Negative thoughts a cognitive distortion or just sadness?
Generally, people associate their negative thinking with “It wasn’t our day to day” “We were just sad” but this isn’t the case. Negative thinking is basically our cognitive distortion. Our mind tells us things that are not actually true. Most of the time we agree to those things that result in negative thinking. These thoughts are either due to stress, anxiety, overgeneralization of a situation, a sudden shock, or an experience that no longer satisfies you which reduces your ability to stay positive. Hence negative thoughts are related to cognitive distortion rather than general sadness.
Common negative thoughts:
Negative thoughts can either be directly jumping to conclusions or taking out the meanings from the situation that you would prefer. It can also be emotional reasoning for example you feel negative about things around you, so you start to take them as true while it’s not true, since your thoughts are distorted so you assume your thinking to be true. Negative thinking can be in the form of overgeneralization like seeing a person acting strange to you, you assume that everyone in that circle will act strange. Evaluating events in your life is totally wrong and filtering the negative details from them. At times you start seeing negative things that were once so important to you. Overestimating that a bad event will occur over and over in your life or a personal guilt that makes you think that all these circumstances are because of you.
Negative thoughts can lead to:
Prolonged negative thinking can result in a lack of hope, underestimating yourself, poorer self-esteem, failure to cope up with situations, higher anxiety levels, and ultimately depression.
Here’s a few tips on how to stay positive despite the situations:
- No matter how worst the situation may be, know that it isn’t going to last forever. Remember those times when you were in a better place and you still are in a better place than most of the people. Express gratitude for the slightest thing you have.
- Acceptance is the key to stay positive no matter what. Accept the negative event, make the best out of it. Even if it broke you know that you will be stronger enough to deal with a situation similar to it. Accept your negative event as a challenge and defeat it with all the self-power you have!
- Try associating your negative thoughts with positive words like instead of saying “I can’t” say “I can” and instead of saying “I have to” say “I got to”. It’s not only going to uplift your mood but also give you the confidence to be yourself.
- Start crediting yourself! Say thank you to yourself too when you feed your stomach, when you do self-care say thanks to yourself. If you do something different someday appreciate yourself. ! Once you practice crediting yourself your desire for others to appreciate you will be lessened out.
- Surround yourself with positive support groups. REMOVE THE TOXIC PEOPLE FROM YOUR LIFE! Once you are surrounding yourself with positive people you are automatically more positive.
- Stop criticizing yourself, know that you know yourself the most. It’s only you who can define yourself the best. Stop criticizing your minor details, stop being harsh on yourself, and try seeing positivity in just being yourself.
Activities you must try:
- Start putting up positive images in your room, work area. It’s going to change the vibe, keep your mood refreshed, and help you urge to do more.
- Make up your own personal mantra. Set up some phrases or set of words that you can recall every time you are upset. It can be a lyric of your favorite song, a poem, or a sentence. Saying sentences like “I’m enough for myself” “I’ll get through it”
- Every time you come with a negative event or a thought, ask yourself how did it shape you? Was it worth getting upset about? What new thing did you learn out of it? Did it helped you grow? Honestly, this works the best!
- Start making your gratitude journal. Start listing the few things that made up your day and how do you feel about them. Write down the little good things you are happy about.
- Another exciting activity is to stand in front of the mirror and say out loud the things you love about yourself! It will change your mood immediately and help you boost your self-confidence and esteem!