Breaking Down Mental Health Terms: What Are Automatic Negative Thoughts?

I’d been in therapy for a few years when I first heard the phrase automatic negative thoughts for the first time. It wasn’t hard to deduce the meaning of the phrase, but I found it interesting nonetheless. Like everyone else, I deal with negative thoughts every single day. They might be about myself or other things, but one thing is certain: they’re negative. It’s the automatic part that I find interesting, and I wanted to learn more about this concept. That’s why today, I’ll be breaking down what automatic negative thoughts are, what they look like, and what we can do about them.

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Five Reminders About Negative Thoughts

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.

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The Persistence of Negative Thoughts

I don’t always like to start off my posts with ‘this week in therapy’ but….this week in therapy, I absent-mindedly brought up the fact that my negative thoughts have been more present lately. When I reflect on my negative thoughts, I don’t really view them as something to get rid of at this point. They’re here, they’re not going anywhere, and I need to figure out how to deal with them. However, it bothers me that my negative thoughts are very persistent. They can come and go whenever they want, and the hardest time to deal with them is when I forget they exist.

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