20 Proven Techniques To Overcome Negative Thoughts

We all have times when bad thoughts fill our minds, making it hard to feel happy. But there are ways to fight back against these negative thoughts. In this guide, we’re going to explore 20 proven techniques that can help you overcome negative thoughts.

These techniques are straightforward to understand and designed to empower you to take control of your mind and create a more positive outlook on life. These methods are proven to help you feel better and think more positively.

No matter how overwhelming negative thoughts may seem, remember that you have the power to change your mindset and cultivate a more optimistic outlook. Whether you’re struggling with self-doubt, worry, or just a general sense of negativity, these techniques can make a real difference.

So, let’s dive in and discover how you can start turning those negative thoughts into positive ones, one step at a time.

20 Proven Techniques To Overcome Negative Thoughts

20 Best Ways To Stop Negative Thoughts

1. Identify Negative Thoughts

Identifying negative thoughts means recognizing when your mind is thinking about bad or upsetting things. Negative thoughts can make you feel sad, worried, or stressed. They could be statements like “Nothing ever goes right for me” or “I’m not good enough.”

To identify these thoughts, pay attention to how you feel. If you notice you’re feeling unhappy or anxious, think about what thoughts might be causing those feelings. Once you recognize them, you can start to challenge them and replace them with more positive thoughts.

Practice Mindfulness
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2. Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness means paying full attention to what’s happening in the present moment. Instead of letting your mind wander into negative thoughts about the past or worries about the future, you focus on what you’re doing right now. This could be as simple as feeling your breath going in and out, noticing the sensations in your body, or observing your surroundings.

By doing this, you can become more aware of negative thoughts when they arise. You can acknowledge them without getting caught up in them when you notice them. You might remind yourself that thoughts are just thoughts—they’re not facts, and they don’t have to control you. This can help you let go of negative thinking patterns and shift your focus to the present moment, where you can find more peace and clarity.

Engage In Physical Activity
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3. Engage In Physical Activity

Engaging in physical activity can help overcome negative thoughts because it releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel better. When you move your body, like going for a walk, dancing, or playing sports, it distracts you from those negative thoughts.

Plus, it can boost your mood and energy levels, making it easier to cope with whatever’s bothering you. So, next time you’re feeling down, try getting active – it might just lift your spirits!

4. Think About Good Things

Thinking about good things can help overcome negative thoughts because it shifts your focus to positive aspects of your life. Instead of dwelling on what’s wrong, try to remember things that make you happy or grateful, like cherished memories, achievements, or the people you love.

By intentionally directing your thoughts towards the positive, you can train your mind to see the brighter side of things and lessen the impact of negative thoughts. It’s a simple but powerful way to lift your mood and cultivate a more optimistic outlook.

5. Challenge Negative Beliefs

Challenging negative beliefs means questioning the thoughts that make you feel bad about yourself or the world around you. Instead of automatically believing them, ask yourself if there’s evidence to support them or if they’re just assumptions. For example, if you think you’re not good enough, try to remember times when you’ve succeeded or received praise.

By challenging these negative beliefs, you can start to see things in a more realistic and balanced way, which can help reduce their power over you. This helps you realize that negative thoughts aren’t always true and gives you the power to change your thoughts about yourself and your circumstances.

Take Deep Breaths When Upset
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6. Take Deep Breaths When Upset

Taking deep breaths when upset can help calm your mind and body. When you feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts or emotions, pause and take a few slow, deep breaths. This simple act activates your body’s relaxation response, reducing stress and tension.

It allows you to step back from the situation and regain control of your thoughts and feelings. Deep breathing helps you feel more centered and grounded, making it easier to deal with whatever’s bothering you more clearly and positively.

Show Self-Compassion
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7. Show Self-Compassion

Showing self-compassion means being kind and understanding towards yourself, especially when facing difficult times or negative thoughts. Instead of being hard on yourself or criticizing your mistakes, treat yourself with the same care and compassion you would offer to a friend in need.

Acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes and faces challenges, and it’s okay to feel upset or frustrated sometimes. By being gentle and supportive towards yourself, you can counteract negative thoughts and cultivate a more positive and nurturing inner dialogue. This helps build resilience and strengthens your ability to overcome obstacles with kindness and understanding.

8. Don’t Try To Be Perfect

Not trying to be perfect is a way to overcome negative thoughts because it helps you accept yourself as you are. When you put pressure on yourself to be flawless, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy or self-criticism when things don’t go perfectly. Instead, recognize that it’s okay to make mistakes or have flaws – it’s part of being human.

By embracing your imperfections and letting go of unrealistic expectations, you can free yourself from the cycle of negative thinking. This allows you to focus on progress rather than perfection, leading to greater self-acceptance and overall well-being.

9. Take Care Of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is important for overcoming negative thoughts. It means doing things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and doing activities that make you feel good. Both physically and mentally, you feel better when you look after yourself.

This makes it easier to handle stress and problems, which can help reduce negative thoughts. Plus, when you do things that make you happy and relaxed, it boosts your mood and confidence. So, make sure to take time for yourself and look after your well-being – it’s a big help in dealing with negative thoughts.

Use Positive Affirmations
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10. Use Positive Affirmations

Using positive affirmations can help overcome negative thoughts by changing the way you talk to yourself. They can be simple phrases like “I am strong” or “I deserve happiness.” When you say these affirmations, it shifts your focus from negative to positive thoughts. It reminds you of your strengths and abilities, boosting your confidence and self-esteem.

Over time, repeating positive affirmations can rewire your brain to think more positively, making it easier to overcome negative thoughts and believe in yourself. So, next time you’re feeling down, try saying some positive affirmations to yourself – it might just brighten your day.

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11. Limit Exposure To Negativity

Minimizing contact with negative influences can be an effective strategy for conquering negative thoughts because it helps you control what influences your mindset. This means being mindful of what you watch, read, or listen to, and choosing to spend time with people who uplift you rather than bring you down.

When you surround yourself with positivity, it can help shift your perspective and reduce the impact of negative thoughts. So, try to avoid things that trigger negative feelings or thoughts, and instead focus on things that inspire and motivate you. It’s a simple but effective way to create a more positive environment for yourself.

Laugh At Problems Sometimes
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12. Laugh At Problems Sometimes

Finding humor in problems can be a helpful way to overcome negative thoughts. Instead of letting problems weigh you down, laughing about them can lighten your mood and make them seem less daunting.

It’s like taking a break from worrying and seeing things from a different angle. So, the next time you’re feeling down about something, try to find the funny side of it. It might just lift your spirits and help you feel better about the situation.

Stay With People Who Care
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13. Stay With People Who Care

Staying with people who care about you is a way to overcome negative thoughts. When you’re around supportive friends or family, they can offer comfort and encouragement. Just being with them can make you feel less alone and more understood.

They can help distract you from negative thoughts and remind you of your worth. So, when you’re feeling down, spend time with people who care about you.

14. Make Small Goals You Can Do

Creating manageable small goals will help you get rid of negative thinking. When you set achievable goals, it gives you something positive to focus on and a sense of accomplishment when you reach them. These goals don’t have to be big – they can be as simple as going for a short walk or finishing a small task.

Each time you achieve a goal, it boosts your confidence and motivation. This helps break the cycle of negative thinking and gives you momentum to tackle bigger challenges. So, start with small goals you know you can do, and watch how it helps improve your mood and mindset.

15. Limit Alcohol And Caffeine

Limiting alcohol and caffeine can be a helpful way to overcome negative thoughts. Both substances can affect your brain and mood, sometimes making negative feelings seem stronger. They can also mess with your sleep, which can leave you feeling even more down.

By cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, you give your brain a better chance to stay balanced and your body a chance to rest properly. This can make it easier to handle negative thoughts and emotions. So, try to be mindful of how much you’re consuming and consider cutting back if you’re struggling with negative thoughts.

Get Help If Thoughts Won't Go Away
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16. Get Help If Thoughts Won’t Go Away

If negative thoughts won’t go away, it’s important to get help. Sometimes, negative thoughts can become overwhelming and difficult to manage on your own. It’s okay to reach out to someone you trust, like a friend, family member, or mental health professional.

They can offer perspective, and coping strategies, or recommend treatment options if needed. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help when you’re struggling. So, if you’re struggling with persistent negative thoughts, don’t hesitate to seek assistance. It can make a big difference in your well-being.

Don't Think In Extremes
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17. Don’t Think In Extremes

Avoiding extreme thinking can help overcome negative thoughts. Instead of seeing things as all good or all bad, try to find a middle ground. For example, if something goes wrong, don’t think it’s the end of the world. Similarly, if something good happens, don’t assume everything will always be perfect.

By seeing situations more realistically, you can reduce the impact of negative thoughts and maintain a more balanced perspective. So, try not to think in extremes – it can help you feel more stable and less overwhelmed by negativity.

18. Focus On Gratitude

Focusing on gratitude is a powerful way to overcome negative thoughts. When you consciously appreciate the good things in your life, it shifts your mindset from dwelling on what’s wrong to recognizing what’s right.

By acknowledging even the smallest blessings, like a warm smile or a tasty meal, you train your mind to see the positives amidst the negatives. This can help you feel more positive and hopeful, even when things aren’t going well.

So, when negative thoughts creep in, try to remind yourself of the things you’re grateful for it can make a big difference in your mindset.

Help Others When You Can
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19. Help Others When You Can

Helping others when you can is a great way to overcome negative thoughts. When you focus on making a positive impact on someone else’s life, it shifts your attention away from your problems. Doing something kind or helpful for others can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can lift your mood and reduce negative thinking.

Plus, seeing the difference you can make in someone else’s life can remind you of your strength and resilience. So, whenever you’re feeling down, try reaching out and helping someone else—it can make a big difference for both of you.

20. Remember Bad Thoughts Don’t Last

Remembering that bad thoughts don’t last is a helpful way to overcome negative thoughts. Just like clouds passing in the sky, negative thoughts come and go. They might feel overwhelming in the moment, but they won’t stick around forever.

Reminding yourself of this can give you hope and reassurance during tough times. It helps you realize that you have the strength to get through difficult moments and that better times are ahead. So, when negative thoughts arise, remind yourself that they will pass, and focus on taking things one step at a time.


Overcoming negative thoughts is a journey, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s entirely possible to achieve a more positive mindset. By implementing the 20 proven techniques discussed in this guide, individuals can take proactive steps to challenge negative thinking patterns and cultivate a greater sense of well-being.

By trying out these ideas, you can learn to push away negative thoughts and make room for more positive ones, helping you feel happier and more hopeful about life. So, embrace these strategies, be patient with yourself, and keep moving forward on your journey toward a brighter, more positive future.

20 Best Ways To Stop Negative Thoughts

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