Negative Thinking

Published on 9 August 2023 at 13:46

Negative thinking can be very harmful for us. When these thoughts build and build, they can often lead to anxiety or depression. It’s important that we learn effective ways to challenge negative thoughts. This can help us live a more positive, fulfilled life. Here are top tips for challenging negative thoughts:

1. Understand Your Thought Patterns

We can tend to have cognitive distortions and those are patterns of thinking that we can fall into that are not rational. Some examples of this include- 

  • All or nothing thinking
  • Mind reading
  • Overgeneralization
  • Should statements

When we can recognize these negative thinking patterns, we can then replace them with more helpful thinking patterns.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help us focus on the present, rather than dwelling on events of the past or worrying about the future. It can also help decenter us, so that we can gain distance from depressive thoughts and feelings. When we detach ourselves from negative thoughts, we can view them as an outside observer and challenge them easier. Try to observe thoughts like these are clouds floating by, instead of owning them / fixating on them. 

3. Start a Thought Diary

Another way to stop negative thoughts in their tracks is to keep a diary. We can use this tool to identify our negative thinking styles and gain a better understanding of how our thoughts can cause our emotional reactions.

4. Focus on Gratitude

Challenge negative thoughts by focusing on gratitude. When we are in a negative headspace, it can sometimes be difficult to think about what we’re grateful for. Regardless, try thinking about three things you’re grateful for each day, even if they are really small. When we focus on gratitude, we are more likely to also adopt a more positive mindset. You can challenge negative thoughts and replace it with a thought of gratitude and this will help, consistency is important. 


If you notice yourself having negative thoughts , give yourself grace, and remember that "THOUGHTS ARE NOT FACTS", try to observe / challenge those thoughts to a more neutral / strength based thought pattern, and reach out if you need support! 

Be well, 



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