How to Overcome Negative Thinking Patterns

October 21, 2016 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

You can learn to overcome negative thinking patterns and finally feel confident (How Negative Thinking Kills Your Confidence). The more your mind focuses on the negatives in your life, the harder it is to feel happy, and it interferes with developing confidence. Our society obsesses over drama and negative news which makes it hard to think in a positive way. However, you can practice these tools to help you integrate more positive thinking patterns into your life.

Overcome Negative Thinking Patterns with Acceptance and Positivity

Accept Your Feelings and the Situation

You must accept the situation or your feelings before you can overcome negative thinking patterns. Acceptance doesn't mean approval it means bringing awareness to what is and keeps you from getting stuck. It allows you to let go of fighting reality and provides your mind with more options to solve the problem at hand or change your thinking patterns.

For example, Jess, a college student, found herself worrying incessantly every time she entered her chemistry lab. She pushed the feelings aside until she had a panic attack in the middle of her midterm. She realized that by bringing attention to her negative thinking patterns, she could prevent panic attacks in the future. You see, her body and thoughts were trying to help her, they were trying to tell her that chemistry is a course that causes her to feel uneasy. She accepted this reality and is now in tutoring and feels confident about the course.

Be Purposely Positive

When your mind focuses on the negative thoughts, feeling better is a challenge. Try to be purposely positive for a few minutes and see how this improves your mood and overall outlook.

  • Look for reasons to happy, appreciative or positive.
  • Make a gratitude list.
  • Give yourself credit for the things you have done. We often move so fast through our days that we don’t give ourselves credit, which makes us unhappy and often leads to negative self-talk.
  • List the positive aspects of situations and people around you.
  • Engage in a random act of kindness and see how it makes you feel.
  • Think of any ways in which your life is “just right” right now
  • Search for examples of uplifting and happy news.
  • Watch shows that make you laugh or feel good.

How can you overcome your negative thinking patterns with these tools? Which ideas will you integrate into your life today?

Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

APA Reference
Roberts, E. (2016, October 21). How to Overcome Negative Thinking Patterns, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

November, 5 2018 at 10:10 pm

Its so easy to become wrapped by the negative. I do it as well. But its important to wake up every morning believing that today will be a good day. I try to live by this rule.

November, 2 2018 at 3:18 pm

Think positively and you"ll feel able to manage and do well. Think negatively and you are likely to feel overwhelmed and powerless.
Positive thinking brings hope; the feeling that what you want can happen or that events can turn out for the best. Negative thinking creates a spiral of unhelpful thought's and difficult feelings. Even when good things happen, negative thinkers tend to see the negative aspects of a situation.
Like attracts like. You just cannot thing negative and expect to live positive life. Doesn"t go this way. That"s the law. More about Positive Thinking I wrote here if you wanna check that out. Hope it will help! xx

November, 11 2016 at 8:47 am

Thank you so much for your wonderful advice i really needed it

Maree Dee
November, 6 2016 at 4:52 pm

This is so helpful. I normally do not sturgglle with negative thinking but I am not immune to it. I have found myself dipping into when life is really hard. I love Be Purposely Positive.

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