How to deal with negative thoughts? Unhealthy and negative thought patterns lead to negative thinking. Constant negative thinking for an extended period leads to depression. Therefore, people should learn to deal with negative thinking and also learn how to convert them into positive ones.
To learn how to deal with negative thoughts, one needs to understand how many kinds of negative thinking there are.
1. Thinking in which people consider themselves either as perfect or a total failure.
This category people always want to be perfect. They have their standards of perfections and as such never accept the things below that level. If their targets cannot reach that level, they consider themselves as failures.
‘If this does not come out to be perfect, I will always remain a failure.’
2. Everyone, at some phase of life, has to face failures. There are a few people when they fail in lives, begin to over generalise themselves as losers. They start believing that they will never succeed in life.
‘ I am not able to play the guitar so I will never get success in anything else.’
3. People who focus on negative events happened in their lives and ignore positive events, always remain negative. They notice only the thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.
4. Some people jump to the conclusion without even trying to accomplish a job to be done. They label themselves as failures, idiots and losers who are good for nothing.
Example. ‘I am so incompetent at this job that I shall spoil everything.’
5. We have seen a few people who are adamant about their self-created rules and regulations. If they face such a situation where they have to break those rules, they find it hard to accept it. They consider such an act as unethical and start thinking negatively about them.
The above are the different categories of negative thought patterns. Once a person identifies the way he/she thinks which contribute to negative thinking they can quickly change their thoughts from negative to positive. People need to ask some questions to control their emotions.
1) People must focus on their feelings and ask themselves precisely what they are thinking at that moment of time.
2) Why are they feeling that way? Do they have the evidence whether the thought is true or false?
By logical reasoning, people must think whether the feelings are reasonable or not.
3) It is good to reconsider that situation to understand whether it is okay to take the things too far or the real situation is a bit different and not so significant as they were thinking.
4) People can imagine some other person to be in the same position. And then they should ponder whether that person would have reacted in the same way or take some other action.
5) Everyone must work to figure out some other way of looking at the situation.
They may guess some new and creative alternative explanation. Reasoning in a different way would keep the thoughts away from becoming irrational.
So, the next time when anyone feels a negative emotion, he/she must write the following things:
Step 1. Write about the feeling,
Step 2. Write the spontaneous reaction one feels,
Step 3. Instead of doing this, I will do this.