The Psychology Behind Negative Thinking
Awareness Education

The Psychology Behind Negative Thinking


Not all thoughts deserve our thought.

Chaitanya Charan Das

We all have good and bad thoughts from time to time and situation to situation. There have been numerous studies showing that we are bombarded daily with the cavalry of thoughts which often creates unwanted confusion, trouble, stress and frustration in our mind as well as chaos in our physical world. In this article, you are going to explore all the psychological aspects and proven techniques to overcome such negative thoughts also known as “distorted thinking”. I strongly believe you will develop a mindful career, growth and relationship after having a glimpse of this article.

What are negative thoughts?

Negative thoughts are the component of cognitive distortions and automatic thoughts. In which a person starts to see the negative view of all the things. There are mainly three main categories of distorted thinking also known as the negative triad:

  • Negative ideas about oneself,
  • The future and
  • The world.

Negative thoughts are the sign of stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, frustration, depression and loneliness. However, these signs sometimes lead to psychological disorders, for Schizophrenia, Generalised anxiety disorders (GAD ) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The Science of Negative Thought

In the 1970s, US Psychologist Aaron Beck gave a theory on negative thought patterns which he labelled as “negative schemas” which cause negative emotions. In his book “ Cognitive Therapy” he stated negative thoughts as cognitive distortions and negative thinking as distorted thinking. According to him, our thoughts are the result of our feelings and these feelings create a person’s thinking which affects their mood and health. An endless loop makes us fall into this and traps our minds.

Read More: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Concepts, Types & Techniques

Unfortunately, negative thoughts worsen the way we feel and think and also reduce our capability to work. Another psychologist Leigh Goggin stated that – “negative interpretation bias”. It is a factor in the continuation of a depressed mood, which lasts with poor mental health and leading anxiety, depression, overthinking and lower self-esteem of ones.

The Dark Side of Negativity

Sometimes, we take it lightly and don’t recognize easily our negative thinking as this thinking goes into our unconscious brain and becomes a part of our regular behaviour. It acts as an addiction and becomes very hard to get rid of and overcome which lasts with a mental disease. And it also lasts out reasoning ability to think and create new things. That’s why, it’s very important first to label your feelings (thoughts) and deal with them intelligently and if required get support from your nearest psychologist or psychiatrist. Otherwise, it will cause a mental disorder soon and we will miss our beautiful life and seeing transparency into it because, as we know ‘negativity breeds negativity’.

Read More: Toxic Positivity: Why being “Positive” is not always the solution?

Law of Attraction

As we all know the science of the law of attraction-“we attract merely those thoughts more often which we think or feel repeatedly”.So, it’s very important to keep an eye on our thinking or feelings, secretly day by day to recognize and manage them for a mindful life. Here’s a famous quote – “how we think we become”. Therefore take care of your thinking very gently.

Read More: 10 Books to Alleviate Your Critical Thinking

Techniques and Tactics to Overcome Negative Thinking

There are given some proven techniques. I strongly believe if you follow these, it will help you turn negative thoughts into positive thinking.

  • Being Positives: keep positive perspectives of all things and persons as well as watch your feelings and thinking continuously and make it positive, if it’s being negative. Replace your No with YES. And saying “YES” too quickly in the place of saying “No”. Also known as positive self-talk. For example:
  1. Yes, I will.
  2. Yes, I can.
  3. Yes, I do and,
  4. Yes, I did. So quickly.

Despite saying :

  1. No, I will.
  2. No, I can’t.
  3. No, I don’t.
  • Pause and labelling: From time to time it becomes very important to pause our thinking and break its flow to have more clarity and transparency in our thinking as well as rewiring it with new thoughts and creativity. labelling means knowing your feelings or thinking intensity, date, time, cause of arousal and reason behind arousing. To deal with the problem firstly, we should label the cause and intensity of negative thinking.
  • Thought Diary: According to Dr Daniel Siegel, – ‘Name it to take it’, she explains that whenever any negative emotions or thoughts occur in our mind as soon as possible try to write it down in a diary and name it a ‘thought diary’. In this diary, you have to write the intensity, time, date, reason cause, and nature of emotions or thoughts. Repeat the same process whenever any kind of negative thinking occurs in your mind further in future. In this way, you would able to label your thinking and manage it soon and this can also help your psychiatrist to diagnose your problem accurately and easily.
  • Meditation: Meditation and mindfulness are the best techniques to manage negative thoughts as well as turn them into positive ones. 15 minutes of daily meditation and focusing on the present merely can change your mind and processing of thoughts. Make an essential part of your life to meditation or nature connectivity for being positive and leading a meaningful and mindful life by overcoming such negative thought issues and filling your life with the rainbow colour and endless bliss.
  • Seek Support: If you also have a negative thoughts problem firstly, try all the tactics given above to manage it by yourself. But if you don’t have success then as soon as possible go to the hospital to meet with a psychologist or psychiatrist to get help from them. Never hesitate to visit a psychologist or psychiatrist if it’s required and for your kind information, it’s very natural and common to have such mental and thought issues. Nothing is bad or shameful in this so there is no need to hide this. We visit the doctor for the other parts of our body. Similarly, the brain is also one of the parts of our body it’s our responsibility to keep it healthy and active then only we can imagine a happy and cheerful life. So be aware of your mental health as well as aware of others too for making a good society around us.

Read More: Find the Difference between Strategic Planning and Strategic Thinking

In conclusion, I must say it’s not a disease, it is just a mental negative pattern so take a hundred per cent responsibility on your own to change it into a positive one. As changing negativity into positivity takes a lot of patience and practice it’s not just a cup of tea. I strongly believe if u follow all the techniques and tips discussed above you will become much better and take control of your thoughts in your hand instead of allowing them to control you.

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