Sometimes having negative thoughts is natural, as long as we know how to manage them the best way. Discover the best strategies to ward off bad thoughts.
We spend too much time worrying about the future, reviewing past events, and thinking about what makes us dissatisfied in the present. Although these thoughts are common, they are negative and can prevent us from enjoying positive experiences, giving rise to anxious and depressing feelings, making us oblivious of what is really important, being happy. But how can we ward off evil thoughts ?
There’s good news! Through regular and dedicated practice, it is possible to replace negative thought patterns with thoughts that really help, which can make a huge difference to happiness and well-being.
7 WAYS TO WARD OFF BAD THOUGHTS
If we try harder not to think of anything, it seems we think more and more. But then, how can we ward off evil thoughts? These strategies will help you manage and ward off bad thoughts:
1. LEARN TO RECOGNIZE YOUR DISTORTIONS OF THOUGHT
If you are able to recognize dysfunctional thoughts, it will be easier to learn to challenge them. Some of the most common thought distortions are:
- Thought of the all-or-nothing type: black or white: analyze everything in an extreme way, without contemplating a compromise;
- Customizing thinking: assume that you are guilty of everything that goes wrong;
- Thought filtered: choose only to see only the downside of all situations;
- Catastrophic thinking: always foresee the worst case scenario.
2. CHALLENGE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
Whenever you have negative thinking, stop and evaluate if it is really right. Think about how you would respond if a friend of yours told you about her the same way. She would probably offer her friend a good answer, contradicting the negative view.
Apply that same logic to your own thoughts. Ask yourself whether you will not be assuming the worst will happen or if you are not blaming yourself for something that you are not really to blame.
3. PAUSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
It is possible to learn to ward off evil thoughts. Engage in activities that do you good and give you positive emotions.
Allow yourself to devote a few minutes to the thought that troubles you, trying to challenge you, and then go ahead with your day and do not allow yourself to devote time to the same thought again.
4. STOP JUDGING
We all fall into the temptation of judging each other. Doing the exercise of giving up judgment is difficult but it is possible, and almost certainly will leave you more liberated and less tense. When you realize that you are negatively judging another person, or yourself, also look for a positive quality.
5. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Research shows that feeling grateful has a great impact on levels of well-being and happiness, helping to ward off bad thoughts. Even though you are going through a challenging and less good time in your life, you can certainly find things, even small ones, for which you are grateful.
Reflecting on what’s good in your life helps you feel happy. Keep a diary of gratitude and write down something you are grateful for every day.
6. FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS
It is almost a natural tendency to dwell on the negative and ignore the positive. Opt to counteract this tendency: focus on your strengths and do not insist on mistakes made.
7. SEEK THE SUPPORT OF SPECIALIZED PROFESSIONALS
With the daily practice of these strategies you will feel that negativity loses strength and that positivity gains more and more space. However, if you do not feel able to manage and ward off bad thoughts and you feel that you are significantly interfering with your daily life, your well-being and your happiness, then maybe it is time to seek expert help.
A psychologist’s support can help you lessen emotional distress.