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How to Stop Negative Thinking: 3 Tactics

Negative thoughts can sneak up on us at any time. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing it, but negative thinking, like “There’s no way I can finish this third mile,” or, “I’m so over today,” and even, “It doesn’t matter if I have that pint of B&J in the freezer for dinner,” can make a huge difference in your success. When you’re feeling frazzled or overwhelmed, it might seem easier to allow the negative thoughts to take over, but if you do your best to fight them, you’ll be amazed at what you can really achieve. Next time you feel the negativity coming on, just use one of these three tactics to fight it off.

How to Stop Negative Thinking: 3 Tactics

1. Get outside.

Nature is proven to help restore your focus. A recent study found that participants who exercised outside (or even inside near open windows by nature) felt more refreshed after the workout, and became more committed to continuing their exercise. This includes everything in nature: trees, water, grass, sky. Basically anything that naturally moves and changes and evolves will help you snap out of that mental rut. So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, take five minutes to spend in an outdoor setting. Whether it’s a quick walk outside, or just looking out the window and watching birds, you’ll instantly reset your frame of mind and get a fresh boost to tackle any challenges.

2. Hold yourself accountable.

When your day has been crap, it’s easy to let it ruin your mood. But, while it’s hard to control how something makes you feel, you can control how you react to it. So, learn to hold yourself accountable for you actions. Research shows that we do tend to be more honest when we feel like we’re being watched. This is crazy, but one study used a photograph of eyes above an “honesty box,” and it made participants more likely to pay for their self-serve coffee. Try applying this idea to your own self-accountability. Hang a mirror or even a photo of someone you don’t want judging you in places that you want to encourage good behavior, like near your stash of sweets or by your workout gear, to encourage the behavior you want others to see.

3. Give challenges a positive spin.

Don’t allow stressful events to warp into something overwhelming. Instead of considering them a threat, re-label them as a challenge or opportunity. If you’re freaking out about a presentation you have to give in front of a ton of important people, think of it as an opportunity to represent how important you must really be to have the responsibility of giving the presentation. It’s your opportunity to shine.

How do you deal with negative thoughts? Share your tactics below!

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