Negative Thoughts Drag Us Down

People will face negative thoughts on their day to day life due to work, personal issues and so on. However, the positivity of our lives is determined by how we deal with negative thoughts. Whether you ignore them or accept them (in psychology term it is said as fight or flight), it depends on people’s will. If you can’t deal with the negative thoughts it can drag you down and even suck all the positivity that is within you. We may face countless negativity throughout our days as we are a human being but it is very important to think about how we can deal with the situation in our best possible ways.
Multiple factors cause negative thoughts in our mind. Some of them are listed below:

1.       Shame and guilt about past

Shame and Guilt are two emotional states that carry a strong burden. To liberate oneself from carrying the burden of the past into the present moment and to stable the emotions of fear and anxiety, healing is very important.
Fear and anxiety lead to guilt and shame since there is an underlying fear connected to feelings of guilt. There is always a fear of being exposed to their feeling for oneself. But we should not forget we are human beings and most of us may have done the things in our past we are not proud of. We have done the things with one intention but could not turn out the way we thought. The main cause for almost all unhappiness, regret, anger, hate (self-hate and hate towards others), bitterness and resentment is the constant thought about our past events and experiences which links to our past failures or mistakes which can bring negative thoughts to our mind. But we need to understand and accept the fact that no one is perfect in the world and it is okay to seek help.

2.Fear about the present

Most of us think about the future along with the present moment that we are living in and start to worry about it. Due to our nature of overthinking and making assumptions, we never realize that worry is an extension of the fear and fear is causing negative thoughts in our minds which can drag us down. Hence, this thought process that we go through because of fear and worry leads us towards negative thoughts even before we realize it.

3. Anxiety of upcoming Future

We save money for the future, we study for the difficult exam, we protect our children from all sorts of harm. This form of thinking process about the future serves us well and keeps us safe. It motivates us to act productively now to prevent a bad situation or circumstance that can occur in the future.
Unfortunately, many people are not aware of where to draw the line. Their constant worry, anxious and fearful about what may or may not happen in the future will hamper on their day to day activities. This leads to the imagination of the worst possible scenarios and dwells on them constantly. As a consequence, it causes chronic anxiety and stress in their lives which leads to inviting negative thoughts and emotions.
Naturally, most people have a fear of the unknown. People are trying to predict and assume what is coming up. But they never think about the consequences that can come along. It is highly important to understand that we are just wasting our energy and time by thinking about the things which have not happened yet or even it may never happen.

We can heal our negative thoughts by ourselves with some activities as well but we need to remember that countering negative thoughts takes time and commitment. Often, people require ongoing help from a mental health professional such as counseling to change their negative thinking patterns for good.

To get the help you can work on some basic techniques, by intercepting them before they become all-consuming.  The key is to practice these techniques every time you have a negative thought.

1)       Distract yourself by doing your favorite activity such as listening to music, writing or going out shopping.
2)       Connect yourself with the positive company that can be family members or friends.
3)       Do not compare yourself to others as every individual is different and unique. Instead, think about your strength and positive qualities you have.
4)       Question yourself such as - whether the thoughts are true or not? Are the thoughts giving you power or extracting your power? What would your life look like if you didn’t have such negative thoughts?

To not get drag by or lose your positive thoughts, you have to change the automatic negative thoughts playing in your head. At first, this is going to feel like trying to swim upstream, but with persistence and time, it can be done.

Susmita Rajopadhya
Psychosocial Counselor
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