5 Ways to Deal With Negative Thoughts

Dr. Rakhi Anand (PhD), Psychologist, Practo, shares expert tips on how to combat unwanted negative thoughts.

The intrusive and sometimes disturbing demons that loom around in our head, often invite themselves over, unbidden. And while these negative thoughts impact different persons differently, certainly everyone strives to get rid of them. Besides being extremely distracting, these negative thoughts may also adversely impact ones well-being and mental health.

'The complete well-being of a person comprises multiple aspects of their health, of which emotional health and well-being is crucial to lead a happy life, but is most often neglected,' states Dr Anand. Emotionally healthy individuals are more capable of maintaining secure and well-balanced relationships, and are also better equipped to handle life's stresses. Moreover, the concept of resilience is also directly proportional to mental health and well-being. When life knocks you over, or throws unexpected surprises at you, it is your mental health that serves as your backbone, pushing you to bounce back from these uncalled-for setbacks.

However, achieving a tranquil state of mind doesn't happen overnight. One must diligently practice positive mental reinforcement, and must engage in healthy behaviours, to gradually bring about this mental shift. It sure sounds easier said than done, but one has to start somewhere right? Thereby, Dr Rashi Anand has shared effective tips to tackle negative thoughts that you may experience on a daily basis. Take note.

Identify Your Personal Strengths

'For a human being to function optimally, it is of the essence for him/her to recognise and acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses. We often draw from our strengths and grow as people by rectifying our weaknesses. Therefore, it is important for us to identify our strengths and be instrumental in making use of them in times of dire need,' advocates Dr Anand. Besides, what harm can getting to know ourselves better do?

Set Up Boundaries

While compassion, gratitude, and the art of learning to 'give', are the need of the hour, we must know when to draw the line. It's true that helping others in times of need makes us feel good about ourselves. However, we need to realise that we can help others effectively, only when we are able to help ourselves. It is also no secret that people sometimes tend to get so consumed in their own matters, that they overlook the emotional burden they put on another, so much so that it can be emotionally exhausting. 'Hence, it is important to set boundaries and take some time to recuperate before helping another person. Its pretty similar to what the policy is for airplane passengers- put on your own oxygen mask before putting it on for others!' adds Dr Anand.

Vocalize Your Feelings In a Polite & Calm Fashion

Feelings, be it good or bad, can get the best of us. Therefore, just as the title suggests, it is of extreme importance to voice our feelings in a polite and calm fashion. In addition, telling your loved ones about your worries makes them aware of what you might be going through, besides building a strong support system. Dr Anand states,'Being polite and calm in your demeanor, even while telling someone about the worst of something, gives off a positive impression and can help in reaching a solution faster than getting angry and/or emotional.' Writing what you want to say to someone also works well in getting things across in a precise manner.

Identify Activities That Help You Relax

Engaging in a hobby or any other activity that you enjoy is a great way to take out time for yourself. By doing so, you can dedicate quality time for your personal growth and well-being, outside of work hours. Indulging in hobbies is not only important for your emotional well-being, but also decreases daily-life stress, and helps you distract yourself to feel more joyful. More importantly, it aids in keeping boredom at bay, and gives you the opportunity and platform to discover and express yourself creatively. Drawing back to the 'identifying your strengths' point, you may be able to pin-point your creative strengths in the process as well!

Build a Ritual With the People You Love

'A ritual is an activity you do with your loved ones, that may serve as an anchor in tough times. It could be evening tea with a few of your close friends every Thursday, or attending the Sunday mass at church together,' says Dr Anand. A ritual is the time you take out from your busy life to do something with a group of people whom you love. This may include family members, friends, or anybody else you enjoy spending time with (could be a pet!). By doing so, you will experience a sense of solace in having a support system that helps you navigate through difficult situations in life.


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