Negative Thinking: How to Stop a Dark Addiction

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Negative Thinking: How to Stop a Dark Addiction

Self-defeating beliefs are your belief system composed of your personal views, values, and attitudes / Photo by Stock-Asso via Shutterstock

 

Your thoughts and values affect the way you see yourself and everything around you. If you are a negative thinker, they can affect your feelings and mental health. These can be precursors to mood and anxiety disorders. 

Have you ever caught yourself thinking about negative situations? Based on an article on psychologytoday.com, we have 80% negative thoughts and the more negative an experience is, the more we like to replay it. Why do we want to suffer further when we can move on and let it go? Psychologytoday.com explains that we try to hold on to our pain so that we can let it go. When we spend more time thinking about it, we can finally find a way to make it go away. 

Self-Defeating Beliefs vs. Negative Thinking Patterns

To combat self-defeating beliefs and negative thought patterns, it is essential to know them both—what they are and how they are different. 

Self-defeating beliefs are your belief system composed of your personal views, values, and attitudes. These shape the way you see yourself and everything around you. When you have self-defeating beliefs, you are bound to fail. These feelings are always with you.

There are two categories of self-defeating beliefs: intrapersonal and interpersonal. Intrapersonal beliefs are about being perfect, achieving your goals and getting approval. Interpersonal self-defeating beliefs may involve fear of conflict and feelings of blame.

Negative thought patterns are not always with you. They come out whenever you are in a stressful situation. When you have unexpected problems that come along your way, you may overanalyze a situation and experience unnecessary anxiety. During this time you may have negative thoughts and blame yourself for being a failure. When this happens very too often, your self-esteem is affected and can cause depression and panic disorder. 

Techniques to Stop Negative Thinking

If you want to make negative thinking stop, you can. While we want to suffer in order to feel better, the end result might end up leaving us feeling worse. Here are some ways to combat negative thoughts. 

Awareness is Key
The habit of negative thinking can be broken once you admit knowledge. Be aware of the times that you start to go back to re-thinking about your pain. Catch yourself whenever you try to think about sad thoughts. Start to become aware of your outlook in life and how different problems affect you.

Acknowledge and Examine
When you notice that you are going down that path again, acknowledge it. Accept that at that moment, you are stuck and helpless. 

Next is to ask yourself what you want to happen by re-visiting your pain? Can it do you any good? Can it help solve any problem?

Positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are a way to stop your negative thoughts. If you find yourself starting to have negative thoughts, you can say a declaration to combat it. 

Try to dispel your negative thoughts and replace them with realistic and positive things. When you confront the negativity, you will realize that most are not valid. 

Set boundaries
If you are used to thinking of negative thoughts for a very long time, it is not easy to suddenly change things. Even positive ideas and negative thought-stopping strategies may not work. However, you can start to move toward a more positive direction. 

For starters, you can start setting limits to your negative thoughts. You will allow your mind to think about negative things and then force yourself to stop after a particular time. Doing this regularly will make you feel that these thoughts no longer dominate your mind. Eventually, you can break the pattern.

If your negative thoughts are connected to anger, fear, or other strong emotions, you can use writing as an outlet and express everything that you are feeling / Photo by MRProduction via Shutterstock

 

Write and Destroy
If your negative thoughts are connected to anger, fear, or other strong emotions, you can use writing as an outlet and express everything that you are feeling. Then symbolically, you can destroy the paper as a way of telling yourself that you will remove the negativity that you are thinking and feeling. You can crumple it or set it on fire, whichever you feel like doing. 

Say No
Sometimes, saying "no" out loud can help you stop the negative thoughts. Instead of thinking "no," why not try saying it out in the open where you can hear yourself say it. This way, it will not drown inside your mind. 

Sometimes, the mind can play tricks on us. Reasoning out and talking with yourself, contradicting, or debating with your negative thoughts can give you the power and help you prevent yourself from spiraling into negativity.

Try to develop a new set of beliefs and thinking. These things may require more effort on your part but remember that you have to be consistent. You can unlearn negative thoughts and tell yourself that you are deserving of lots of positivity in life. The more you do this, the more you can shift from negative to positive thoughts and beliefs.

 

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