Mindfulness

7 Powerful Ways to Overcome Negative Thinking

Because with less negativity comes more productivity.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Negative thoughts are a part of life, right? I mean, we can’t totally run from them or avoid them at all times, but we can certainly stop negative thinking from completely controlling our daily life. 

And, with the way the world is today, it’s easy to let these thoughts run rampant and put a damper on all the positive things we have in our life. The problem is that when we have chronic negative thoughts, we can quickly get stuck in a cycle. These negative thoughts and emotions can lead to sadness, anger, and can also get in the way of our motivation to do positive things (like exercise and eat healthy). Chronic negative thinking can quickly put a halt to our health and fitness goals if we allow ourselves to get stuck in a negative rut. 

So, we’re sharing seven ways to stop negative thinking in its tracks, to set the tone for more positivity and productivity every single day. 

7 Simple Ways to Curb Negative Thinking 

#1 Stop and Be Present 

One of the best ways to stop negative thinking in its tracks is to simply be present. Don’t think about the past, and don’t focus on the future. When we practice being still in the present moment, it’s easier to calm a racing mind, breathe, and let those negative and racing thoughts melt away. 

Next time you feel yourself spiraling into negativity, challenge yourself to be mindful in the present moment—this may make all the difference in helping you stop those negative thoughts in their tracks. 

#2 Practice 1-5 Minutes of Meditation Daily 

Speaking of being present, another powerful tool to help us all become better at this is meditation. Start by practicing even just one minute per day and work your way up to a longer practice. 

Meditation can also help calm those racing negative thoughts that seem to sneak up on us, and the more we practice this, the easier it becomes. 

Meditation will serve as a valuable tool to not only help stop negative thinking but to also allow yourself to feel more centered and calm even when life gets hectic. 

#3 Practice Mindfulness 

In addition to finding a few minutes to carve out each day to practice meditation, kick things up a notch by practicing mindfulness. By being more mindful, you can have negative thoughts pop up, but you let them pass. 

Acknowledge those thoughts, but don’t get attached to them with any sort of emotion. Just let them pass and go about your day. 

This is super, super powerful, and will help you stop those thoughts from completely ruining your day. 

#4 Get Moving 

Moving the body has so many amazing health benefits, and they go far beyond just supporting our physical health. 

Regular exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, and may even help us feel less stressed. 

To help stop negative thinking in its tracks, get a good sweat in when you’re feeling stuck in a rut. Or, get into a regular fitness routine, to help keep those good mood endorphins flowing every single day. 

Fitness may be that missing link you need to feel more positive each day. 

#5 Set Boundaries Around Social Media 

Just like it’s important to protect yourself from toxic relationships by setting boundaries, they also need to be set around social media. 

Many of us are using social outlets for hours every single day. This can lead to comparing ourselves to others, negative thoughts, and even anxiety. 

A study found that when volunteers limited their social media use to just 30 minutes per day, they had major improvements in their well-being. Some even felt less lonely and less depressed. 

What does this tell us? This is proof that stepping away from our phones and not immersing ourselves in the social media world all day can actually have a very positive effect on our mood. The result may be less negativity, and you may even find you have more time and energy to put into things that truly matter (like self-care and spending time with loved ones). 

#6 Be Mindful of When You Watch The News

While, of course, we all want to be informed about what’s going on in the world around us, just like we all need boundaries around social media, we need to set boundaries around the news too. 

If you find yourself tuning into the news after your fav reality TV show at the 10’oclock hour, only to be left tossing and turning at night, unable to sleep, it’s time to step away from the late-night news reports. There’s tons of negativity on news outlets that we don’t necessarily want to take in right before hitting the hay. 

So, set boundaries around when you turn on that news channel and pay attention to how you feel after watching it. 

#7 Tune Into Your Thoughts 

We live in such a go, go world that all of us are guilty of not listening and tuning in to what we truly need. If we all just stopped and took the time to listen to what these negative thoughts were telling us, we would be able to get a better grip on them. 

When these thoughts pop up, stop and listen—ask yourself why they are happening, what situation you are in, and what you can do about it. 

Are you anxious after watching the news or have anxiety about a major work change? Try to really tune into this as it can be a valuable tool to then do something differently to turn these thoughts around to be something more productive. 

Here are some other things you can do after leaning into these thoughts to better understand them: 

  • Change what’s causing them in the first place (like not watching the news at night or logging out of social media after a certain time of day.) 
  • Stop and take five deep breaths to re-center. 
  • Move your body with a gentle stretch or stress-busting HIIT workout. 
  • Press play on your favorite FitOn yoga or Pilates class. 
  • Sip on a mug of herbal tea while reading a book. 
  • Listen to an uplifting podcast. 
  • Call a friend. 

Put a Stop to Negative Thoughts Before Allowing Them to Ruin Your Day 

It’s easy to let our thoughts spiral out of control, but in doing so, we let that negative thinking get a grip on our day. Don’t let these thoughts set the tone for a day of negativity. 

Use these tools to stop negative thinking in its tracks and start to feel more positive day in and day out.