“Thoughts have power, Thoughts are energy. And you can make your world or break it by your own thinking”. – Susan Taylor
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The human brain is a powerhouse of energy and by far is the most complex and below I’ve put together a few ways you can handle your negative thoughts.
Research states that around 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts are processed in the human brain each day.
According to this study conducted by Harvard, there is a lot of power in human thoughts. Studies have shown that thoughts alone can improve vision, fitness, and strength.
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However, research also states that 80% of the thoughts that run through our minds are either negative or repetitive in nature, causing us to not experience the full potential of the power of our thoughts.
Handle Your Negative Thoughts The Positive Way
MRI imaging from studies has shown that negative thoughts “unfortunately” have more impact on the brain than positive thoughts.
Negative thoughts affect areas of the brain that cause depression and anxiety.
Positive thoughts on the other hand trigger chemical changes that trigger feelings of intense happiness and satisfaction.
However, these positive emotions last only for a brief period and in order to fully experience its benefits, it is necessary that these positive thoughts be thought often.
Fortunately, research and studies have come up with great ways with whose help you can break the habit of negative thinking and develop a more positive outlook towards life.
This practice of overcoming negative thoughts has been studied and proven and has helped many individuals change their lives.
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Given below is a list of these effective ways that can help you alter your thought pattern and learn to handle your negative thoughts in a positive way.
Be conscious of your thoughts:
As soon as you find yourself thinking a negative thought, stop yourself from thinking it.
One thought can lead to another and before you know you are experiencing deep grief and sorrow over your past mistakes or hurts.
It is therefore important you stop at that very first negative thought itself.
The next thing you can do is replace it with a positive thought or reframe your thought pattern into a positive one. Doing this will help you feel more positive and hopeful. For e.g.
Negative Thought: “Why did this have to happen to me? Life is so unfair!
Reframing: “Yes, this has happened to me, I can’t change this incident but this is not the end of my life. There is a lot of good in store for me”.
Keep yourself Busy:
“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” is a very true saying when it comes to negative thoughts.
If you notice, you are more prone to negative thinking when you are sitting idle, rather than when you are busy.
According to research, keeping your hands and mind occupied by doing tasks like cleaning, sorting, knitting etc. helps keep your mind off negative thoughts.
According to Dr. Jane Prince, a psychologist at the University of South Wales “Being busy means that you don’t have time to sit and think about how unfair life is. Busyness directs your attention away from yourself, your aches and pains.”
Psychologists at the University of Texas also reported that keeping busy is associated with a battery of brain benefits.
This is because the busier you are the lesser time you have to devote to negative thoughts.
It is very easy to fall into the rut of negative thinking.
Therefore it is important that one pay attention to their environment and intentionally remove all triggers that would initiate negative thoughts.
It could be a gift from an ex or a picture or a friend or a relative who might be the constant source of negative thoughts in your life.
According to a 2013 study conducted by the Notre Dame researchers, negative thinking is also a habit that one can easily pick up from others.
Minimizing contact with such people and avoiding negative triggers can help keep you sane and positive.
Sufficient Rest and Sleep:
Lack of sleep, according to psychologists from Binghamton University is one of the major causes of negative thinking.
Lack of sleep greatly affects your mood, causing you to feel anxious, irritable and angry.
Psychologists state that there is an important relationship between sleep and mood.
Getting the sufficient 8 hours of sleep helps keep the negative thoughts away and greatly improves your mental health.
Listening to upbeat music is a great way to keep the negative thoughts away. It is hard to entertain troubling thoughts when you are listening to some groovy music.
According to researchers, just listening to your favorite music for 25 minutes a day can bring about a great mood change and have a positive effect on your health and day.
Physically active people who exercise often according to a study conducted by the researchers from the Penn State University were found to experience greater feelings of enthusiasm and excitement.
These people tend to experience more pleasant and happy feelings than people who exercise less or don’t exercise at all.
The chemical dopamine which is associated with pleasure and happiness is released in the brain every time you exercise, making it harder for negative thoughts to enter your mind.
Related Article: Mindfulness Exercises For Anxiety
Meditation is another great way to ward off negative thoughts and fill your mind with positivity.
Brain studies have found out that meditation can help deactivate the area of the brain that is responsible for the continuous negative thought pattern.
Meditating even just for 10 minutes a day can bring about a positive impact in your life.
Related Article: Meditation For Anxiety Relief
Many studies have found a significant correlation between a nutritionally poor diet that is high in refined sugars and impaired brain function. Mood and food have an important connection.
Eating nutritious food that is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants not only nourishes your brain but significantly impacts your thought processes and how you feel.
It is never too late to try changing your negative thought pattern. Try the above-proven methods and see how much difference positive thinking brings in your life.
Why Do I Keep Having Negative Thoughts?
Everyone has negative thoughts sometimes, but when you have negative thoughts that cycle through your mind repeatedly, it can cause problems. Recurring negative thoughts can be symptoms of anxiety and depression disorders.
Some techniques you can use include:
- Thought Journaling
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Don’t judge your thoughts
- Don’t try to stop your thoughts
Can Negative Thinking Change?
Negative thinking can feel outside of your control and completely automatic. If you use the right techniques and continually practice, you can learn to re-train your mind and free yourself from habitual thinking and negative self-talk.
Can We Control Our Thoughts?
Yes, we can control our thoughts. We are continually aware of only a tiny fraction of our thinking which goes on in our minds and can manage our conscious thoughts. The majority of our thinking goes on subconsciously.
How Do I Change My Mind From Negative To Positive?
Here are a few ways you can turn your negative thoughts to think more positive: