5 Lessons I Learned About Negative Thoughts
I have struggled with negative thoughts for as long as I can remember. Sometimes these thoughts have been about my views on myself, ill feelings about a situation or a person, or my thoughts about life in general. Hearing other people tell me to stop being so negative makes me feel as though my thoughts are invalid. However, through years of therapy, I have learned many truths about negative thoughts. Here are five lessons I have learned.
5 Lessons About Negative Thoughts
- Everyone has negative thoughts. Sometimes, I feel like the only person struggling with negative thoughts. But after talking to friends, family, and people from support groups, I found that many of us have similar insecurities. Also, other people have thoughts about situations I have not experienced: pregnancy, parental abuse, homelessness, and drug addiction. While it makes me sad to know that other people are going through serious issues, it comforts me to know that I am not alone.
- All thoughts are temporary. When my thoughts seem to last a long time, I wonder if they will ever end. My therapist told me to think about them like clouds passing in the sky. A dark and cloudy sky will become clear again. Thoughts can calm down and disappear at any time.
- My thoughts do not have to ruin my day. Oftentimes, my unpleasant thoughts begin in the morning. For instance, I imagine that my day will be too chaotic for me to handle. I catastrophize by telling myself that I will not be able to survive the day. My negative self-talk feeds my negative thoughts. However, this does not have to be the case. Sometimes, my thoughts are like funhouse mirrors. They distort the truth. By remembering that my thoughts do not predict my reality, I can stop my thoughts from ruining my day.
- Writing is a powerful coping skill. Whether I journal about my thoughts or write a fictional story, writing has been very effective. My stories always have conflicts, but they usually end on a positive note. This reminds me that my thoughts bring up and sometimes create conflicts, but they can end with a positive outcome as well. In this way, I use writing to solve problems and reframe my negative thinking.
- Gratitude reduces the weight of negative thoughts. While several things trigger negative thinking, many things make me feel grateful. For instance, I am grateful for friends, family, my coworkers, my job, technology, faith, air, water, and nice days. When triggers arise in the future, I can remember my gratitude list to stop the power of negative thoughts from taking over my mind.
Lueck, M. (2022, June 7). 5 Lessons I Learned About Negative Thoughts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, January 31 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2022/6/5-lessons-i-learned-about-negative-thoughts