Earlier this week, I wrote about the persistence of negative thoughts and how I manage them on a daily basis. Even though negative thoughts are a big part of my mental health journey, I’ve learned some things over the years that have helped manage my approach to negative thoughts and the power they have over me. Today, I wanted to share five reminders that I repeat on a daily basis when I manage my negative thoughts.
Each of these reminders is something I’ve learned on my mental health journey, but they all play a unique role in reminding me that I am stronger than my negative thoughts. As debilitating as they can be, they’ve taught me healthier ways to manage my mental health, which is why I’m sharing them today. These reminders are:
Everyone Has Negative Thoughts
Whether you believe it or not, everyone deals with negative thoughts throughout their daily lives. Yes, some thoughts aren’t as negative as others, but we’re all different! Every person has their own ways of seeing the world, but we all deal with negative thoughts in one way or another. For those who find comfort in solidarity, here it is!
Negative Thoughts Don’t Last Forever
Negative thoughts don’t last forever. In the moment, they’ll feel like they will. There have been plenty of times where I thought the pain would never end, where I thought every single thought I had would be negative or sad forever. And guess what? I was wrong! It’s hard to remember when you’re going through it, but this reminder has helped me more times than I can count.
You Are Not Your Negative Thoughts
This is my favorite reminder when it comes to negative thoughts, and my mental health in general. I constantly equate my negative thoughts with the type of person I am, and it’s very easy for me to believe what my brain is telling me. But we are so much more than our thoughts, negative or otherwise, and remembering that I’m not my thoughts goes a long way toward changing my attitude about them.
Not Every Thought Is Valid
I’ve done a lot of reading and research, which is how I came across this tip. If you think about it, people have millions of thoughts every day. They range from extremely important thoughts about decisions, to thinking about food or a video on Twitter. So it makes sense that some negative thoughts might slip into your day. But just because you think them doesn’t mean you have to interact with them. As many therapists have told me, if you can let the thoughts pass by, you can begin to see that not every thought is actually valid – especially the negative ones.
Toxic Positivity Doesn’t Solve Negative Thoughts
I’ve mentioned toxic positivity before when I’ve talked about my attitude on mental health, but I’m coming back to it here because it’s important to know that just like two wrongs don’t make a right, positive thoughts don’t ‘cancel out’ negative thoughts (believe me, I’ve tried). Trying to be intentionally positive makes logical sense, but forcing positivity on yourself doesn’t take away negative thoughts. I’ve found much more success in managing negative thoughts than trying to get rid of them, and even though things aren’t perfect, I’m doing a little better than I used to be.