Negative thinking can damage not only your psychology but also your health and your everyday life. Many people tend to focus on the negative parts of life, while there are so many other things that could make them feel happy. If you are one of the pessimists, then you should definitely read the following 6 ways to get rid of your negative thoughts:
1) Spend more time with positive people.
You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. In other words, who you spend your time with has a great impact on the person you eventually become. If you are around cynical and negative people all the time, you will become cynical and negative. Does who you are and who you want to be reflect in the company you keep? Start spending time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded. Relationships should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you, people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.
2) Make positivity a core value.
To minimize or eliminate negativity, you need something equally powerful that can combat it. You need to weave principles that encourage positivity into the very fabric of your organization, so that everyone in the company will be committed to operating out of hope rather than fear. At Pluralsight, we were fortunate to institutionalize our belief in optimism into our set of three core values. We are truth seekers, entrepreneurs, and eternal optimists.
3) Don't play the victim
One lesson every person should learn is that “You can not control other people’s actions, you can only control your reaction to those actions.” Accept this as fact and it will make a huge difference in your overall well being. You may not be able to change the boss at work who is always putting you down or the family member that is always complaining, but you can control the way their actions make you ‘feel’ and how you are reacting to them. Avoid letting others control your emotions, choose to control independently and master your own thoughts and feelings. If someone or something is constantly negatively impacting you then remove them from your life, or at least create distance where you can. Accepting that which can not be changed will save you an ample amount of time and energy, and will significantly reduce the amount of negativity you absorb in all future situations.
4) Forget What Others (Might) Say
Oftentimes, we tell ourselves ‘no’ because we think our father/sister/best friend might not approve of our actions. First, it’s crucial to remember that we live our own lives, regret and all. Just because someone else tells us not to do something, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Ask yourself why your father/sister/best friend would say ‘no’ and see if reasoning stands up to real scrutiny. On the flip side, we tend to use our family and friends as easy excuses. If we imagine someone close to us might say ‘no,’ we often won’t bother to explore further. I remember in college I really wanted to study abroad in Japan, but felt my father would disapprove. When I finally worked up the courage to tell him about my aspiration, he became more excited than me. Had I believed in my imaginary dad, I would have missed out on one of the most exciting adventures of my life.
5) Stop thinking in extremes
Most of life isn't black or white, completely this or that, all or nothing. But negative thinking tends to view bad stuff in the extreme. All or nothing thinking misses out the subtle shades in life. It makes us see the future in terms of dramatic disasters, failures, and catastrophes. Sure, disasters occasionally happen, but - contrary to the shrill pronouncements from newsstands - most of life consists of shades of grey. Write down what you have been thinking negatively about. Write the extreme negative statement that comes to mind. Now write three 'middle of the road' possibilities - not so exciting (or terrifying), but a more realistic take on what is actually more likely to happen. Giving your brain more options will reduce emotionality and allow you to think more clearly.
6) Take action
A lot of the negativity that comes out of a person’s mouth is a direct result of their thoughts. If you’re constantly thinking negatively about someone or a situation, then the first words from your mouth will be negative. Instead, take action to change those negative thoughts instead of letting them simmer in your mind. Complete that project or go talk to the person that is causing you to have negative thoughts.