Do you struggle with negative thinking? Did you know your thoughts will often-times dictate your feelings and emotions? To overcome negative thoughts we must pause, pray and plan. Check out my list of ways to overcome negative thoughts with God by your side!
Before I continue I want to point out, always consult with your doctor, therapist, or counselor before self-diagnosing and treating your mental health or emotional health concern. I am not any of the titles listed above and only offer my heart, opinion, and life experience.
Ways to Overcome Negative Thoughts
- Recognize thought distortions. Our minds have clever and persistent ways of convincing us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts reinforce negative thinking. If you can recognize them, you can learn to challenge them. Here are four common thought distortions: (from Phycology Today)
- Black and white thinking. Seeing everything as one way or another, without any in between.
- Personalizing. Assuming you are to blame for anything that goes wrong, like thinking someone did not smile at you because you did something to upset her. (It’s more likely that person is having a hard day and her mood had nothing to do with you.)
- Filter thinking. Choosing to see only the negative side of a situation.
- Catastrophizing. Assuming the worst possible outcome is going to happen.
2. Pause in the Negative Thought. When the negative thoughts come pounding at your heart, you must stop. To overcome negative thoughts you must teach yourself to pause in the panic or pause in the pain. You pause and you pray when the negative thoughts come and you start to feel all the overwhelm of emotions and negativity. Pray and ask God to help you deal with these thoughts, heal from this thought process of negativity, and for Him to wrap you in His peace. Check out this list of Bible Verses for Emotions.
3. Challenge the Negative Thought. Speak truth over the situation. Look over the list in point #1. Are your thoughts any of those? Pray and ask God to help you see your thoughts for what they are, ask for help to overcome negative thoughts and help to recognize if you are stuck in any of the thought processes listed above. Ask Him to guide you to get unstuck!
4. Journal Your Thought Process. Write out the negative thought, pray over it and ask God for help in dealing with it, and then journal or write out the truth about the situation. To overcome negative thoughts, writing out scripture verses for you to focus on and that would be helpful for you in this situation is very beneficial. Do you keep a mood tracker?
5. Plan. Do the work. What is the next step you need to take to overcome negative thoughts in a way to honor God and brings healing to your heart? Journal about it? Recite or memorize scriptures of God’s truth concerning your situation? Scripture Writing? Go for a walk? Talk to a friend? Listen to some uplifting worship music? Watch a funny movie? What is the next step?
6. Grace. Give yourself grace as you put in the work to pause, pray and plan. It’s okay to be human. There is no shame in the struggle you are facing as you climb yourself out of the negative thinking whole. We all have scars! Scars show us where we’ve been, not where we are going.
What Are Some Negative Thought Examples
For example, let’s say your husband cheated on you. It is a horrible and negative experience that can mess with our thought process. You deserve to be devastated! Let’s say you start to have thoughts that you are not good enough, not loved, not wanted and so on. Even though your husband has cheated and that does cause a deep pain in your heart, it is a lie to think you are not good enough, not loved nor wanted.
You have family, friends and your church who love and care for you. God promises to be near the broken hearted and to be your anchor in the storm.
What Is The Main Cause For Negative Thoughts
In many cases, depression can be caused by negative thinking itself. Our feelings follow what we are thinking, and dwelling upon negative thoughts can send us spiraling down into depression. This concept is the guiding principle behind Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) developed in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron T. Beck at the University of Pennsylvania. – livescience
By repeatedly refuting distortions, negative thinking will diminish.
How Do You Push Out Negative Thoughts
Here is the first step. It’s a very powerful, simple, tried and tested technique for untangling from thoughts without struggling with them. It’s called the ‘name it to tame it’ technique.
‘Name it to tame it’ is a phrase coined by author and psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Siegel. Here’s the basics of how ‘name it to tame it’ works:
When an unhelpful thought pattern (and the associated emotion) arises you simply mentally ‘label’ the story. You’ve probably noticed many of our thoughts are repetitive and involve the same story lines. For instance one of my stories often is, “Who am I to be putting myself ‘out there’ teaching mindfulness. Aren’t you supposed to be perfect first!? Have it all totally together?!” I find this story unhelpful so when thoughts come up along that storyline, I simply mentally note to myself, “Ahhhh the ‘who do you think you are’ story is here again” and then I let it go. – mrsmindfulness
By let it go, I mean, stop giving it all your attention. Do one of the things I mentioned above in this article and move forward with the next step to overcome negative thoughts in a healthy way that honors God and bring you healing.
How Can I stop Thinking Negative Thoughts In My Mind
Shifting the way you think means you’re consciously stopping an established thought pattern. You re-evaluate how you reflect on a situation, or even what you think about to focus on something else.
It’s like switching gears in your brain so your train of thought isn’t just looping and relooping.
In a lot of ways, this is about undoing a lot of negative behaviors and mental programming you may have learned from others. For example, if you grew up thinking you had to be the best in school and life, you’re likely programmed for stressful perfectionism.
Making a mental shift is a way to combat your anxiety and stress, or snap out of winding thoughts.
Learn the most common thought patterns, how to recognize automatic negative thinking, and ways to reorient and give yourself the kind and constructive consideration you need. – heathline
How Do I Stop Negative Thinking
Prayer is a key part of overcoming negativity. Jesus taught that prayer should include praise to the Father and a focus on His holiness (Matthew 6:9; see also Psalm 95:2). As we pray “with thanksgiving” (Philippians 4:6), we focus on the blessings we have received and leave no room for negative thoughts. The Holy Spirit will be faithful to help the repentant believer overcome negative thinking (Matthew 7:7–11).
Daily Bible reading, particularly studies that focus on the promises of God, are of great help in overcoming negative thinking. It’s helpful to remember that, no matter how dismal the present circumstances, Christians have been promised God’s love and victory in Christ (Romans 8:37–39; 2 Corinthians 2:14). – gotquestions
Processing Your Thoughts Workbook
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Have you overcome the cycle of negative thinking? What worked for you? I’d love to know how God helped heal you and hear your amazing testimony!
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