and anxiety disorders. You will also find that your levels of endorphins are increased when you meditate. These can act as a natural painkiller, but are also responsible for the feeling known as “runner’s high”, when you feel much better after exercise. Meditation is another way to boost your endorphin levels and reduce the negative thoughts in a natural way.
Get some exercise
Physical activity is great for taking your mind off any problems you might be having. It acts as a physical release for any pent-up aggression or anger, both of which can cause negative thoughts if left unchecked. Exercise releases endorphins, natural chemicals produced by the body that make you feel better and reduce the frequency of negative thoughts and feelings.
Focus on the positives
It is too easy to get caught up in the things that didn’t quite go as you planned, but instead of dwelling on these, look at all the things that went right instead, because there will be plenty of them. Nothing is entirely negative, so try changing the way you think about the situation that you are in, and find the positives – they do exist. Ask a friend or colleague to help you if you are struggling with this way of thinking – they may be able to come up with suggestions that you have forgotten or disregarded. Try to make thinking of positive points into a habit, and you will start to feel better as a result. Over time, you will then start to see the good before the bad, and reduce your negative thinking, which can often become a cycle that is difficult to break.
Negative thoughts can begin to occur without any particular reason, but will happen more frequently when you are experiencing stressful situations. Trying to reduce your stress levels will be extremely beneficial in combating this problem, particularly in the long term. Be patient and don’t expect immediate results, or you will find yourself becoming even more frustrated as a result, which will not be conducive to reducing your negative thoughts. In fact, it is likely to have completely the opposite effect and make the situation worse. So, in order to successfully reduce negative thoughts, focus on the positive aspects instead, and make sure you allow enough time for changes to occur in your thinking.
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