Negative thoughts have a certain annoying way of creeping into your head at the worst times. They are a problem, and they deserve a lasting solution. Behold a couple of tips that will help curb such thoughts.

Mending your thought process isn’t exactly a piece of cake, and you mustn’t let it degenerate to the point of no return. It isn’t news that everyone has rough days, everyone has testing periods, and no one is always a hundred percent happy. That’s just part of being human, but it doesn’t mean that you should let the odd negative thought snowball into something significantly detrimental.

Negative thought patterns feel like a paper cut you keep getting when you have only a vague idea of what’s causing it. The goal is not to let it get to the stage of stinging and being a significant issue, and that’s why we are giving you the following tips. But before we begin, it is essential to note that no one is an island of knowledge, and we can learn something new every day, so you too could add your tips, and maybe that will make you feel stronger, better, and all-round more positive! So without further ado, let’s run through the list.

The Tips

1. Detect automatic negative thinking

Negative thoughts are like reflexes, and they are most times the first reaction to the most random thing that happens to an individual. Also, these thoughts are sometimes a result of negative happenstances over time, and they are not that easy to sidetrack. We haven’t reached the sidetracking such feelings; instead, we want to show you how to identify such negative thoughts. First off, try keeping a thought record and make a concerted effort to detailing such automatic negative thoughts as they come. Once you can identify these automatic negative thoughts instantly, you will be ready to move on to the next step.

2. Discard the “should” thoughts

It is a sad occurrence, but we are more inclined to beat ourselves up rather than give ourselves a much-needed pat on the back as human beings. These “should” thoughts happen to be right up there on the list of causes, and we are about to tell you why.

Statements such as:

“I should go to the gym every day.”

“I should eat healthier.”

“I should stop thinking this way.”

You see, the above statements aren’t so bad if you look at them from a different perspective. However, yelling or thinking about such information during a trying period could be a recipe for disaster. The reason being that constant use of “should” can trigger guilt and send you down a frustrating path of spiraling negative thoughts. What’s more, you will slowly find yourself discarding the good things you have done but rather focusing on the other things you haven’t done.

3. Taking your thoughts to trial

We are not talking about a high-profile case complete with world-class lawyers, a packed courtroom, a bevy of evidence, and an uncompromising audience. No, we are talking about querying your thoughts in the most thought-provoking way and getting to the root of such underlying issues. You might be wondering, how am I going to deconstruct an issue that has been plaguing me for the longest? Well, just like a high-profile court case or trial, such thoughts have a beginning, a middle point, and a likely end. You are the only one that can genuinely and reasonably put those thoughts on trial, and the sooner you do so, the better. Automatic negative thoughts have a crippling effect on the best of us, and taking them to practice is a courageous step in stopping the reign of terror.

4. Accept how overburdened you feel

Acceptance is one of the most critical steps in getting help, and that is just as true in the tasking emotions that come with automatic negative thoughts. No matter how tough it seems, don’t you ever automatically put yourself in defensive mode and whirl into an anxiety tailspin. Whether it’s from stress, anxiety, or another condition, the first step to combatting mental strain is welcoming it. Putting yourself in a state of denial will only make it worse, and more so, there is nothing to be ashamed of. That is because embracing it can take a lot less energy than dreading it. Thus, rather than burning extra energy to fight back, realize that this reaction means you’re encountering something vital to you. It is another step necessary to overcoming a potentially sticky situation. There’s more to do, but know that you are on the right path.

5. Do not force positive thoughts

Manifesting is good; speaking into existence is great, but moving it is a recipe for disaster. No two individuals are wired the same (not even twins), so you will win no medals for moving positive thoughts into the equation; instead, you might be doing yourself a world of a disservice. Remember, it is OK to be sad and feel down, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling under the weather. That shows that you aren’t a robot, and you are still perfectly capable of handling something (which many people can’t). When you have the energy, you can slowly move past initial thoughts of “I feel sad” to recognizing there may be a problem and considering a workaround. Manifesting positive reviews is welcome, as that will slowly but surely take the automatic negative thoughts away.

Friendly Suggestion: There is nothing wrong with asking for professional help, and it does not make you weaker than your peers, role models, or significant other. That is what these professionals are trained for, that’s why they passed their exams, and the reason they are here is to help YOU! Forcing positive thoughts isn’t authentic and will do no favors. If you follow the above steps and still feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, you could seek help from a qualified mental health professional.