It is impossible to completely rid ourselves of negative thoughts, even if people often advise us to stop thinking negatively. Since you can’t eliminate them, the only other beneficial option is to stop listening to them. You can recognize negative thinking and put it into perspective to help shift your mindset.
Negative thoughts can make you anxious, and they can lead to depression. Getting stuck in a cycle of negativity can take the joy out of your life and take a toll on every area. Your inner thoughts can be destructive, or they can be beneficial to your well-being.
Research shows that the mind-body connection can affect your health, too. If you can switch to positive thoughts, you’ll experience the following benefits:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Stronger immune system
- Lower stress levels
- Less anxiety
- It prevents and helps overcome insomnia
- Reduces pain
- Makes you happier
- Optimism about the future
Five Negative Thoughts to Stop Listening to Right Now
1. “I Don’t Have the Time.”
Saying things like, “I’m too busy” and “I don’t have the time” are common excuses, but they aren’t good reasons. Those statements are not reasons at all, so don’t listen to them.
When something is important to you, you’ll find the time and energy to make it happen. If this thought creeps into your mind, take a few minutes to consider whether the task is something you genuinely care about.
Saying that you don’t have the time only makes that an easy excuse anytime you don’t want to do something. Stop listening to these types of thoughts so that you don’t get stuck in a cycle of excuses.
2. “I’m Not Qualified to Do That.”
Thinking that you aren’t qualified to do something will hold you back from achieving your highest potential. You will be afraid to chase your dreams and tackle the bigger goals in your plan.
Being in a state of self-doubt causes you to look for any reason to avoid taking risks and moving forward. You convince yourself that because it’s easier to stay where you feel safe, even if that’s not the case.
Even if it is easier to stay, you’ll miss out on so much, including opportunities and exciting experiences. If you are committed to your personal growth, stop listening to this negative thought immediately.
3. “People Won’t Understand.”
When you consistently tell yourself that people won’t understand, it upsets you without reason. Your decisions will upset people sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you should question yourself. Even if no one understands your choices, you must do what is best for you.
If you want to decide but assume you shouldn’t since people won’t understand, you interfere with your well-being and life path. This life is yours to live, so ignore any inner thoughts that tell you other people won’t understand it.
You owe it to yourself to make the best decisions, and doing so is a positive habit to form. The people who truly matter and love you will understand and support you no matter what.
4. “I’m Not Ready.”
Even with preparation, you’ll never be fully ready to do anything. If you wait until you prepare for something, you’ll never get anywhere. While you should spend time planning and scheduling, you also have to take the first step at some point.
Please don’t hold off too long, and stop listening to your negative inner thoughts when they say you aren’t ready. The first step is the hardest, so push away that negative thought and get started. Then, you can learn from your mistakes and the lessons that you encounter along the way.
If you make it a habit to say you aren’t ready, you’ll start saying it about everything. You’ll even miss out on chances you were entirely prepared for because you’ve convinced yourself that you aren’t prepared for anything. Stop listening to this thought immediately so that you can experience all that life has to offer.
5. “I Don’t Have The Energy.”
This negative thought is another excuse that doesn’t give a good reason. No one has an easy life, but if everyone used this excuse, nothing would get done. A happy life takes work, but you find the energy to do the essential things for yourself.
If you know that you have things to do, ignore this thought and get it done. Likewise, if someone in your life has something important going on, push this thought away. It’ll hold you back and cause you to miss out on experiences, memories, and relationships.
How to Steer Away from Negative Thoughts
Now that you know the harmful ideas to avoid, here are some ways to adopt new and healthier habits.
You can’t do anything to steer away from the negative self-talk until you recognize the attitudes that hold you back. One way to do this is by writing down any negative thoughts you had throughout the day. You should especially make sure to write down all of the self-limiting beliefs that you have.
When you write down the thought, you should also write down what you were doing at that time. If you do this, you can see patterns emerge, allowing you to recognize your triggers. Writing it down and identifying your triggers help you develop more positive habits.
Another way to recognize these thoughts is to notice when you’re being self-critical. Once you start to see, you’ll be able to shift your mindset and stop listening to them immediately. Then, make it a point to think things about yourself that you would say to a friend or loved one.
2. Question It
Once you recognize your limiting inner thoughts, it’s time to question them. Figure out whether your beliefs are true or not and why they might be true. Asking yourself questions until you get to the root of the problem helps you put it into a realistic perspective.
Chances are, the thoughts aren’t true, and you don’t have to believe them. Your mind is just a tool for you to use, but you still control it. You get to decide which things you think and which ones you don’t.
By questioning and rejecting your limiting thoughts, you’ll change your belief system. Making a habit of this means that you’ll have an easier time not believing the thoughts. Plus, you might experience fewer episodes of negative self-talk.
3. Reframe It
To change the thought, you must reframe it into something that serves you better. You can’t take all of the ideas and make them positive, but you can use this method of reframing. You take a more realistic approach to relieving the hold they have on you when you reframe your attitude.
While you can’t always stop a train of thought in its tracks, you can change the intensity. Change the negative words to positive and more gentle words. Replace “I can’t” with “This is challenging” and “I hate” with “I don’t like.”
When you reframe the negative thoughts, their power decreases. They won’t have a hold over you anymore, and you’ll change it into something encouraging and accurate.
4. Let Go of Negative Thoughts
With the newly-reframed thought, it’s time to let go of the less serving thoughts. You recognized the negative thinking, knew it wasn’t true in its original form, and reframed it to reflect reality.
Now, it’s time to let the thoughts go. Surprisingly, something as simple as writing it down on a piece of paper and throwing it away can help your mind let it go.
The voices in our heads can be overwhelming and sometimes even paralyzing. They grow louder and infiltrate our self-esteem the longer we leave them there. Initially, they formed and grew from influences in our lives, but we are the ones that feed these thoughts by letting them stay.
Don’t fight the thoughts because fighting expends too much energy in a negative space. Instead, refuse to accept the negativity at face value and question them relentlessly until you get to the truth.
5. Share Your Feelings
Sharing your feelings with someone close to you can make all the difference in steering away from these thoughts. Everyone experiences negativity sometimes, and talking about it can help you get another perspective. While you already know the idea wasn’t accurate, it’s always nice to hear confirmation.
Plus, talking about your feelings can help you overcome them. As you vocalize your situation, you’ll begin to understand your thoughts a little more. Doing this will help you eliminate the unhelpful thoughts that sometimes creep into your mind.
You owe it to yourself to challenge the negative thoughts in your head. Don’t allow your inner thoughts to convince you that you aren’t good enough or ready for the next step in your life.
Your thoughts aren’t always worth your attention, especially when they break you down. However, you can’t always entirely stop these thoughts, but you can learn which ones to stop listening to immediately. Use this list to help you determine which views to ignore and how to steer away from them.