What Are Negative Thoughts with examples

What Are Negative Thoughts with examples
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 11-03-2023

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Our thoughts are cognitions of ourselves, others, and our general surroundings, which are characteristics by our perceptions, understandings, expectations, and features that link with our emotions and behaviours.

Why negative thoughts come?

Negative thoughts are adverse cognitions about oneself and their surroundings. Negative thinking eventually brings about negative views, and understanding deteriorates one s behaviour, health and may develop mental illnesses. Negative thinking can make people feel anxious and distressed. 

There is a fine line between thinking negatively and analysing your thoughts. It is normal to be worrisome about your finances or relationship issues if and when they surface. However, when these feelings start to become prevalent and repetitive is when negative thinking arises.

An example of a negative thought can be that, let us say, you got rejected from the university or job you had applied for. You began to think of yourself as never good at anything or you are not worth it. Such negative thoughts pull you out of reality and adversely affects your mental and physical states.

The chain of thoughts that takes place in a negative mind jumps back and forth from past experiences, present happenings, and future events.

Other examples of negative thinking are:

  • Past experiences: An embarrassing event took place a long time back, which keeps you up at night. That further makes you dwell on other failures.
  • Present happenings: You always conclude to the worst-case scenario- You are anxious if you get late for your presentation, your work will not be recognized, and you will be fired.
  • Future occurrences: the fear of the unknown is there in everybody, some have it more, and some less. Negative thinkers catastrophize those events by predicting them as a disaster or a failure always.

How to deal with negative thoughts?

To deal with negative thoughts, you simply have to learn to replace those thoughts with positivity. As easy as it sounds, it is 100% possible. If you can think negatively, you can think positively. This technique is simple; however, it is difficult to continue it, requiring hard-work and patience. For example, you were told you have come down with a health problem. Instead of thinking that your life is done,’ everything is worsened now, or this is the beginning of the end, you can replace these thoughts with more hopefulness like I will take this as a challenge and fight for my betterment or I wish to enjoy and achieve things with whatever I have left. Such thoughts quickly lift you with motivation and an optimistic view of the future. Moreover, it can surely help your physical health to improve.

Be thankful for everything you have. A negative mind usually pulls you to look down upon yourself. If you list out all your achievements, memorable moments, exciting events and be grateful for your blessings, you are one step closer to fighting your negative thoughts.

Add a routine of self-care. Do activities from which you gain accomplishment and a sense of pleasure. That feeling can help you be positive about your skills and talents. Be kind to your body by exercising and eating healthy. This directly makes you feel great about yourself.

Negative thoughts are challenging to deal with alone sometimes. You can always ask for support from a friend or find a professional to help you get out of the negative thinking process. If time and convenience are what stops you from seeking help, then online counseling is an answer. Online counselling offers you to therapy at your comfort of home and time. Look for an online psychological counselor who can efficiently help you with your negative thinking.

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