Your negative thoughts are holding you back from reaching your full potential. They are convincing you to remain in your comfort zone because you are not good enough. They are causing self-doubt and ruining your chances of reaching self-acceptance.
Even though you might be used to your negative thoughts by now, you should not continue to give them power over you. You should fight against them. You should actively work toward destroying them.
If you cannot stop thinking about how awkward and alone you are, if you cannot stop imagining the worst case scenario, you need to change your mindset. Here are a few tips on how to get rid of negative thoughts once and for all:
1. Take screenshots of the sweet texts your loved ones send you.
When you have a negative thought, you should balance it out with a positive one. Of course, that is hard to do when your brain has been trained to see the worst in yourself. That is why you should screenshot the sweet messages your friends, family members, and old flames send to you. When you cannot think of anything good about yourself, let your loved ones do the talking.
2. Surround yourself with words of encouragement.
Buy a phone case with an inspirational quote on the back. Change your desktop background to a motivational saying. Stick post-it notes to your mirror reminding yourself of your worth. Place uplifting words in your phone alarms, on your refrigerator, and on your calendar. Surround yourself with positivity.
3. Change your body language.
You have probably been told smiling will make you feel better — but you can do even more than smile. Sit up straight. Unclench your hands and your jaw. Push your shoulders back. Modifying your body language is quick and easy, but it can lead to a big change in the way you see yourself. When you look confident, you feel a bit more confident.
4. Censor your social media.
If following Instagram models makes you feel worse about your own body, delete them. If seeing old high school classmates on Facebook reminds you of the worst days of your life, unfriend them. If social media is causing your negative thoughts, spend less time on each platform or delete the page completely. You don’t need them.
5. Take more selfies.
Taking selfies does not make you self-obsessed. They can actually help you when you are feeling down. The next time you look in the mirror and feel unattractive, swipe through your favorite pictures of yourself. Create an album of them so they are easy to find. You can even throw in some pictures of your pet or your favorite coffee mug — anything that will send your mind in a more positive direction.
6. Catalog your negative thoughts.
Keep a running list in your phone of your negative thoughts. Write down what time of day they occurred, what the thought was, and what made it pop into your mind. After a few weeks — or even days — you should be able to find a pattern. You might be your most negative when you are around a certain friend, when you are hungry, or when you are bored. Discovering what triggers your negative thoughts could help you figure out a way to get rid of them for good.
7. Write down your negative thoughts — and tear them to pieces.
Sometimes, you need to express your darkest thoughts in order to rid yourself of them. The next time negativity is getting the best of you, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Write down everything you are feeling and then tear the paper into pieces. Make sure you write the words down by hand, because deleting a chunk of text from your computer screen is not going to feel as liberating.
8. Listen to uplifting music.
You have probably heard the friends you surround yourself with can impact your mood, which is why you should only hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself. However, you should also be careful about what type of music you surround yourself with on a daily basis. Upbeat, energizing music will put you in a better mood. Meanwhile, slow, depression music will put you in a funk.
9. Take better care of your body.
You will be in a much better mood if you eat healthier, get eight hours of sleep, and exercise every single day. When you exercise, it increases your serotonin, which helps your brain regulate mood. It also increases your endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Never forget your mind and your body are connected. When your body is healthier, it will positively impact your mind.
10. Find a creative outlet for your pain.
Instead of letting your self-hatred eat away at you, release your negative thoughts in an artistic way. Paint. Draw. Dance. Write. Sing. Sew. Use your pain to create something beautiful. This will help in two ways. It will release your pent-up anger at yourself. And, the next time you feel yourself thinking negative thoughts, you can look at what you created and remind yourself how talented you are.
11. Find solid distractions until the negative thoughts pass.
Sometimes, your negative thoughts are only temporary. When you find yourself getting too hard on yourself, you should stop to listen to a podcast, watch a show, or eat a healthy snack. When you are finished, you might not even be able to remember what you were upset about in the first place. Just make sure you use healthy distractions — not booze or drugs.
12. Attend therapy.
Getting rid of your negative thoughts is not as easy as taking a bubble bath and wearing bright colors. If you have spent your whole life thinking negatively and want to change your thought process, you should search for a therapist. They will be able to provide you with the tools you need to make a change. They will be able to push you toward bettering yourself.
Never let your negative thoughts lower your standards. Never let them convince you to settle in any part of your life. It’s going to take some work, but you can banish those bad thoughts. You can learn to love yourself and accept yourself.