24 Ways to Overcoming Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are a normal part of life, but when they start to snowball and become a negative thinking pattern, they can be hard to break. In order to overcome these patterns, it’s important to change the way you think in small ways. These 24 tips will help you do just that!

Acknowledge your negative thoughts

The first step in overcoming negative thinking is acknowledging that you have them! It’s normal to feel down or anxious at times, but if these feelings are starting to take over your life, it’s time to do something about it.

Don’t try to fight your thoughts

When you’re struggling with negative thoughts, it can be tempting to try and fight them head on. However, this often leads to frustration and more negative thinking. Instead, try accepting your thoughts and simply observing them.

Label your thoughts

Once you’ve started acknowledging your negative thoughts, start naming them! This will you better understand what’s going on in your head and help you take steps to address them.

Be mindful of your thoughts

When you’re aware of your thoughts, you’re in a better position to change them. Pay attention to the kinds of thoughts that pop up during different parts of the day and see if there are any patterns.

Challenge your negative thoughts

Not all of your negative thoughts are true! Many of them are simply distortions or exaggerations of reality. When you catch yourself having a negative thought, challenge it and see if it’s really true.

Write down your thoughts

If challenging your negative thoughts seems like too big a task, start by writing them down instead! This will help you keep track of them and see how often they show up.

Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones

This can be a tough task, but it’s definitely worth it! When you have a negative thought, try to replace it with a positive one. This will help you start thinking more positively overall.

Practice self-compassion

When you’re struggling with negative thoughts, it can be easy to be hard on yourself. However, this only makes things worse! Instead, practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself when you mess up.

Avoid generalizing your thoughts

When you’re struggling with negative thoughts, it’s easy to start thinking that all of your thoughts are true and that there’s no way out. However, this is not the case! Try to avoid generalizing your thoughts and see them as just that-thoughts.

Reframe your thoughts

One way to challenge your negative thoughts is to reframe them! This means looking at them in a different light and seeing if there’s another way to look at the situation.

Take a step back

Sometimes you need a little distance from your thoughts in order to deal with them effectively. When you’re struggling with a particularly tough thought, take a step back and give yourself some time to process it.

Talk to someone about your thoughts

Talking about your negative thoughts can be really helpful, especially if you have someone you trust. It can be a great way to get some feedback and see your thoughts from a different perspective.

Change what you can

If there are certain people in your life that are bringing you down, do what you can to limit your exposure to them! If something about your job is making you unhappy, try speaking with your boss or doing some research online about how to handle difficult workplace situations. Whatever the root of the problem might be for you, make an effort to change what you can.

Practice positive thinking

One of the best ways to overcome negative thinking is to practice positive thinking! This means filling your mind with positive thoughts and images, which will eventually start to replace your negative ones.

Take care of yourself

When you’re taking care of yourself, you’re less likely to fall into negative thought patterns. Make sure to get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat healthy foods.

Do things you enjoy and take time to relax

One of the best ways to overcome negative thinking is to do things you enjoy and take time to relax! Make sure to schedule some fun activities into your daily life and try taking a few minutes for yourself whenever you can.

Try journaling or meditation

Journaling or meditating can be great ways of overcoming negative thoughts because they help us get in touch with our emotions and connect with ourselves on a deeper level. They’re also great stress relievers!

Get rid of negative people in your life who bring you down

Negative thinking tends to feed off itself, so when you have someone bringing you down all the time, it’s hard to avoid negative thinking. If you find that one or more people in your life are dragging you down, try to eliminate them from your life as much as possible so they can’t affect you negatively anymore.

Remember that everything is temporary

Another great way to overcome negative thoughts is to remind yourself that everything is temporary! Try looking at the situation from a different perspective and see if there’s anything positive about it.

Talk back to your negative thoughts

Even when our negative thoughts seem very true, it’s important to talk back to them and tell ourselves otherwise! Our brains often have trouble distinguishing between things that are really happening and things we’re imagining, so it’s important not only to challenge our negative thoughts but to also replace them with more positive ones.

Make a list of your positive qualities

When we’re struggling with negative thoughts, it’s easy to forget our good qualities. To combat this, make a list of all your positive qualities and refer to it when you’re feeling down about yourself.

Challenge your beliefs about yourself

Many of our negative thoughts are based on our beliefs about ourselves, which may or may not be true. Take some time to question your beliefs about yourself and see if they’re really accurate.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great tool for overcoming negative thought patterns because it involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of what’s going on around you without judging it. Meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness!

Seek professional help if needed

If you find that your negative thoughts are becoming too much to handle on your own, it’s important to seek professional help. A therapist can help you identify the root of your negative thought patterns and give you tools to overcome them.


Remember that everything is temporary and challenge your negative thoughts whenever you can! Focusing on the present moment and being aware of what’s going on around you without judging it can also be helpful tools in overcoming negative thinking.