Negative thought loops can fuel stress and anxiety, and it can feel impossible to get out. If you find yourself stuck in a pattern of negative thinking, it can be hard to get out of this loop, especially when you find reasons to validate these thought patterns.
So, how can you get out of a negative thought loop? Here are some ideas:
Build awareness by recognizing when you’re in a negative thought loop. Pay attention to your thoughts and notice when you’re stuck in a cycle of negative thinking. Humans have the unique ability to think about our thoughts - build awareness around whether our patterns of thinking are positive or negative.
Challenge your negative thoughts. Once you’ve identified a negative thought, reality test it. Is it really true? Whats the evidence? Is this an assumption? By questioning your negative thoughts, you can start to see them in a different light and break free from the loop.
Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and accepting things as they are. By bringing your attention to the present moment, you can sit with your negative thought patterns and gain some perspective on these patterns of thinking.
Engage in positive self-talk. Positive thought loops run the same cycle as negative ones. Talk to yourself in a kind and encouraging way and remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. You may find this feeds a positive self image, which feeds positive behaviors, leading to positive results. And nothing feeds more positive thoughts and self-talk then positive results. Thus, the cycle continues in a way that truly serves you.
Seek support. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to someone about your negative thought patterns. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or a mental health professional, having someone to talk to can help you break free from negative thought loops and find more positive ways of thinking.
Breaking free from negative thought loops takes time and practice, but it’s worth it in the long run. You’ve got this!