Negative thoughts have absolutely no purpose. They don’t define you as a person, nor can they determine your destiny. What they can do is cause untold damage and severely influence your way of life.
Sometimes these negative thoughts tend to hang around – this is known as cognitive restructuring. According to Dr. Alice Boyes, a former psychologist, cognitive restructuring is the main part of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also known as CBT.
She claims that the CBT is probably the most effective psychologic treatment. That is why we would like to focus on showing you some of the essential basic principles of cognitive restructuring.
5 Ways to Remove Negative Thoughts
These are the simplest ways you can reframe your negative thoughts.
1. Examine the Negative Thoughts
Sit somewhere quiet and think about your negative thoughts.
In the back of your mind try to observe the thoughts. Next, think about a bird flying over a rooftop. Usually, these negative thoughts are a product of cognitive distortions that psychologists can easily recognize.
Plus, you don’t need to get medications or psychotherapy to remove the thoughts. All you have to do is observe and watch them disappear.
2. Question Your Overthinking
Overthinking is common. This problem can come in patterns. So, unless you actively engage the frontal lobe of the brain to work to solve the problem, overthinking will be pointless.
If you are wondering how you can refrain these thoughts, these tricks are for you.
- On a sheet of paper draw 2 columns. Label the first one ‘’thought’’ and the second one ‘’solution’’.
- When you start overthinking, write the time down. Next, write anything you deem useful in the ‘’solution’’ column.
- At the end of the week or month, count the number of times you were overthinking and try to see any insights.
3. Evaluate the Evidence
The best way to reframe the negative thoughts is to learn to evaluate the evidence. If you are always overthinking, it is best to try to assess the situation and try to come up with a solution. Once again draw 2 column.
In the first column write the source of your overthinking, and in the second one write the evidence that proves the contrary.
For example, if you think that you never have enough money, write in the first column why you think that is true, and in the second one, why that is not true.
For instance, it is not true because you have a shelter, food, and clothing, but you consider it to be true because the people around you have more than you do. Try to understand these negative thoughts and solve them.
If you, for example, don’t have enough money, you should create a limit or a budget for spending that you will be comfortable with.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is more simple than most people believe. The most basic way to practice it is to break down the approach to mindfulness in 3 different steps:
- evaluate your thinking
Therefore, all you have to do is stay calm, optimistic, focused, and kind during the entire day. In the end, practicing mindfulness can reduce stress and help people become more optimistic about their way of life.
5. Understand Neutrality and Impermanence
Negative thoughts are temporary without any real purpose. Therefore, when they do cross your mind, it is important to learn to understand them. In fact, if you can observe the negative thought and not engage in it, you can watch it dissipate.
Remember, the only thing that negative thoughts are good for is distraction. As a result, we suggest that you do something that will occupy your mind so that you will leave no space for negative thoughts.