Guilt, shame, fear, stress. These are all intense feelings that derive from negative thoughts. One minor setback or judgment could have us spiraling into a dark hole of negative thoughts, impacting our progress and our outlook on life. Reframing negative thoughts helps you climb out of that dark hole to improve your outlook.
Negative thoughts are normal and will arise from time to time. They could, however, begin to affect you emotionally, physically, and even financially. According to a recent research study, repetitive negative thoughts were linked to declines in brain function and even memory over time.
Our thoughts hold the key to our personal success and growth. How we think about ourselves and our progress impacts our motivation. Learning to practice reframing negative thoughts will help you stay grounded, driven, and optimistic.
Why you should reframe negative thoughts
Before we get into how to clear your mind of negative thoughts, let's discuss why you should. Negative thoughts impact more than just your mental health. It can also affect your physical health and emotional well-being. Your thoughts have a big impact on how you see yourself.
Thoughts that are less than positive and empowering can also hinder your personal growth and success. Negative thoughts can fester and cause you to stop yourself from progressing. Maintaining a positive mindset helps you continue to grow and evolve.
So with that being said, let's get to how you can start challenging negative thoughts and change your mindset!
7 Actionable steps for reframing negative thoughts
Don’t let negative thoughts impact your outlook on yourself, finances, and progress. Reimagine the way you think with a few steps on reframing negative thoughts. Let's dive into how to clear your mind of negative thoughts!
1. Identify your thoughts and validate them
Once a negative thought pops up, we often try to suppress it. However, it’s important to acknowledge those thoughts. Point out when and how negative thoughts arise. Is it typically around payday, when the stress of covering your bills mounts up?
Is it right before a major presentation at work? Validate your feelings related to those thoughts. Suppressing feelings around your thoughts can do more harm than good.
It's normal to have these feelings when negative thoughts take over. Identifying your thoughts helps you understand and recognize them so you can reframe your mindset. This is the first step of challenging negative thoughts!
2. Practice emotional intelligence to reframe negative thoughts
Practicing emotional intelligence is a great skill to have when reframing negative thoughts. Emotional intelligence is the ability to control and evaluate your emotions objectively. You can use emotional intelligence to perceive and respond to your thoughts differently.
Thoughts are often fueled by our emotions and, sometimes, are not based on facts. Remember a time when you received criticism at work? Rather than negatively thinking about your performance as an employee, see it as a crucial learning experience to help you grow in your field.
Practice leading with your logic and not with your emotions to tackle negative thoughts.
3. Challenge your negative thoughts with positive affirmations
How do you start challenging negative thoughts easily? Use positive affirmations for negative thoughts! Affirmations are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts. Affirmations have been proven to boost your mood, decrease stress, and actively change the parts of your brain that activate happiness.
Take negative thoughts and turn them into something positive by rephrasing them. Reciting positive affirmations is key to reframing your negative thoughts before they arrive.
Positive affirmations for negative thoughts
Here are a few positive affirmations for negative thoughts to help you challenge and reframe them:
- "Every day I am getting better and better."
- "I'm capable and ready for any challenge that comes my way."
- "I deserve to be loved, respected, and heard."
- "I am more than enough and don’t have to prove my worth to anyone."
- I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn something new.
So using affirmations is how to clear your mind of negative thoughts! Be sure to check out our posts "50 Morning Affirmations To Change Your Life!" and "55 Financial Affirmations You Should Tell Yourself" to get started.
4. Give yourself patience and grace
Negative thoughts, especially around self-worth and comparing yourself to others, can cause you to be hard on yourself. Practice self-compassion when reframing negative thoughts. Give yourself grace and patience when challenging thoughts that are pessimistic and unconstructive to your growth.
We are all human and will experience negative thoughts from time to time. Ultimately, we are in full control of how those thoughts impact us and show up in our self-talk. Be kind to yourself and change the narrative around your thoughts.
Are you hard on yourself about sticking to your financial journey? Reframe negative thoughts around your finances by tackling your budget one step at a time. Then, celebrate each step you make along the way. You deserve to give yourself credit for your progress.
5. Depersonalize negative thoughts
Negative thoughts can get personal, framing the way you feel about yourself and your worth. Reframe your negative thoughts by avoiding personalizing the negativity. Avoid taking negative thoughts to heart; thoughts are often only temporary and do not always reflect who you truly are.
Depersonalize negative thoughts using positive self-talk to reshape your mindset. Thoughts are meant to come and go, so quiet your inner monologue by letting them pass. Let go of any thoughts that don't serve you in a positive, healthy way.
6. Create healthy outlets to clear your mind of negative thoughts
Negative thoughts create a spiral effect that can alter the way you take care of yourself. Creating healthy outlets for yourself like mediation or exercise is how to clear your mind of negative thoughts. Focus on your mental and physical health first.
Do something you enjoy, whether it’s listening to new music, taking a walk, cooking, or exercising. A healthy and positive self-care routine is a good antidote to combat negative thoughts.
It also helps you to stay present and in the moment. Distract yourself from negative thoughts with things you truly enjoy.
7. Spend time with family and friends to encourage yourself
It helps to get a different perspective when reframing negative thoughts. Look to your friends and family for a better outlook on your negative thoughts. They are a great resource to help you see your thoughts more clearly and challenge those thoughts with affirming ones.
Turning to your loved ones also helps shift your focus away from negative thoughts. Spending time with friends and family can distract you when negative thoughts surface. Spend quality time that’s fun and enjoyable with your friends and family to help clear your mind of negative thoughts.
Start reframing negative thoughts and improve your outlook!
Don’t let negative thoughts impact your progress and outlook on life. Learn to reframe your negative thoughts so that you can achieve more and give yourself the credit you deserve. Remember, to also use positive affirmations for negative thoughts to improve your outlook on life!