• September 2, 2021

How to challenge negative thoughts

Negative thoughts are responsible for worry, anxiety and even depression. How do we fight or challenge negative thoughts? These six tools have been proven to work in challenging negative thoughts.

  1. Gratitude- Practice gratitude! Go out of your way to look out for things to be grateful for. Your family, friends, a good home, good health and even a goodnight sleep are little things that we normally take for granted but are very meaningful things in life we should be grateful for.
  2. Recognize thought distortions– What do you fixate your thoughts on? Do you believe everything you think just because you think it; especially if it is negative? Take time today to reflect on your thoughts if they are accurate and you will discover that they are not accurate most of the time. It has been shown that we humans tend to lie to ourselves more than we even lie to other people. Reflecting on your thoughts daily allows you to pay close attention to your thinking patterns and things that trigger negative thoughts.
  3. Do not let vague fears drag you down. Many of us allow our minds to make up and brood over vague fears that are likely never going to happen. What is the worst that can happen to me realistically? Please take time to reflect and ask yourself this question when next you have vague fears and you will discover that you worry for nothing.
  4. Focus on your strengths– Your strengths are things that you are good at. They are natural gifts within you and are easily expressed through you. When you focus on your strengths you are more likely to feel better about yourself and your life. Today focus on what you are good at, what comes naturally to you. Knowing these strengths will help you understand yourself better and allow you to nurture and grow more in the areas of your strengths.
  5. Let it out, talk it out– When you bottle up negative thoughts, emotions and innermost feelings without letting them out, they still show up in your life in many other ways. The truth is that bottling negative thoughts and emotions is not helpful and has repercussions on our mental and physical health. It also puts us at risk of diseases too[1]. If you find yourself in this situation, please find someone you trust and open up to them. It will surprise you how this will help to bring balance back to your thoughts and mind.
  6. Stop making a mountain out of a molehill – Confront your negative thoughts while they are still small before they become big monsters.

These practices have been proven to challenge negative thoughts and are one of the tools that can help you come out of depression.


[1] ‘Why “Bottling It up” Can Be Harmful to Your Health | HCF’.

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