Spending hours telling yourself how worthless you are?
And comparing your life to others?
Are you missing out on opportunities due to your pessimistic thoughts?
Is your life spiraling down, due to this?
Well, I, too, have been there.
Since I was about nine years old, all I could think about was bad things and it eventually became a habit of mine.
Each morning, before school, I would get killer cramps, diarrhea, and, sometimes even vomited before the school bus came to pick me up.
My body reacted to my never-ending negative thoughts and I eventually developed irritable bowel syndrome.
So, I am here to tell you my tips and tricks that I used to overcome this bad habit of mine.
I would like to explain, from a psychology point of view, how negative thinking effects you.
When you think pessimistically all the time, your brain slow down and decreases activity in the cerebellum.
When the cerebellum slows down, you will have difficulties solving problems.
Another area that becomes affected is the frontal lobe, because it decides what is important according to what you pay most attention to.
Therefore, more neurons will be created to support your negativity.
The thalamus also perceives your negative thinking.
The problem is that the thalamus can't differentiate negative thoughts from danger, increasing your blood pressure and affecting your mood.
When stress is produced from overthinking it can increase your chances to develop mental illnesses, like depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.
Not only that, but it can also affect our health in ways such as headaches, digestive problems, weight gain, muscle and jaw tension, decreased sex drive, back pain, fatigue, lowering the immune system, and affecting blood sugar.
But don't worry, thankfully, the brain has the capacity to rewire through training.
This can be done by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
This is easier said than done.
It will take practice, and lots of patience to control your pessimistic thinking.
Here are my tips and tricks that I used.
Notice your body language.
Are you grinding your teeth?
Are your muscles and shoulders tense?
Do you have back and neck pain?
Are your hands relaxed or in a fist?
Are you frowning?
This is important, because your body can tell you a lot about your mental state.
Relax your body, and then you can calm your mind.
Affirmations are statements that you tell yourself to motivate, and influence your mind and body.
I tell myself affirmations everyday.
You can look these up online, or buy a daily affirmation book and read one, repeating it throughout the day.
Examples of these are：
"I am filled with positive thoughts."
"I welcome positivity in my life."
"Today is a new day, a new opportunity."
"I forgive myself for past mistakes."
Be conscience of your thoughts. Witness them, and give them names, or physical appearances—then say "no."
And let them go.
This trick helped my immensely because I could identify negative thoughts through observation.
I noticed how they were making me feel, and by giving them names, I was able to let them go.
Know your triggers.
Pay attention to what affects your thinking.
Could it be a past situation?
Could it be toxic people putting bad things in your mind?
Is it a current situation?
A bad relationship?
I personally sat down and wrote everything I believed to trigger my negativity.
And then did something about it.
For example: I was surrounded by people who did no good to my thinking, so I stayed away from them.
Watch a movie.
Play a video game.
Watch funny videos.
Go on a hike.
Do your favorite hobby, or draw.
Basically, anything that entertains you.
I love Netflix, and to color while I listen to music.
The purpose of this is to quiet your mind for awhile, until you relax, and are able to handle your thinking better.
Find a trustful person.
It can be a friend, partner, parent, teacher, or counselor.
Anyone who is willing to listen to you and give you their point of view.
I personally have three trustful friends, who I can tell what's on my mind, and they can help me think more positively because they are seeing my situation from a different point of view.
You may hear this all the time, but honestly, this has helped diminish my negative thoughts.
When you exercise, you release endorphins, which are chemicals that energize you, and moderate your bad thoughts.
I go on a walk, and jog early in the morning.
This boosts me to start my day with a positive mind.
I have a journal where I write anything positive that I did during the day.
It doesn't matter if you had a bad day, just find one thing.
For example: eating a healthy meal.
The purpose of this is to train your mind to find positivity in the negative.
Not only that, but when you were down, look at your journal and see how far you have come.
I sometimes even draw in my journal to help bring good thoughts.
Self-talk using a mirror.
This one may be silly.
But thanks to it, I have the confidence to overcome stressful thoughts.
I look at myself in the mirror, and tell myself good things like : "I am beautiful." or "It will all be okay."
I find it powerful to look myself in the eyes and have a good talk.
Be aware of misreading.
Misreading any situation could provoke negative thoughts.
For example : if you call a friend and they haven't called back, don't draw conclusions.
It could be that they are busy, or simply not in the mood to talk at that time.
I learned this the hard way.
In the majority of the time, I created situations in my mind that were distorted.
Don't apply your perspectives to someone else.
This one is very important.
Each of us has different perspectives and ways of handling situations.
For example : If you think "Why did they say that? That's something I wouldn't have said.", you will only bring negativity to your thoughts.
So if you can change this, you will be able to relax more.
Well, I hope this tips can helped you as much as they've helped me.
Keep in mind that your thinking won't change quickly.
It will take time and discipline.
If you feel like your mental health is getting worse due to negative thoughts, then maybe a counselor or therapist can help you as well.