What are Negative Thoughts and how to overcome them?


What are negative thoughts?

Negative thoughts are ideas that are harmful in a way that they could prevent you from reaching your lifestyle goals. Negative thoughts can be a reaction to a certain situation, but can be replaced with positive thoughts.

For example, if you normally walk in the park, and it is raining, you might think, I can’t walk today. That is a negative thought and will not help you reach your goal.

A helpful, or positive thought might be, it is raining today so I don’t want to walk outside, I think I will go to the mall instead.

Are there different types of negative thoughts?

Negative thoughts can be grouped into different categories and have different thought processes.

All or nothing: 

You only see extremes, nothing in between. For example, I can’t ever eat sweets again. 

A positive alternative might be, I can only have sweets once in a while, and I will measure it carefully when I do. 

Making excuses:

You blame the situation or other people for your mistakes. For example, I can’t reach my eating goals because someone keeps buying cookies. 

A helpful, or a positive thought might be, I’ll buy some healthy snacks to keep around to eat instead of the cookies. 

Filtering:

You ignore the good and focus on the bad. For example, no one supports my healthy lifestyle.

A helpful, or positive thought might be, my friend supports me, I will ask her for help at work during lunch time. 

Self Labeling:

You call yourself something bad. For example, I am the world’s worst cook. 

A helpful, or positive thought might be, I make good soup and like to make salads. I will learn more about cooking.

Comparing:

You compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking. For example, you notice that Ahmed has lost so much more weight than you.

A helpful, or positive thought might be, Ahmed has lost so much weight, I’ll ask him what he is doing that is working so well. 

Gloom and Doom Thinking:

You assume the worst. For example, I just know I am going to get hurt and then I won’t be able to work out. 

A helpful, or positive thought might be, I’ll take positive steps to make sure I don’t get injured. If I do hurt myself I will find other activities that I like.

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