3 Simple Words to Stop Negative Thinking
How do you break out of the spiral of negative thinking and be able to focus on something else…something more productive? Sometimes, this phrase is all you need.
As we know negative thinking can all so easily lead to repetitive thought patterns known as negative thought spirals.
A thought spiral, also known as catastrophic thinking, is a series of negative thoughts that can feel overwhelming. Once you are in a negative headspace because of the first thought, it’s easier to think of more negative thoughts. This spiral can leave you overthinking and running through worst-case scenarios over and over again.
If you often get stuck in this type of thinking pattern, these intrusive thoughts can take a severe toll on your mental health.
These types of thoughts can sound like:
- “I cannot do things I know I’m capable of”
- “All my friends and family don’t really like me”
- ” Why does everyone else have their s*hit together but me”
- “I’m never good at anything”
- “I bet people are talking about me when I’m not here”
- “I can’t do anything right”
- “I’m such a failure”
- “I can’t even clean my house – I must be completely worthless”
The problem with this type of thinking is none of it is true. It’s a false narrative created in our heads, usually based on an emotional reaction to a recent situation.
So how do we interrupt and stop this type of unhelpful and unhealthy thinking?
To help break free us of this type of spiral thinking we want to offer a simple but highly effective emotionally intelligent technique that breaks us out of a cycle, and helps us refocus our thoughts on the actual outcome we want (the goal- the preferred result)
3 Simple Words to Stop Negative Thinking
This technique is called:
“Back to Reality”.
How can these three simple words help day-to-day in both at work and our personal lives? Let’s break it all down.
How “Back to Reality” helps you stop negative thinking and get results
Maybe you can relate to this story. When you get slightly frustrated or irritated, you might think up all kinds of scenarios that may or may not be true, and often times include a lot of exaggeration, oversimplification, overgeneralization, unexamined and illogical assumptions… etc. Sound familiar?
Thoughts like these don’t have a positive contribution to our situation and often work against us and our chances of achieving our goals. They are also, 99% of the time, based on assumptions vs facts. Therefore our thoughts about the situation are likely to only be one perspective and also likely to be inaccurate/not the full picture.
So, how do you fight this tendency?
You remind yourself you have to get…
“Back to reality”.
How can you use this principle in your life?
Here are some great examples of when you may need some help to stop negative thinking and to use this technique;
- You walk into a room and everyone stops talking when you walk in.
- A colleague says something, and it sounds like a sarcastic dig at you.
- Someone gives you constructive feedback, and you feel hurt.
In each of these scenarios, you have to snap yourself ‘back to reality’. And then invite in a more balanced view of the situation. You force yourself to acknowledge a different perspective…
- It was probably just a natural pause in conversation. Or perhaps they were all making small talk while they were waiting for me to arrive
- Maybe I misunderstood. maybe they have poor humour, thats on them – Im not going to take it personally and ruin my day
- This feedback hurt — but maybe there’s some truth to it. Can I get past my feelings and try to benefit from it?
So… the next time you get stuck in a moment and want to find a way to stop negative thinking…. remember that you don’t have to stay stuck. Instead try using these three simple words and see if that gets you back on a better thought path!
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Articles written by our internal Daily Guru writers, who are certified & qualified growth & development professionals.