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4 Ways To Break The Destructive Cycle Of Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are far from uncommon, which is why it’s so surprising how dangerous they can be. This danger is because negative thoughts often grow over time, leading to more negative thoughts and ending in an endless downward spiral. This destructive cycle of negative thoughts becomes difficult to overcome.

When you’re in those spirals, getting out of them seems impossible, but it can be done. You need to get out of these growing sources of negativity. Here are four ways to break the destructive cycle of negative thoughts.

1. Recognize automatic negative thoughts

Automatic thoughts are the natural thoughts that occur when you are faced with different situations. They are not necessarily negative; for example, your intuitive thinking when receiving a gift can be positive, such as “Oh, they were thinking of me! How nice!”.

But the problem, of course, is not positive thinking as an automatic thought form. Negative thoughts can also happen automatically. For example, if instead of the positive thought above, when you receive a gift, you might think, “Oh no, they are so nice to me and I don’t deserve it at all.”

Automatic negative thoughts are the catalyst for many destructive cyclical thoughts. Many studies have shown how these thoughts are critical in helping people with depression and mood disorders. If your thoughts are often automatically negative, you will get caught in descending thought spirals, which is why acknowledging them first is essential.

To recognize these automatic negative thoughts, you will need to start reflecting and remembering the times when you were stuck in negative thoughts. These are the questions to ask yourself in your reflection:

· What is the inciting situation?

Ask what situation caused these negative thoughts. What were you doing at the time? Who was around you and interacting with you? When did it happen and what other circumstances were there in the background? Where was it and what external factors were involved? What is the full scope of the situation, as would you see it from the outside looking in?

· How did you feel in that situation?

Find a suitable word to describe the greatest emotion you felt in that situation. Then rate that emotion in terms of its severity and intensity. Rate it on a scale of your choice – a scale of 1 to 10 works, as does a percentage-based scale. Then do the same with the rest of the minor emotions you felt. Name them all and confront them head-on and try to determine what influenced what, then link them to different factors in the inciting situation, so you know what triggered them.

· What thoughts arose from each emotion?

Now, you can recall the automatic negative thoughts you had and link them to your emotions to find out what triggered them. This moment provides you with the opportunity to accurately and adequately trace the individual source of each automatic negative thought. Then you will be better prepared for each trigger in the future.

· How can you combat these thoughts?

Now that you understand automatic negative thoughts and where they come from, you can evaluate these thoughts and determine the best way to change your thinking. How can you pause those thoughts, and what are some positive ways to respond to them?

· What non-automatic thoughts can you combat in this way?

Not all negative thoughts are automatic, but you can apply these same principles and questions to thoughts of any kind. So start to identify the natural thought patterns you have and point out how you can counteract them.

2. Practice existential digging

To break destructive cycles, it is sometimes essential to delve into the very root of your problems. This is a process known as existential digging, and reaching those depths is important for managing and changing destructive thought patterns, for example. studies.

The existential dig takes the pattern of asking questions to understand negative thoughts, but it goes even deeper. Here are the questions you can use in existentially inquiring to break the cycle of destructive and harmful thoughts:

· How did you respond to a situation?

What was your way of responding externally and internally to the situation you faced? How did other people respond in turn? Did your actions help or hurt your efforts? Are you proud of how you handled it? How significantly were your actions affected by your thoughts?

· What did you learn from that situation?

Negative thoughts can make learning very difficult. When you are caught in a spiral of wrong thinking, it is almost impossible to examine the situation for lessons. This is why you need to dig deeper to find those lessons.

· How can you grow from this situation?

Once you find the lessons, ask yourself how you can grow with these lessons. Visualize yourself to learn from those mistakes and improve, then visualize yourself reacting to these situations with the kind of positive thinking you want.

· Is this situation part of a pattern?

Sometimes people get caught up in repetitive cycles of negativity because it is what they are used to and how they handle things naturally. Pay attention to the situations you find yourself in and ask if you’ve been in those situations before, even in a more abstract or general way. If so, it may be time to take a closer look at the patterns you are often caught in.

3. Recognize and accept thoughts

Many people fear their negative thoughts, and if you often find yourself in destructive cycles of those thoughts, they can seem even more terrifying and overwhelming. The ability to recognize those thoughts and face them is bold and courageous and is essential to combat those thoughts.

Think about it: If you don’t face your thoughts and acknowledge them, how can you address or change them? Research You have even found that your well-being will be negatively affected if you repress your emotions, so there are even more reasons for you to express and confront your feelings.

But to truly break destructive cycles, you will need to do more than acknowledge your emotions. You will also need to hug them. This means validating how you feel, accepting that you feel this way, and welcoming those emotions.

It sounds a bit counterproductive, but this is a really positive way of looking at your thoughts! Emotions will happen whether you want them to or not. Feeling accepted is essential to manage and handle those emotions properly. When you believe your feelings are okay and fine, you can gently counteract or correct them as needed.

Better yet, accepting how you feel is much easier and requires much less energy than fighting those emotions. Instead of wasting your energy in denial and repression, you can reuse it to use compassion for yourself, which will leave you with much more energy to spare.

Embracing and acknowledging your thoughts also allows you to work in conjunction with how you feel. Ask yourself and your emotions how you can work together, and you will find that you can handle them in a much healthier way.

4. Search and creative positivity

The best way to fight negativity is with positivity. Once you learn to break destructive cycles when they start, you will need to find thoughts to replace the negative ones. Looking around for positive things in the world around you is a great way to do this, as seeing and interacting with these good things will also make you feel and think good. Here are some ways to do this:

Find the positive in the negative

While you shouldn’t deny negative realities, there’s no reason why you can’t try to find good things in tough times. In fact, finding a silver lining in difficult situations is a great way to fight negative thoughts. It allows you to find positive things to hold onto and to help you overcome negative circumstances. Once you are good at doing this, you can even find positives in everyday life!

Start the day right

How you start each day can determine how the rest of the day goes. Let natural light into your bedroom, say a few affirmations in the mirror, eat a nutritious breakfast, and listen to the music you love. Incorporate morning routine steps that make you feel good! Of course, this does not mean that you cannot improve a day that starts badly, simply that setting a positive precedent for the day is better than setting a negative or even neutral one.

Be your support

Often times, you are your worst critic, which is where negative thoughts come into play and create destructive cycles. But at the same time, you are the only person that you can really trust 100% of the time for sure. Therefore, instead of being a critic of yourself, you must learn to be your supporter. Think about how you would treat a close friend or loved one if they were in your situation and use that as a model for how to treat yourself. It will create positivity and support from an intrinsic point of view.

Eliminate sources of negativity

Are there things in your life that make you unhappy or tend to depress you? It could be bad habits, toxic people, or even media sources that irritate you. Evaluate the things that trigger negative emotions in you and consider eliminating them and replacing them with things that make you feel good.

Do nice things for other people

If you want to create positive thinking in your life, sometimes the best way is to bring it to other people! Making others happy is likely to make you happy in turn and ultimately makes a huge difference in the world that also makes you feel fulfilled.

Final thoughts on some ways to break the destructive cycle of negative thoughts

Negative thoughts They can be very damaging and can trap you in a destructive cycle of more and more bad thoughts that feel devastating. Learning to break free from these patterns is very powerful and essential to your well-being.

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