Negative thoughts can originate from various sources, such as our past, our genes, our brain, or our environment. But we can break the cycle of negative thinking by using some effective methods. Learn more in this article.
Hi, I’m Jim Van Wyck, the news curator for SelfTalkCenter.com.
I’m always looking for articles that can help you improve your self-talk and boost your happiness.
Today, I want to summarize an article from Psychology Today that explains where our negative thoughts come from and how to deal with them.
Negative thoughts are like weeds in our minds.
They can grow out of control and affect our mood, behavior, and well-being.
But where do they come from?
And how can we get rid of them?
The article below answers these questions using neuroscience, psychology, and spirituality insights.
It also offers some practical tips on changing your negative thinking patterns and cultivating a more positive outlook on life.
Main Points About Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts are not facts
- Negative thoughts are often based on assumptions, interpretations, or judgments that may not reflect reality.
- Negative thoughts can distort our perception of ourselves, others, and the world around us.
- Negative thoughts can trigger negative emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness, or guilt, which can affect our behavior and well-being.
Negative thoughts have different sources
- Negative thoughts can originate from various sources, such as:
- Our past experiences, especially traumatic or stressful ones, that shape our beliefs and expectations.
- Our genetic makeup, which influences our temperament and personality traits.
- Our brain chemistry, which affects our mood and cognition.
- Our environment, which exposes us to different stimuli and influences.
Negative thoughts can be changed
- Negative thoughts are not fixed or permanent. They can be modified or replaced by more positive and realistic ones.
- Negative thoughts can be changed by using different strategies, such as:
- Challenging and questioning the validity and accuracy of our negative thoughts.
- Reframing and reinterpreting our negative thoughts from a different perspective.
- Replacing and substituting our negative thoughts with more positive and affirming ones.
- Practicing gratitude and appreciation for what we have and what we can do.
- Meditating and relaxing our mind and body to reduce stress and anxiety.
My Biggest Takeaway
The one biggest takeaway from this article for me is that negative thoughts are not facts.
They are just thoughts.
And thoughts can be changed.
This is important to you because it means we have the power and choice to improve our self-talk and happiness.
We don’t have to be stuck with negative thoughts that bring us down.
We can learn to challenge, reframe, replace, and practice positive thoughts that lift us up.
Related Articles From Around The Internet
If you want to learn more about the topic of negative thoughts and how to deal with them, here are some related articles from around the internet that you might find interesting and helpful:
This article from Psychology Today provides some concrete strategies to help you reframe your negative thoughts and improve your perspective. It explains why trying always to think positively is not a realistic solution and how you can be more realistic, human, and hopeful during difficult circumstances. It also suggests ways to let negative thoughts come and go, be proactive in gratitude, avoid all-or-nothing thinking, and manage your expectations.
This article from Verywell Mind discusses some of the steps you can take to change your negative thoughts. It covers topics such as using mindfulness to build self-awareness, identifying negative thoughts, replacing negative thoughts with more realistic, positive ones, practicing acceptance rather than trying to avoid or deny negative thoughts, and learning to cope with feedback and criticism. It also offers some examples of common negative thoughts and how to challenge them.
This article from Live Bold and Bloom lists 41 common negative thoughts that might be hindering your happiness and success. It also explains how these thoughts can affect your mood, behavior, and well-being and how you can overcome them by using affirmations, visualization, journaling, meditation, and other techniques. It also encourages you to be more compassionate and forgiving towards yourself and others.
Here are three different peer-reviewed studies concerning negative thoughts.
- Colvin, Eamon, et al. “The Automaticity of Positive and Negative Thinking: A Scoping Review of Mental Habits.” Cognitive Therapy and Research, vol. 45, no. 5, 2021, pp. 1037-1063.
- Date of publication: March 15, 2021
- Summary: This study reviewed the literature on mental habits, which are cue-dependent automatic responses that can be either positive or negative. It found that most of the research focused on negative mental habits, such as negative self-thinking, self-criticism, and worry, and that these habits were associated with poor mental health outcomes. It also discussed the implications of mental habits for future research and clinical practice.
- Main author: Eamon Colvin
- MLA citation: Colvin, Eamon, et al. “The Automaticity of Positive and Negative Thinking: A Scoping Review of Mental Habits.” Cognitive Therapy and Research, vol. 45, no. 5, 2021, pp. 1037-1063.
- Read the abstract here
- Rezapour, Mahdi, et al. “Students’ negative emotions and their rational and irrational behaviors during COVID-19 outbreak.” PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no. 3, 2022.
- Date of publication: March 7, 2022
- Summary: This study surveyed 2,534 students in the US about their negative emotions and their rational and irrational behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. It found that negative emotions were positively associated with irrational behaviors, such as limiting exercise at home or avoiding all people outside the immediate family. It also found that demographic characteristics, such as gender and age, and precautionary actions, such as limiting outdoor activities or social gatherings, had significant effects on different negative emotions.
- Main author: Mahdi Rezapour
- MLA citation: Rezapour, Mahdi, et al. “Students’ negative emotions and their rational and irrational behaviors during COVID-19 outbreak.” PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no. 3, 2022.
- Read the abstract here
- Haeffel, Gerald J., et al. “Cognitive vulnerability to depression can be contagious.” Clinical Psychological Science, vol. 2, no. 1, 2014, pp. 75-85.
- Date of publication: January 2014
- Summary: This study examined whether cognitive vulnerability to depression, which is a tendency to have negative thoughts about oneself and one’s future, can be transmitted from one person to another through social interactions. It found that college roommates who initially had low levels of cognitive vulnerability became more vulnerable after living with a roommate who had high levels of cognitive vulnerability for six months. It also found that this effect was mediated by perceived social support and depressive symptoms.
- Main author: Gerald J. Haeffel
- MLA citation: Haeffel, Gerald J., et al. “Cognitive vulnerability to depression can be contagious.” Clinical Psychological Science, vol. 2, no. 1, 2014, pp. 75-85.
- Read the abstract here
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