Many of us devote a significant amount of time in our heads, fretting about the future, rehearsing previous experiences, and generally concentrating on the aspects of life that make us unhappy. Negative or undesired thoughts, while frequent, can keep you from enjoying situations, divert your attention away from what matters, and sap your energy. They can also cause anxiety and depression.

The best part is that with consistent practice, you can replace negative thought patterns with helpful ones. This can make a big impact on your enjoyment and comfort daily.

Try these 5 techniques for managing (and reducing) negative thoughts:

1. Recognize mental obstacles

Our thoughts have a brilliant and persistent method of persuading us of things that aren’t true. These erroneous notions serve to encourage negative thinking. You can learn to challenge them if you can recognize them.

2. Allow yourself to be free of criticism

We all make judgments about ourselves and others, most of the time unknowingly. Dissatisfaction is developed by constantly comparing ourselves to others or our life to some ideal. You will likely feel more at ease once you can let go of judgment (not easy, but achievable).

Recognizing your reaction, watching it, and then letting it go are some strategies to break free from judgemental ideas. “Positive judging” is another useful strategy. Look for a positive characteristic in a person, oneself, or a scenario when you discover you are adversely criticizing them.

3. Negative thoughts should be challenged

Stop and examine whether a warped notion is accurate whenever you have one. Consider how you would react if a buddy said something similar about herself. You’d probably be able to counter his or her negative viewpoint with a good argument. Use the same logic to analyze your ideas.

Examine whether you’re assuming the worse or blaming yourself for something that hasn’t gone as planned. Then consider other possible outcomes or reasons why something did not turn out as you had intended.

4. Concentrate on your capabilities

It’s human nature to focus on the negative and ignore the positive aspects of life. The more you practice focusing on your strengths rather than your flaws, the simpler it will be for you to feel good about yourself and the path your life is heading. Take a moment to think about anything you enjoy about yourself if you find yourself thinking harsh thoughts about your personality or conduct.

5. Gratitude should be practiced

Gratitude has been shown to have a significant impact on your feelings of positive and happiness, according to research. Even if you are going through a difficult moment in your life, you can generally find something to be grateful for (even if it is small).

Keeping track of the things that are going well and making you joyful will keep you connected. One simple and efficient approach to do this is to keep a thankfulness journal and write a few things in it every day.

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