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. 


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.


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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