How to overcome negative thoughts? There’s an old joke that isn’t funny. The victim is asked to “Stop thinking about X” and whatever X is, the person is then stuck thinking about not thinking about it.
The problem shows us how and why people trap themselves in negative thinking. The lesson is the key to solving the problem, though. The counterproductive cycle can be broken with a sense of humor, productive distraction, and good sense. They help a person to overcome negative thoughts without therapy.
How to Overcome Negative Thoughts?
Distraction in happy, health-promoting doses is the solution to negative thoughts. Use your ability to think about what you want to focus on.
Choose something pleasant, perhaps something that makes you smile by just thinking about it. Diverting attention this way proves that you have using “the capacity to wrestle your attention away from distractions as they arrive, and [you can] prevent a worsening, an intensification of a downward spiral of emotions and distressful thoughts” according to meditation teacher and creator of The Elevation Project Rav Doniel Katz.
Katz teaches his students that this technique is “a short-term release for long-term transformation. [Doing this] repeatedly will let a sense of calm lead the brain. You’ve cut the connection to negative distraction, weakening the human tendency to think negatively. The attention is on your true self,” and not on a sense of anger, panic, frustration, jealousy, or other negative thoughts.
Positive affirmations are another technique for overcoming negative thoughts without therapy. Consider these options for overcoming your negative thoughts without therapy.
Stress comes in many disguises: COVID-19 lockdowns, income tax season, dating, Seasonal Affective Disorder, politics, and financial problems, to name a few. We don’t always need a therapist to calm down and to remain calm down, though. There are simple things to do to stop feeling stressed or when you want to prevent a sense of stress from starting. Here are several of them:
Whisper to yourself, “(Your name), I am The Universe’s/GOD’s precious child. My longing for calmness is based on realizing that. I am hungry for more closeness with The Ultimate Calming Power. Opportunities for that are all over and all around me, caressing me, looking at me, responding to me. The hunger indicates that my realization of profound spiritual experiences is already in progress. The hunger started the process. The Universe/GOD answers our prayers. The Universe/GOD answers MY prayers, too. Realizing it in the core of my cells, body fluids, organs, minds, hearts are spiritual magic/wonder.”
The words and ideas will eventually calm you and leave you feeling optimistic. We can’t command calmness to happen because giving orders for a spiritual or emotional behavior or experience to happen is coercion, not a calming choice. Let go of the stress, let the calmness enter your being. Let yourself “be.”
- Look for miracles such as surviving personal injuries and insults, Ponder the miracles. Think of others that you know about. Ponder them, too. Then go do something such as cook, take a walk, eat something yummy, listen to music, do a craft or other project that interests you, talk with a friend, whatever pleases you.
- When you look in a mirror, point at your reflection and say aloud “Miracles happen for me.” Smile into the mirror. Smile into your heart. Think of all your cells functioning at The Universe’s/GOD’s command. Doctor John Sarno teaches the “Look into the mirror” technique. He uses different phrases than those above, but you get the idea. Get into the mindset that The Universe/GOD powers you, wants you alive and functional and performs miracles that you have no idea happened. Focus on life. The Universe/GOD will deliver the calmness after you forgot to worry about it. Let go. Don’t pressure yourself.
- Remember that people survived the Y2K scare, plus SARS and MERS epidemics despite mass media’s efforts to instill panic in readers or listeners. The same phenomenon is happening in regard to other news topics. The imposed fear fests are cash cows for media members and unfair, manipulative tactic which takes advantage of gullible members of the public. We’re overwhelmed with too much information that’s hard to understand. Most of us haven’t gone to medical school. Limit your questions about Coronavirus to medical professionals. Avoid rumormongers on social media. Social skills are usually missing from such sites as it is.
Mental health professionals know that mainstream media causes an unnecessary level of panic/hysteria over the Covid-19 issue, the heavily armed inauguration, and other things. Causing fear raises show ratings because frightened people tune in for alleged click-bait “facts.” Audiences and readers might not know that specific calming ideas and facts were intentionally left out of the presentations. Stay off anti-social media and you’ll feel calmer for the effort.
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts a healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.