It's not always what happens in your life that matters, but how your mind interprets it at the time. The disappointment you experience and the negative emotions that come with it are completely natural, whether it's because of the date who canceled on you at the last minute or the employer that rejected your application. These concepts pile up in the back of your mind and present themselves in the form of toxic thoughts, which can be quite overwhelming unless you find a way to transform them. To help you do this, we've consulted experienced therapists and gathered advice to help you replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. We won't lie—it won't always be easy, but it's completely worth it as by transforming your negative thoughts, you'll massively transform your everyday life.
How to transform your toxic thoughts?
Social anxiety, melancholy, stress, and low self-esteem can all be caused by your negative thoughts. Understanding how you think currently (and the difficulties that arise from that) is the key to transforming your negative thoughts. From there, you can easily apply tactics to change or reduce their impact.
Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all intertwined, which means that how we think dramatically influences how we feel and act. So, while we all have unhelpful thoughts from time to time, it's critical to know what to do with them so that they don't take over our day. You can always count on help from experienced counselors, but we strongly encourage you to learn how to modify your thought patterns on your own, too. Here are six ways to help you do so.
#1 It starts with mindfulness and self-awareness
Meditation is where mindfulness began. It is the act of separating oneself from your ideas and emotions so you can observe and analyze them objectively. The goal of mindfulness is to alter your connection with your toxic thoughts and help you transform them.
Think of yourself as a factory and consider your thoughts and feelings as products passing by you on a moving belt. You have the power to decide which product (your toxic thought) to stop and examine or let pass you by. Allowing the reasoning half of your brain to take control of your emotional reactions to situations is the goal of mindfulness.
It's been suggested that practicing mindfulness can help people use their ideas more adaptively. According to one study, people who practiced mindfulness had fewer toxic thoughts after being exposed to negative imagery. This implies that mindfulness can reduce the harmful effects of negative thinking.
#2 Identify your toxic thoughts
You can't start transforming your toxic thoughts unless you first identify them. The following are some examples of toxic thought patterns:
There are subtle differences in unhelpful thought processes. However, they all involve reality distortions and unreasonable approaches to circumstances and people. Now that you've noticed the thought, you can recognize it as harmful thinking. Thus, the next time it pops into your head, you'll be able to acknowledge it and instantly start working on transforming it.
#3 Avoid toxic thought-stopping
If you want to take the path of mindfulness, you need to keep yourself from thought-stopping as it's the polar opposite of it. Think about it—there's nothing mindful about constantly scanning for negative ideas and trying to completely banish them.
The biggest issue with trying to fully stop your negative thoughts is that the more you try to stop them from coming up, the more they will show. This phenomenon is known as the thought rebounding, and it can be pretty harmful. Mindfulness is a better way to go since it gives your thoughts less weight and lessens their influence on you.
#4 Remember that you are your own friend and not the enemy
We live in a society where we're all victims of our own minds, and we're being too harsh on ourselves. In fact, self-talk is, in 90% of cases, negative. Therefore, you need to make sure to replace this pattern, and here's how to do it in three simple steps:
Thought diaries, also known as thought records, are a very useful tool for transforming your toxic thoughts. In fact, many mental health professionals use them as a part of their therapy process. Thought journals can help you recognize negative thinking patterns and get a better understanding of how your thoughts influence your emotional responses.
A thought diary post, for example, might break down a person's thought process while on a date, as well as the emotional and physical reactions that follow from unfavorable thinking patterns. You can replace irrational beliefs about rejection with more useful and constructive ways of thinking. But first, you need to do a thoughtful analysis.
#6 Don't be scared to ask for help
Lastly, if you feel you are unable to cope with your damaging thoughts on your own, don't be afraid to reach out to professionals. Remember - you are not alone, and so many people around the world are experiencing the same thing. Simply by acknowledging your problem, you are already one step ahead towards solving it.
By ignoring the problem, you can only make it bigger and more difficult to solve. In the worst case, it can lead you straight to addiction or depression. You can easily end up in a rehab center or on strong medication therapy. So please don't be afraid to seek professional help as soon as you notice any signs.
We hope our article helped you learn ways to cope with and eventually transform your toxic thoughts. Remember - this is not a quick process, so don't give up if you don't experience results straight away. Instead, be patient and persistent and trust us—you'll reframe your thoughts and transform your life. Of course, if you do feel this is something too difficult to handle on your own, don't hesitate to reach out to California's best counselors. The sooner you ask for help, the quicker you'll be able to fully enjoy your everyday life.
Turning Point Counseling
A professional Christian Counseling ministry in partnership with local churches throughout Southern California. -
Help for our family finances