How to Eliminate Negative Thinking
I’ve been there too.
And when you’re experiencing tough times, negative thinking can become an easy thing to do.
Negative thinking is an easy thing to do when you’re frustrated and stressed; but it takes more strength and faith to keep your thoughts positive when life is hard.
Negative thinking may be the easier thing to do, but it can also impact your health.
Negative thinking can actually increase your stress levels. And chronic stress can have disastrous effects on your health including affecting your heart, immune system, and sex drive.
In my post, 10 Ways Stress Affects Your Body, I discuss how seriously stress can impact your health.
Negative thinking also lowers your outlook on life. If you have cancer or other health problems, negative thinking can actually lead to you giving up. If you’re feeling this way, read my post, What to do when you feel like Giving Up (from someone who has felt that way too).
From News.Health.com, “It could also be that people who feel bad—be it depressed, stressed, cynical, or otherwise—may also be more likely to smoke or drink alcohol, or less likely to be physically active, all things that can affect your health, of course.” 
So how do you actually eliminate negative thinking?
1) Look at your situation from an outside view
When you’re going through something tough, it can be easy to get caught up in all the little details. But if you take a look at the situation from someone else’s perspective, those little details that aren’t as important fade away; giving a clear picture of what is going on and what to do about it.
Recently I was losing weight pretty rapidly without changing anything about my lifestyle. I figured something had to be wrong so I had blood tests, weekly doctor visits, ultrasounds, and a thyroid panel done. I was so caught up with what could be causing the weight loss and every little detail I noticed that I couldn’t see what might actually be happening.
I went down to the local florist shop to get a gift for my insurance agent who had been so helpful with everything I was dealing with after the loss of my parents. The florist knew my situation of taking care of my dad and losing my parents to cancer so close to each other.
I briefly told her about my weight loss and that I hadn’t changed anything about my lifestyle. She said it was probably from all the stress I had gone through. I didn’t really think she was right because some time had passed since my loss and my weight hadn’t changed much until that one month where I began losing 2 pounds a week.
But after all the tests were done and nothing was found, I realized she probably was right. I was so caught up with all the details of the weight loss and was relying so heavily on the test results, that I couldn’t take a step back to see what really might be going on.
Sometimes, to see a situation in a different and clearer view, you need to step back and look at it from an outside perspective.
2) Challenge your negative thoughts
When you think something negative, stop and challenge it.
Is negative thinking going to change the situation?
Is that negative thought even true?
Is there a different way to look at the situation?
What would Jesus say about that thought?
Challenge yourself to turn that negative thought into a positive one. After doing that enough times, it will become a habit to think more positive thoughts and you’ll soon notice a change.
Let’s say you are falling behind at work. Your boss is being extra critical and you feel like you aren’t measuring up to the standards of the company. You’re worried you’ll be fired, but there’s so much going on in your life and you’re just feeling stressed and weighed down.
Those negative thoughts start popping up. You start thinking you’re not good enough; you just don’t have what it takes; you’re not strong enough to keep going; you may as well give up…. The negative thoughts don’t stop.
After each of those thoughts pop into your head, pause for a minute and challenge it, ask yourself the questions above.
“I’m not good enough.”
Is this negative thinking going to change the situation? No. Well actually it might, but not for the better.
Is that negative thought even true? Absolutely not. When we feel overwhelmed, we begin feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done and we get behind; leading to feelings of not being good enough. But that doesn’t make it true. You probably just need to take some things off your to-do list so you actually have time and energy on (in this case) your job.
Is there a different way to look at the situation? Look at the situation from an outside perspective. How do your family and friends see the situation? Do they see an easy outcome or solution?
What would Jesus say about that thought? You wouldn’t be here if God didn’t think you were good enough. If Jesus was standing next to you, and you told him you didn’t feel like you were good enough, what do you think he would say? He’d probably remind you that he died, for you. For You. To him, you’re good enough, and whose opinion is higher than his?
3) Ask yourself if it could be worse
Let me give you the quick answer to this one. Yes. Things can always be worse. No matter what it is.
I lost my mom and dad and cousin all within 5 ½ months. I didn’t think things could get worse. And honestly I was ready to give up, I didn’t want to keep feeling the pain I had anymore.
But when I stopped and thought about if it could be worse, I realized it could. God put a beautiful little boy into my life 4 years ago. He is my saving grace, he’s the reason I get out of bed every day, he is the reason I got through (and am still getting through) the hardest time of my life. What if I didn’t have him? What if we were involved in an accident and he died? Yeah that would make things worse. A lot worse.
When my mom had leukemia, I remember us being in the car together. Just the two of us. And she told me that she was grateful to have gone through everything she was experiencing. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand how anyone could say that about cancer. But then she told me, “This hard experience has brought us all closer as a family”. Now, my mom was the most positive person I have ever known, but I have never heard anyone with cancer say they were grateful for the hardship of it. She knew things could be worse, which helped her see the positive in her situation, even though that situation was cancer and chemotherapy treatments.
4) Remember God is for you and He loves you
God created you for a reason.
“The amazing reality is you only had a one in about 200 million chance of being born. On average, that’s the amount of sperm cells that were trying to fertilize the egg cell when you were conceived. That’s pretty incredible! Now factor in the things that could have stopped you from being born (miscarriage, alcohol, abortion, etc.) the fact that you were conceived and born is pretty incredible! But if you take that fact and factor in the things that could have happened while you’ve been alive, like accidents and severe illnesses… Now, we’re going to multiply all that to your parents’ lives, your grandparents’ lives, great grandparents’ lives, and back for generations! Those are nearly impossible odds of you being alive today.
But here you are!
You’re here for a reason!”
5) Make a goal
People need something to work toward, something to make us feel we’re accomplishing something meaningful.
Making a goal for yourself and taking smart, reasonable steps to achieve it, will help you feel better about yourself and your life.
Your goal doesn’t need to be hard or take 10 years to achieve either, just something that helps you.
After my cousin and parents passed away from cancer, I wanted to show people the research I’d found that you don’t have to suffer through chemotherapy in order to be healthy again. I watched my mom go through the entire conventional treatment and it was devastating….
I wanted to support other people’s faith like I needed someone to do for me when I was grieving.
So I decided to start this website. My goal with this website is to encourage healthy lifestyles, help those with cancer, and support people’s faith.
It’s given me something to work toward, a purpose even in the midst of my pain.
Negative thinking can hinder your true potential. It can cause you to give up and feel worthless. Negative thoughts can cause you extra stress, lead to depression and make you feel like something is missing in your life.
For help getting rid of your stress, read my post, 5 Practical Ways to Kill Stress.
Remember, God is there to support you, if you let Him.
Make the choice to better yourself, your thinking, and your life.