16 Simple Steps to Overcome and Control Negative Thoughts

Having negative thoughts all the time can only keep you from being in the present moment.

The more you pay attention to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. One small negative thought can easily turn into a huge negative experience, taking away all the energy you have. Opposite, one small positive thought can have the same effect, lightening your day, giving you force to move on.

When negative thoughts start flowing into our mind, it’s hard, almost impossible to stop them. They keep spreading like crazy, and it is very difficult to shift your focus to positive thoughts.

You Have the Power to Change the Way You Think

Have you ever wondered why some people can handle difficulties well, while others get easily depressed when life doesn’t go their way? Although part of that behavior comes from genetics, we certainly do have the power to change the way we think and act. And if we repeat positive behavior for a while, it can become a habit, forcing us to be more positive and relaxed.

Negative thinking can be a habit of mind. Thoughts will be present until you take action to get rid of them. When you start thinking negatively it can be challenging to try and force those thoughts out of your head. When something is bothering you, you know that getting your mind off it is easier said than done.

It is proven that when people are said not to think about something, they can’t get it out of your head. The more you try not to think about something, the more you end up thinking about it. This means that you need to try a different approach that will make negative thoughts disappear.

If you find that negative thoughts are starting to take a control of your life, take an action before you get obsessed, thinking that there’s no way out.

Here are 16 simple steps that can help you overcome and control negative thoughts, refocusing your mind on something positive:

1. Recognize Your Negative Thoughts

What you think, you become. Your thoughts influence your personality and behavior. So, if your mind is filled with negative thoughts, you’ll become a negative and depressed person. You’re the creator of your own life. You are the one who has the opportunity to choose and change your own perception.

The first step towards changing is to start decreasing and eliminating negative thoughts in order to increase positive thoughts.

2. Stop Black-and-White Thinking

Life isn’t only black and white, most of it consists of shades of grey. All or nothing thinking ignores the other shades in life. Don’t worry too much, and don’t dramatize about the things that are about to happen. Instead, be positive, and accept the things as they are, without extreme excitement – in that way you’ll feel calm and peaceful.

3. Avoid People Who Always Complain Without Any Reason

If you have negative thoughts, and can’t get them out of your mind, it might have something to do with your social circle. You can easily pick up unwanted behavior from the people you’re surrounded with. If you see others complaining all the time with a heavy, black cloud above their heads, the chances to act and feel the same are quite big.

Avoid constantly negative people as much as you can, or at least ignore their complaints, because often they are created in their mind for no reason.

4. Smile More Often

Sometimes it is easier to let the negative energy stay into you and you are kind of getting used to it. Learn to smile, force yourself to smile, even if you don’t feel like smiling at the moment. Smile can relieve stress and change your mood in a positive way.

5. Talk to a Person Who Encourages You

If you have issues or emotions that need to come out it is better for you to talk about them with someone. Talk to a person who helps you feel much better, without feeding your negative thinking. It can be a reliable friend, or a family member who knows how to give reasonable feedback.

Talking to that person will encourage you to move on, making all the negative thoughts disappear. That can help you change your perspective, and deal with those issues at the root of the problem.

6. Help Someone

If you want to help yourself, it is much easier if you help someone else first. This will take the focus away from you and you’ll feel better knowing that you made other person happier.

7. Don’t Ignore the Positive

Negative thinking makes people stop seeing the positive when it does happen. They get stuck in a negative energy field, ignoring all the other beautiful things that happen in their life. As the time goes by, they completely focus on one unimportant bad experience, ignoring hundreds of important positive things, and minimizing the positive becomes their habit. Try to think of the setbacks as temporary, and make the positive perspective permanent.

8. Encourage Yourself by Reading Positive Quotes

You can write positive quotes and put them all around you: on your desk, walls, refrigerator, and mirrors – anywhere it is possible. When you feel bad, just look around and fill yourself with positive energy reading those quotes.

9. List a Few Things That You Are Grateful for

Appreciate everything you already have in your life – many people in the world have nothing! Be grateful about everything you have: your family, your good health, your travel experiences, your job, your pet. You’ll feel fulfilled knowing that you actually have more than you actually need in life.

10. Get Rid of the Negative Thoughts

Write down all the negative thoughts you have on a piece of paper, wrinkle and throw it in the trash. This will help you clear your mind, distance from negative thoughts and feel relieved.

11. Accept That No One Is Perfect and Let Yourself Move on

Don’t let negative thoughts ruin your day, and even life. Learn from your mistakes, and don’t ever do something similar in the future. Accept that no one is perfect, neither are you, move forward, but this time with positive attitude.

12. Reframe and Change Your Situation

If you find yourself stuck and feel like there’s no way out, think twice, the situation you’re in may turn out to be much better than your expectations. For example, if you get stuck in the airport for hours because of a cancelled flight, don’t think about the wasted time, and all the things you won’t do. Instead, think about it as a chance to do something else. Call your family or an old friend – you’ll feel much better because you have time to talk to the people you care about.

You’ll reframe your situation, realizing that that there’s nothing bad in the unexpected things that happen to us sometimes. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to events. Once you find yourself in a difficult situation try to get the best of it, and you’ll be happy with yourself no matter what happens.

13. Practice Positive Thinking

When we think positively, we feel more energetic, alive and productive. Put the positive thinking into practice, but don’t expect quick results. You’ll need time, effort and persistence to develop this skill. So, don’t waste your time, start right now, make the change and find your inner peace.

14. Relax with Meditation or Yoga

Meditation and yoga can take your focus away from your thoughts and bring attention to your breath. They are very relaxing, and can help you stay present to your experience and contemplate about everything that is happening around you.

If you have million thoughts running in your head, it can be hard to keep up. Empty your mind with meditation, so that you can fill it with something a little more positive.

15. Distance Yourself from Negative Influences

If your environment has a negative influence on your thoughts it is better for you to go outside and take a walk. Distance yourself from those negative influences – it will bring you great peace of mind.

16. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you’re obsessed with feelings of sadness, anxiety or depression for a long time, don’t be afraid to seek out a medical professional or a psychologist to help you solve this issue. Talking to a professional will improve your mood and will direct you on the right way of finding yourself.

Be happy, choose positive thinking!