“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” — Buddha
Thinking negative thoughts? No big deal. You can transform negative thoughts into positive ones. The only thing you need is the power of your mind.
I have been reading, understanding and writing about negative thought patterns for a long time. Yet. I fall prey of it sometimes. I am well aware of all the solutions a human being can use to change the mind. But many times I find myself in the middle of the ocean of negative thoughts.
How it all comes? Negative thoughts start with just a small feeling or some words of others sometimes trigger the mind. You need to know negative thoughts doesn’t harm others, it harms you. It happens when you fail at something and start thinking what is the point of doing all these? Or in some cases, you might be overloaded with depression and start thinking various kinds of negative thoughts. The point is not to control your mind. You just need a little push to divert your mind from negative thoughts to positive thoughts. This is the best way to overcome negative thoughts.
Here are the ways you can practice to overcome negative thoughts.
- Replace negative with positive
You can’t stop your thoughts easily. Our mind is always thinking about almost every possible things we see or experience. Thoughts come and go like the south breeze. You can’t stop your thoughts that easily but you can change your thinking patterns. The moment you realize that your mind is being fulfilled by negative thoughts, think of good things, the things you like or people you adore, situation you want to experience or good moments you have lived in. This will change the pattern of your mind and make you see the other perspectives of life. It is easier said than done to divert your mind in a jiffy. It takes time but it will be easier once you start practicing little by little. So to overcome negative thoughts, replace those with positive ones and see the changes in near future.
2. Live in the moment
This is the only moment that is true. The past is gone and the future is yet to come. So to focus on both the past and the future is just a waste of time. You neither can change the past nor live in the future. The only thing you can do is to live in the present moment. To live mindfully in the moment is one way out of negative thoughts. If you are feeling down, negative thoughts are making your mind rubbish then think of right now. Are you in any kind of trouble right now? Are you in danger right now? Are negative thoughts you are having right now is worthy of your valuable time? If these answers are “NO”, move on and live.
3. Don’t think of what people say
We give priority to people’s thoughts. We are afraid of what people will say or think. Remember, what people say is not necessary at all. You know who you are and what suits you best. Give priority to yourself. Negative thoughts come mostly when we think of others. It is their job to think not yours and you have nothing to do with their thoughts. Stop thinking about what others say and start thinking how you can overcome all obstacles and go ahead. If negative thoughts still come, put it aside for a few minutes and think of your achievements. You will get over the unnecessary thoughts soon.
4. Question your thoughts
When negative thoughts come, ask yourself; are these thoughts worthy of my time? You will get the answer “no”. When the answer is no, you have no time to waste. Our mind works like a drama director. The episode goes on and on. You start thinking one negative thought and after just a few moments you will find yourself in the ocean of negative thoughts. It grows with your attention. To overcome negative thoughts, you will have to stop giving attention to those thoughts.
5. Avoid negative or toxic people
They are all around us. You will find them just by giving it a thought. Think of people who make you feel down, suck your energy, make fun of you always or criticize you no matter what you do. Get rid of those people and you will find your life much better than before. Toxic people emit negative energy that affects everyone around. It is your duty to protect yourself by avoiding those people. Pay attention to your life. Surround yourself with people who make you happy and vice versa.
6. Stop giving attention to negative thoughts
The moment you become conscious that you are thinking negative things, just stop it there. It might be difficult at first but continuous practice will make it easier. Stop feeding thoughts that are harmful for your mind and your life. Negative thoughts are contagious. One thought will come and then it will spread its wings. You will have to be conscious to overcome negative thoughts. Think of your good memories or just turn the negative thought upside down.
Focus on your breathing while you are trying to get rid of negative thoughts. Do you know Gautama Buddha became enlightened by focusing on his breath? I am not asking you to be enlightened. You will just have to focus on your breath to calm your mind down. When you focus on your breathing, your mind becomes calm and stops thinking. It is tough for everyone not to think anything at all. But with practice, you can do that. The mind needs rest too. So when you take deep, long breaths, your mind becomes inactive.
8. Help others
Helping others in their needs make you happy. A happy mind can’t think of negative thoughts. Helping others brings joy and fulfillment. When you help someone from the bottom of your heart, you become an empath and an empath is always calm and quiet. While your mind is quiet, it generally starts thinking good thoughts. Negative ones can’t stand a chance there. So to overcome negative thoughts, help people who are indeed in need.
9. Be grateful for what you have
Being grateful is always the best way to shape your life. Think of what you have in life, what makes you happy, what makes you fulfilled, what brings joy in every sphere of your life. You will definitely see that there are a lot of things that make you real happy and joyful. When you are in a peaceful moment, your mind doesn’t go to negative ways. Be grateful that you have food, shelter, family and friends. Be grateful for who you are. Every little thing that makes your life amazing, be grateful for them. And you will find that you don’t have negative thoughts anymore.
We live in a place that is so chaotic to live in. This is a place where we survive more than living. It is in your hands how you want to see your life. If you practice above things and try to keep a steady mind, you will gradually start thinking in a more positive way. To overcome negative thoughts, you will have to focus on positive thoughts and positive traits you possess. You can’t make it overnight but it will change for good.
Have a great life!