How to stop negative thoughts?

When I was a kid I was a positive thinker. However, for a long time now, I notice I have really negative thoughts. I want to go back to being a positive person, because my negativity makes me very bad company and I do not want to make other people sad as well. How do I stop thinking negative thoughts?

There may be many reasons why you are experiencing more negative thoughts and you are feeling sad. It may be that negative and difficult things have happened to you, you may have been spending more time around a person or people who think negatively, you may have experienced criticism, or you may have become more critical of yourself in response to something that has happened. I’m wondering if you’ve also been experiencing feelings of low mood or depression? Negative thoughts can lead to low moods and can also be increased by them. What is encouraging is that you have noticed this change in yourself and are able to both articulate it and explore doing something about it.

A good way to learn about how to modify your thoughts is through Cognitive therapy. It teaches you to examine your thoughts and reframe them from being negative to more realistic (and often more positive). Other types of therapy can look at the underlying reasons why you might be thinking more negatively and feeling sad. Mindfulness can help you to respond to your thoughts with more curiosity and self-compassion.

Internet websites such as Moodgym are quite useful in learning to understand and manage negative thoughts and moods. Regular exercise, even a simple daily walk, can also make a difference to our mood. Our website has useful resources, and you can check out our workshops, many of which address ways to manage difficult thoughts and feelings. You can also see a Counsellor here at Counselling and Psychological Services to gain a greater understanding as to what this negative thinking means.


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