top of page
  • Writer's pictureLandon Payne

4 Simple Tips To Silence Negative Thinking

Most days, I wake up around 6:00am. Before I can register that I'm awake and it's a new day, I've probably had a hundred thoughts. Most mornings I like try to meditate with my eyes closed and contemplate the day's events for a few minutes before my third alarm rings. (If you can fully wake-up with one alarm, I envy you.) The intrusive thoughts usually don't begin until I'm fully lucid and ready to begin my day.

Possessing an already vivid imagination only serves to intensify my tendency to negatively overthink. Sometimes, a single unwarranted thought threatens to derail my entire day. There are days when I'm feeling good and ready to seize the day, but my brain says "Baby, I don't know what kind of day you THOUGHT you were going to have, but I have something for you."

At times, I tend to get caught up dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. Standing ten toes down in the present is a challenge I'm actively working to overcome. It's such an unhealthy cycle that only causes more stress. Ruminating on invasive thoughts can be a challenging habit to break, but there are some strategies that may help.

1. Breathe.

It's as simple as it sounds. I'm sure we've all heard this a million times, but that's because it's effective. Whenever I feel my anxiety ramping up and my mind racing, taking a moment to employ deep breathing exercises is a great way to regulate my emotions and relax.

There are quite a few different deep-breathing methods, but the one I favor most is pursed-lip breathing. It's simple and very instrumental in helping me relax so I can think with a clear head. Repeat this as many times as you need to until you feel the stress melting away. The next time you find yourself mentally spiraling, close your eyes, relax, and just breathe.

2. Don't Ignore How You Feel.

“Develop the ability to stand back and be a witness to your thoughts. This will make your mind strong.” – Amma

Acknowledge and accept your thoughts: Trying to push your bad thoughts away can often make them more persistent. Instead, try to acknowledge and accept these thoughts without judgment. When we have those moments where we're experiencing a jumble of thoughts at once, it's very difficult to see through the haze and sort them all out. Clearing the discord to arrive at some sense of calm can be difficult.

Challenge those funky thoughts and evaluate them to determine if they're based on assumptions or fears that aren't grounded in reality. Sometimes, we create storylines in our heads that have absolutely no merit. If these thoughts are nonsensical or not serving you in anyway, drop them and make room for thoughts that will elevate you mentally.

Journaling, talking things over with someone close to you, and meditation can help us achieve clarity when our brains are working overtime.

3. Ground Yourself.

Speaking of meditating, there's no better way to achieve focus than by practicing mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga to help you stay focused.

Honestly, this one has taken some work for me to get right. As I stated before, my mind is usually ruminating on the past or stressing about the future. Willing my brain to focus exclusively on the present has proven to be quite a task, but I'm starting to get the hang of it. Deep-breathing, full-body stretches, and journaling have been incredibly helpful to me. Also, taking walks or running/jogging are very beneficial for the wandering mind. Getting active never hurt anyone.

5. Distraction

Engage in activities that bring you joy. Doing things you enjoy can help distract your mind from negatively overthinking and promote positive emotions.

For me, I'll turn on my XBOX and zone out in a heartbeat. Whether I'm saving the galaxy from evil space aliens or building a house in The Sims, it takes me out of my own head and allows me to have some mindless fun.

This looks different for everyone, but some examples include:

  • Learning a new skill

  • Exercising

  • Joining a special interest club

  • Trying new recipes

  • Creating something

  • Volunteering

Whatever your chosen distraction is, make sure that it's something you'll enjoy and enriches your life in some way. You'll be having so much fun that, eventually, those nasty, unwarranted thoughts will be long-faded memories.

Remember, breaking the habit of negative overthinking takes time and effort. It's also important to note that overthinking, itself, is not the problem, but focusing on the wrong thoughts is. Being mindful of what we consume and how we react to the world around us is incredibly vital to the thoughts we think and the way we communicate with ourselves and others. Be patient with yourself, and keep practicing these strategies consistently over time. If you continue to struggle with negative thoughts, consider seeking support from a mental health professional.

41 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Kommentar

31. Juli 2023

Very informative and helpful. I will be using this for my morning routine

Gefällt mir
bottom of page