Turning Negative Thoughts Into Positive Ones: How Can We Do That?

Turning Negative Thoughts Into Positive: How Can We Do This?

This negative, prohibitive and obsessive dialogue in our head makes us feel like we are trapped in a black hole. The lights go out and hopes fade, one by one. So it is more than a necessity to learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones; it is a survival and health tool to reduce the burden of fear and fully develop.

Emotional psychology experts say it is permissible to have up to three negative thoughts per day. It is by no means a matter of turning a blind eye to reality, of lowering the blinds to difficulties, fears and worries. The key lies in not getting carried away by those thought patterns through which we prevent access to resilience, motivation and personal overcoming.

Let’s think: we all have thoughts of this caliber. Thoughts that become loud at a certain moment and dictate very characteristic messages to us: “You are not worth it”, “You will not make it”, “You will fail no matter how hard you try”, “You will lose again ”.  We are human and the mind tends to drift far more often than we would like it to be.

Now consider what was revealed to us by the famous neuroimaging laboratory at the University of California (California, USA): that each of us can have up to 70,000 thoughts in a day. And yes, a large part of them are negative, limiting, and frustrating. In the face of this sticky presence and these powerful moments, the only option left is to accept and transform them. Let’s look at how we can turn negative thoughts into positive ones!

“Obsessive thoughts are the wood that feeds the fire of anger, a fire that can only be extinguished by looking at things from a different perspective.”

Daniel Goleman

Woman holds a cloud representing negative thoughts

Learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones

A negative emotional state creates and feeds on negative thoughts. This is something most of us understand but rarely notice. We don’t because we are not taking the time or using the wrong strategies to manage these harmful emotional universes.

For example, we refer to the feeling we sometimes return from work with tiredness, discomfort and worry circling around us like gigantic satellites. We do not want to pay attention, however, preferring to disconnect and not go into the causes of the problems that linger in the black holes that keep getting bigger and bigger, but with which we refuse eye contact.

Day after day, these negative emotions change our inner language and the quality of our thoughts. Discomfort and frustration sprout those mental patterns in which only negative and obsessive dialogues grow. So, and in the event that these conditions last a very long time, we will end up leaving the door open for the pull of depression or anxiety disorder to take hold.

Recognize negative thoughts and accept them without resistance

The University of Rhode Island (Rhode Island, USA) published   an interesting study in the journal Psychology and Aging in 2012 , which looked at how negative thoughts affect each age group. The results were very clear: Whether we are young or older, these psychological realities create tension and are often the cause of illness.

First of all, a key strategy for converting negative thoughts into positive ones is knowing how to recognize negative dialogue, because we barely notice the extent to which we are subordinate to obsessive, negative and limiting thoughts.

  • We need to expose these negative considerations. There is nothing better than keeping a diary and writing down what we have in mind at any time of the day.
  • Negative thoughts should not be hidden or blocked. It’s about accepting them as they are, as they come. Once recognized, the second step must undoubtedly be to “transform” it.

One of the keys to turning negative thoughts into positive ones is identifying negative dialogue.

Woman writes on the beach

Contrast, refute, weakness

Is this negative thinking justified? What evidence do I have that what I think is real? We need to understand that just because we think something doesn’t have to be true. Our minds may deceive us, let themselves be paralyzed by the winds of fear, the shadow of fear and the need to always stay in our comfort zone.

Take a close look at your thoughts one at a time and look for evidence to prove or disprove each of these ideas.

Another key to turning negative thoughts into positive ones is to reflect on them.

Rephrase the thought in an appropriate way

If we rephrase our thoughts in a more appropriate way, we will deprive it of its negative power. However, it is necessary to do it right and not get carried away with a naive and unrealistic positivity. Let’s give a few examples.

  • I will be fired ⇔ Today there is no obvious evidence that this is going to happen and I am doing well. On the other hand, if it happens, I know I have to react. So what I have to do is explore other avenues while striving to do my best in my job so far.
  • My partner no longer loves me the way he used to ⇔ What proof do I have for this? If I really believe that, I should talk to him about it. I need to understand that relationships need to be cultivated on a day-to-day basis and if my attitude is negative I make the situation worse.
  • Something bad is going to happen ⇔ What makes me think? Is something wrong with my life? I have to understand that everything is fine today. I and my fellow human beings are fine. The best thing is to take my mind off those unfounded worries, start new projects, pursue hobbies to find motivation.
The crossroads between failure and success

Drain negative emotions and wet yourself with positive emotions

At the beginning we pointed out that emotions determine the quality of our thoughts. So, one strategy to stop the run of that wandering negative mind obsessed with fatalistic and negative ideas is to embrace positive emotions.

Often times, a small change in our routines leads to a productive change. Giving us free time and quality provides relief and wellbeing. So practices as useful as mindfulness, art therapy, or even meeting new people always bring enriching benefits.

The mind may slide into darkness. When that happens, there is nothing better than opening a window for him to let in light again, revealing new perspectives and possibilities. Let’s put that into practice, let’s learn to take control of our thoughts.

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