When something is really bothering you, it’s hard to get it off your mind. A fight with a friend, a bad grade on an exam, a rude comment that a co-worker made about you… negative experiences often have a way of haunting us. We rehash the situation over and over again in our minds, trying to come up with a different outcome. This often leads to feelings of defeat, anger, self-loathing and regret.
It’s all too easy to get stuck in the cycle of negative thinking. Negative thoughts have a way of creeping up on us, and before we know it, they’ve taken over. Constant negative thoughts can end up controlling your life, taking away your peace and ruining your chance at happiness. It’s important to be able to break the cycle and kick them out for good.
Here are four simple ways to stop negative thinking before it takes over:
1. Keep Positive People Around You
It’s true what they say – you are who you hang out with. If your social circle is full of people who are negative, you’ll never break the cycle of your own negative thoughts. Keep positive company instead – a circle of friends who can lift you up when you’re feeling down and help you kick your negative thoughts.
2. Relax With A Cup Of Tea
Warming up with a cup of tea may help you get rid of negative emotions. In a 2012 study, Yale researchers found that people recalled fewer negative feelings about a past lonely experience when they were holding something warm. It may sound silly, but a warm cup of tea may be able to provide emotional warmth as well.
3. Throw Them Away Physically
Get out and old fashioned piece of paper and a pen, and write down everything that’s bothering you. Get it all out of your head and put it on paper. Once it’s all written down, crumple up the piece of paper and physically throw it away. This can be a therapeutic way to help you sort out your negative thoughts then kick them to the curb.
4. Rethink Your Viewpoint
When you feel negative thoughts creeping in, try to rethink your viewpoint. If you’re stuck in traffic, use the extra time to call a friend or family member and catch up. If a thunder storm ruined your plans, think of it as the perfect time to start that book you’ve been wanting to read. If you got stuck at work and missed a dinner reservation with your significant other, use it as an excuse to pick up your favorite take-out and have a fun night in instead. Changing your viewpoint can help you see the positives, even in a situation that seems negative.