Have you ever heard of someone by the name of Negative Nancy? Sometimes, we’ll actually meet her in person, but other times her voice just rings in our heads constantly. She’s the one who’s always putting negative thoughts into our minds and making us second-guess ourselves. We don’t know exactly why she comes around at the most inconvenient times, but one thing is for certain: she isn’t an ally. In order to help conquer negative thoughts, let’s look at the top 11 things we can do to help fight them and be much happier as a result.
1. Exercise for about 30 minutes.
It has long been known that exercise is great for our overall health. Just 30 minutes a day could allow us to add five years to our life span when compared to a sedentary individual. One thing that we may not have known is that exercise also can help us conquer negative thoughts. When we work out, we’re able to use all our energy on the exercise and get a lot of pent-up aggression out of our system, including negative thoughts. While this may be only a temporary way to conquer negative thoughts, it’s definitely a start.
2. Find a new hobby.
When trying to conquer negative thoughts, it’s always a good idea to try to get our mind off them. Renewing an old hobby or starting a new one like knitting, drawing, or even gardening is a great way to conquer negative thoughts. Just as with exercising, forcing ourselves to focus our energy on something else will make us much cheerier.
3. Stop letting our imaginations get the best of us.
Some of us grew up with people telling us we should always let our imagination run free and dream as much as we want. Some misunderstood that to mean that they should concoct some worst-case scenarios in their heads. Don’t do that! More than likely, such scenarios won’t happen, and we’ll just be worrying ourselves for no reason.
4. Talk ourselves out of it.
Although easier said than done, simply giving ourselves a pep talk can help conquer negative thoughts. If we find ourselves thinking something bad, tell ourselves to look at the positive. It will be hard at first, but the more we do it, the easier it will be to dismiss any negative thought that comes to mind.
5. Stop taking one bad instance to mean the world is coming to an end.
People who constantly have negative thoughts tend to exaggerate certain occurrences. For example, it may start raining outside when they had made plans all week to go to the beach. Instead of thinking that it was just rotten luck, the Negative Nancy would say something along the lines of it not being meant to be for her ever to go to the beach. As another example, let’s say that a person goes to the movies and then discovers that the theater is out of popcorn. The Negative Nancy’s response is to say that no theater will ever have popcorn. We don’t want to live with that kind of negativity. Let’s stop making large generalizations in response to negative events if we want to conquer negative thoughts.
6. Listen to some upbeat music.
Music is good for the soul, and positive, upbeat tunes are no exception to this rule. Listening to upbeat music to conquer negative thoughts is a good way to venture into other genres that we didn’t know existed. We may even find a new artist to listen to on a daily basis.
7. Don’t try to downplay the positive things.
It’s a bad habit of some people to point out only the bad things that happen as opposed to the good. Don’t give any power to the negative thoughts and events that happen in life. Instead, shine more light on the positive and celebrate. Rejoicing in the positive is an excellent way to conquer negative thoughts.
8. Don’t see everything as being only black or white.
This tip goes for people thinking that everything has to be extreme. Instead of understanding that there is some gray area when it comes to certain situations, they feel like it’s always either one way or the other. This negative way of thinking can cause them a lot of stress because they end up putting too much emphasis on things that could be trivial. For example, say we have a big speech to present at work or school. Instead of thinking that we’ll do fine, the extremists will think we’ll either do amazingly well or terribly badly. But once they realize that there’s more than just black or white, they’ll be able to conquer negativity much easier.
9. Invite happy people into our lives.
Misery loves company; however, positive energy is also very infectious. Think about what happens when we walk up to a friendly dog or a happy baby. Don’t we just instantly start to feel a sense of joy as we see the dog wagging its tail or the baby smiling and laughing? Let’s surround ourselves with people who are happier than we are about life. Their positive vibes will be sure to rub off on us at some point, and we’ll see how easy it is to conquer negative thoughts.
10. Try not to be so demanding.
Many people are under the impression that their way of thinking is the best way. Not only is this unrealistic, but it also causes them to think negative thoughts when they come across those who don’t agree with them. Instead of thinking of ways to put down others or be combative when someone doesn’t share our beliefs, let’s try to be more accepting and just agree to disagree. If we don’t try to force our way of thinking upon others, we’ll definitely be able to conquer our negative thoughts.
11. Remember that the glass is half full.
Finally, the most important thing we can do to conquer negative thoughts is just to be optimistic about everything. Always look at the bright side of every situation, and block out every negative thought that pops in!
We’re all responsible for our own happiness, so don’t waste life thinking about the bad things. Let’s follow these 11 tips to conquer negative thoughts and work on bettering ourselves so that we can live a happy, fulfilling life!
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Image Credit: Shutterstock (licensed by SDS)/By Jorm S