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Say No to Negativity: 7 Scientifically Proven Tips to Keep Negative Thoughts Away

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by BloodMoon, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Well known member

    I came across this article / blog post entitled "Say No to Negativity: 7 Scientifically Proven Tips to Keep Negative Thoughts Away" which I'm finding helpful as some of the suggestions/tips were new to me (i.e. tips 1, 3 and 7) -- so I thought I would share. (Tip 2 might be very hard for a lot of us to start with, but what I'm doing is moving around ['dad/mum dancing'! lol] to my favourite music in my living room.) The tips are from www.classycareergirl.com/2017/10/negative-thoughts-keep-away-say-no/.

    "Say No to Negativity: 7 Scientifically Proven Tips to Keep Negative Thoughts Away

    1. Learn to Banish Bad Thoughts Through Socratic Questioning

    Most of us are better at giving advice to our friends than in actually applying our counsel to ourselves. Ironic but true.

    When you feel overwhelmed by the negativity in your head, Socrates’ way could be what you need. The father of Western Philosophy’s Socratic questioning was proven to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression.

    What does this therapeutic method involve?

    First off, you need to think that your thoughts are actually a friend’s concern and not yours. Since you are intimately familiar with the issue, what advice could you possibly give your pal?

    By contemplating about your thoughts as a friend, you may have a more realistic way of viewing the situation.

    While this may be hard to do at first, doing this exercise frees you up from a lot of worries.

    2. Move Your Body, Groove to an Aerobic Exercise Routine

    When you are breaking a sweat while doing aerobic exercise, it’s easier to keep negativity at bay. Working out is among the best methods to distract you from having dysfunctional thoughts.
    A study conducted on depressed students supported the theory linking exercise to reduced depression.

    Aside from helping you shake away destructive thoughts, exercise has tons of health benefits too.
    For all you know, daily exercise might just be what you need to steer clear of your pessimism.

    3. Get Up and Walk Through the Door

    While ruminating, I heard some noise outside and had to check what happened on the other side of the door. To my surprise, getting back on track of my destructive thinking was harder to do afterward.

    It turns out psychologists have also associated doorways with purging thoughts –any thought, to be exact.

    In one experiment conducted in a virtual environment by the University of Notre Dame, participants found it harder to remember the objects they were carrying after passing through a doorway.

    The same study was repeated in a laboratory. The conclusion from these studies was the same –walking through the doorway makes you more forgetful than traveling the same distance in one room.

    Next time you are struggling with a negative thought, get up and try walking through some doorways.

    4. Counting Your Blessings is Not Just a Good Way to Fall Asleep

    When was the last time you made a mental list of all the things you are grateful for?
    If it was so long you couldn’t recall, it might be why you are attracting negative thoughts. Your gratitude for all the awesome things that happened to you has a huge impact on your mental state.

    Research on gratefulness was conducted by two psychologists, University of California’s Dr. Robert A. Emmons and University of Miami’s Dr. Michael E. McCullough.

    The findings from the research revealed those who expressed gratitude regularly were more optimistic and had to visit their physicians less than those who wrote about the things that aggravated them.

    When you are getting caught in a negative thought process, injecting some gratitude could just be what you need. Don’t just be thankful when you are depressed, make it a habit.

    There are many ways to express how grateful you are. Here’s some you can try:
    • Say “thank you” more often
    • Write letters of gratitude
    • List all your blessings mentally and in a journal
    • Make time for praying or meditation
    5. Don’t Suppress Your Emotions

    Suppression is never an effective tool in preventing you from ruminating and obsessing on cynical thoughts.

    Negative thoughts can catch you unaware. But forcing yourself to forget thinking about negative thoughts can backfire –you might end up thinking the same thing more with greater intensity each time.

    Research also revealed that people who block negative thoughts regularly stress more than the average person.

    What should you do instead of blocking negativity in your life?

    Instead of trying to forget, accept your emotions. To help you relax, take deep breaths.
    If you ever feel overwhelmed, pour your feelings out by confiding to a friend or writing on a journal.

    If you decide to write it down, you can tear up the page to millions of pieces once you finish. Doing this can make you’re a lot better since you have vented out your negative feelings.

    6. Stay Away from Negative Company

    Negativity is contagious. If you are always in the company of people who obsess about trifles, you are more likely to suffer from constant attacks of negativity.

    The University of Notre Dame published an interesting study highlighting the effect of a person’s social environment.

    Based on their research involving first-year students, those who hung around people with adaptive cognitive style found it easier to get used to life on campus.

    While the sample was limited, there is one clear message here – you need to be wary of the people you surround yourself with.

    If you hang out with people who encourage negativity all the time, it’s time to break ties with those people. Positive people are better for improving your own mental state.

    7. Do an Activity Which Requires Brain Power

    Negative thoughts attack you when you are the most comfortable.

    Once the brain’s habit center kicks into gear, you are using less mental energy to finish a task. This is also a time when you are most vulnerable.

    When you detect those negative thoughts creeping in, you need to take action right away and switch to a challenging task. It doesn’t matter which task you perform as long as it is something which will require your full concentration.

    It is important to switch to this new task right away since it becomes harder to throw your thoughts out of the window once they have grabbed ahold of you. Negative thoughts come in trickles first but the longer you fight them off, the more obsessive the thoughts become."
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
    Sita, miffybunny and Baseball65 like this.
  2. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    Thanks BloodMoon for posting this. I’ve spent a couple of years doing the 2 steps forward, 3 back, 4 forward blah blah, but I have definitely felt a change in my pain and my general well-being since doing the positive stuff. For me the positivity has become an anchor to hold me steady. Sometimes I do need to be tenacious in dragging myself away from the woe-is-me shite but it’s definitely well worth it.
    Whether you are struggling or not, I would recommend switching from poor-bugger-me to what-a-great-day type dialogue. Hell, it’s free. cheers Marls
     
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  3. Sita

    Sita Well known member

    "What-a-great-day" might be difficult sometimes. When I'm in pain I switch to "thank you, I'm OK" and don't talk about it. Or think about it. Or even pay attention to it. I just don't want to give it more power, that's all. So more like in neutral type of dialogue. Works for me.
     
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