How To Get Rid Of Bad Thoughts In Your Mind: 19 Clear Steps

In this new article you’ll learn how to get rid of bad thoughts in your mind.

If we don’t deal with negative thoughts, they can accompany us for days, weeks, or months. When we overanalyze circumstances or assume that someone has secretly offended us, they often appear when we least expect them.

Bad thoughts are normal, and the brain has mechanisms to cope with them, even if they are unpleasant. Although you should always seek medical help for depression or repeated negative thoughts, you can usually deal with them on your own.

How To Get Rid Of Bad Thoughts In Your Mind:

1. Recognize that having unpleasant thoughts from time to time is natural.

This is probably the easiest way to start dealing with your problems. You may think that you are the only one with problems or that no one knows what you are going through, but awful thoughts are part of life and will pass. Don’t blame yourself for negative thoughts because they are not your fault.

“It’s my fault,” “I shouldn’t think about that,” and “I despise that thought” are phrases to avoid.

You have had negative thoughts before, and you will continue to have them. However, you are still alive and well. If you don’t turn your negative thoughts into monsters, they won’t kill you.

2. Think about what makes this thought “bad.”

What is it about this thought that makes it so upsetting to you? What makes it stay in your mind? Bad thoughts often persist because we feel guilty, angry, or uncertain about the future. Reflecting on why you are stuck with the same thought can help you give it shape and find a way to solve the problem.

3. Take a few deep breaths to slow down your thoughts.

When a negative thought pops into your head, it’s normal to feel anxious or fearful, but don’t get upset or focus on it. Stop in place for 30 seconds and take five deep, long breaths. Instead of jumping to unwarranted or overreaching conclusions, take a moment to confront the idea.

If you still feel anxious, try counting to 15.

You can also relax by coloring, listening to soothing music, or reading for a short time.

You can also go outside, leave your room, or take a short walk to clear your mind.

4. Examine why you are experiencing negative or bad thoughts.

Once you have calmed down and thought about why you are unhappy, it is time to analyze why these thoughts are so negative. The following are some useful questions to ask:

What evidence do I have that my fears and concerns are justified?

What are the advantages of the circumstances that I don’t see?

Can I look at this situation from a different perspective? What would someone else think of me?

Will this situation be relevant five years from now?

5. Stay in the present moment.

You can feel okay even if circumstances are not ideal or challenging. You don’t have to let negative thoughts take over your mind.

You have no control over the future or the past. You can only deal with the present moment. Many negative thoughts arise from ignoring this reality and making predictions or conjectures about what will happen in the future.

For example, you may tell yourself that tomorrow’s exam will be very difficult and that you will undoubtedly fail it, but this negative belief has no basis in reality. Instead of looking for ways to make the exam easier on yourself the day before, you’ve already told yourself the moment it arrives on your desk that it will be terrible. Don’t let your anticipation of the future distract you from the present.

6. Put your thoughts into context.

When you have some unpleasant thoughts, your first reaction is to exaggerate them: “I was tempted by another lady; I don’t think I love my wife.” “I’m going to get fired because my employer didn’t like my presentation,” “Everyone else has beautiful cars, so I must be a loser.”

These ideas are not only simple, but often wrong. Remember that you are not the center of the world and that most of your troubles will have little impact on your overall happiness.

Remember problems from your past, such as being grounded or abandoned? While it seemed horrible at the time, chances are you’ve already gotten over it without any lasting consequences.

SEE ALSO: How To Multitask More Effectively At Work: 12 Top Strategies

7. Turn your attention to something you know will improve your mood.

Revisiting something familiar and pleasant helps you forget your worries or gain perspective. Experiencing something that brings back pleasant memories can help put negative thoughts into perspective; things weren’t always awful and won’t be so in the future.

  • Read your favorite book a second time.
  • Bake a batch of your mom’s chocolate chip cookies.
  • Go to your team’s upcoming game.
  • Play a favorite CD from your childhood.
  • View photos from an important event or trip.

8. Don’t try to “displace” your thoughts by running away from them.

Telling yourself not to think about something works just as well as thinking about it. You spend so much time telling others to “stop thinking about my breakup” that you don’t realize you’re still thinking about it! Either redirect your thoughts in other ways or confront the negative thoughts. In turn, trying to deliberately banish the thought will only make the situation worse.

In some cases, confronting the problem directly is advisable, but in others, a better tactic may be to put it off for a while.

9. Practice “letting go” of thoughts.

Take a deep breath, recognize your negative thoughts and move on instead of fighting them. This is a difficult talent to master, but it is the most effective strategy for fighting negative thoughts for the rest of your life.

For example, you may fear that you will be fired as a result of a mistake made in the workplace. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, learn from it and try not to make the same mistake again. Instead of anticipating the worst, focus on improving.

“I can’t control everything in the world (1),” “I can’t undo the past” and “It’s time to move forward” are examples of phrases to consider.

10. Throw your problems out the window.

It may seem strange, but according to a study in New York City, people who write their negative thoughts on paper and then throw them in the trash have higher self-esteem than those who keep the paper. Writing allows you to express your concerns, and physically getting rid of them signals to your body that it’s time to move on.

The same study found that dragging a file to the trash on a computer has the same good effects.

11. Talk to someone you can trust about your negative thoughts.

This is a great way to analyze what makes a particular thought so awful and get it out of your mind. It also often helps to realize that the thought is not as terrible as it seems.

After expressing your fears, you can get helpful advice and insight from someone who has undoubtedly had similar concerns. Many psychiatrists have found that simply expressing your thoughts in a safe environment can be enough to eliminate them.

Bad thoughts are essentially a conversation with yourself, and everything you say seems to be true. Presenting a different point of view can help you see the errors in your reasoning and stop the thinking.

12. Use positive affirmations to combat nagging negative thoughts.

Positive affirmation involves taking time to affirm that you are happy, healthy, and have self-esteem. Positive affirmations can help you combat negative thoughts (belittling yourself, unworthiness, etc.). Practice saying the words “I am…” followed by a positive trait about yourself, such as “I am smart,” “I excel at work,” or “I am a nice family member.”

Make a list of your good qualities and put it in a place where you will see it every day, such as on your desk or in your bathroom mirror.

If you keep telling yourself, “I’m too stupid,” acknowledge the many things you already know how to do by using affirmations like, “I know how to fix cars,” “I can cook,” or “I’m smart.”

You have the ability to modify your negative thoughts once you become aware of them. You can think, “I am good enough” instead of “I am not good enough.”

SEE ALSO: How To Adapt The Way You Communicate To Different Situations

13. Find something to do with your free time.

Most unpleasant ideas occur during free moments when your mind is free to move or when you are tired. Find activities that allow you to spend less time alone, such as starting to exercise (2), starting a writing or art project, or doing community service.

Loneliness is not always a scary thing, but being alone and unsure of what to do can cause anxiety and fear.

14. Recognize those who make you think negatively.

Relationships are some of the most tumultuous and mentally challenging terrain to deal with. You may wonder in vain what the other person is thinking about, whether their friend meant to offend you or someone is groping you behind your back.

However, you are not the one responsible if a friend or partner regularly triggers your negative thoughts. For whatever reason, this relationship may not be healthy.

Give yourself some time away from negative people—do negative thoughts disappear when you are not in their company?

Avoid friends who constantly criticize or make fun of you, skip meetings, or disrespect your time and interests.

15. Be proactive in dealing with negative thoughts.

Make a list of everything you can do to combat negativity. For example, if you constantly worry about your relationship, think about what you can do to make it more comfortable. Plan a date night, buy flowers for the other person, talk to your partner, and then go out with friends yourself to have fun.

While you may not be able to accomplish every task on your list, having a list of possible tasks will help you regain control of your thoughts.

16. Find ways to express your dissatisfaction in creative ways.

Writing down unpleasant thoughts, playing an instrument, or painting your emotions are all effective strategies for exploring and coping with them. Keep in mind that the purpose of art is to communicate your views, not to condemn them. Even if you never reveal your artwork to anyone, just working on it can be a great way to redirect negative thoughts into something else.

17. Don’t forget to smile.

It has been proven that smiling causes the body to produce hormones that make you feel better. So smile and let the world know you are happy, and you will be surprised at how many others will reciprocate your smile. With social and physiological reinforcement, it can literally mean the difference between looking bright and optimistic and being stuck in negative thoughts.

On the other hand, a frown or sad expression can lead to more negative thinking.

If you’re having a bad day, carve out some time to watch your favorite comedy to lift your mood.

18. When you are struggling with adversity, keep a sense of humor.

One of the best ways to stay fit and healthy is to laugh at setbacks and misfortunes. Anxiety and tension will be relieved by humor, which will “set” bad circumstances in a good light. Laughter will give you a much-needed perspective on your ideas, making it easier to push negative thoughts away.

Laugh at yourself too; you shouldn’t take your life so seriously that you can’t enjoy it.

Join people who laugh or joke a lot, because laughter is contagious. You will laugh more if you are in the company of people who enjoy laughing.

19. Find a trusted friend or family member with whom you can be completely honest.

Knowing that you have someone with whom you can be open and honest can make scary ideas seem less frightening. It takes time to build trust with someone, and you have to be a little sensitive to expressing your fears to another person, but having that bond will help you realize that you are not alone. You can deal with negative thoughts as they arise, and someone will be there to help.

Thank you for reading this article about how to get rid of bad thoughts in your mind and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here