How Mindfulness Helps With Overthinking and Negative Thoughts

Everyone has negative thoughts occasionally, but if you feel like you are constantly talking negative outward, but also internally to yourself, then it’s time to make a change. This can change your attitude, lower your motivation, and be disastrous to your self-esteem. One great way to stop overthinking and have more positive thoughts is with mindfulness.

Why You Should Stop Overthinking

With mindfulness, overthinking is a bad habit you will learn how to break. When you think too much, you start analyzing every word and movement, which is damaging in many ways. Here are some of the dangers of overthinking so you can understand more about why mindfulness is so powerful.

You Aren’t Focusing on the Right Things

One of the main issues with thinking too much and over-analyzing everything is that it can take your focus from the main things you need to really concentrate on. If you own a business and are trying to brainstorm some marketing strategies, but your mind keeps overthinking about every single thing that could potentially go wrong, it is going to create a lot of chaos in your mind. With mindfulness, you should think just about the current task, then move on to focus on other things.

It Takes Precious Time

You may not realize it, but the practice of overthinking will take a lot of valuable time. You are analyzing certain situations or decisions far too much, thinking about every single thing that could possibly result from that decision, to where your time just continues to be wasted. Living in the moment and being more mindful is about appreciating the current moment, and not stressing about potential scenarios that might never happen.

It Causes Irrational, Unrealistic Thoughts

Unfortunately, overthinking often leads to considering scenarios that aren’t completely realistic or rational. You are trying to decide if you should take a flight, which causes you to imagine all sorts of terrible things happening. Sometimes, the decisions in your life are as simple as thinking in the moment. Is this flight something you want to do? If you have taken the necessary safety precautions, then there is nothing else to think about but decide if you really want to go to your destination on a plane or not. It really can be that simple.


Mindfulness to Stop Negative Thoughts

You might not be able to get rid of all negative thoughts, but it can help to at least minimize them. When your mind is bombarded by negativity, it makes it difficult to focus or even appreciate the good things in your life. This can affect nearly every aspect of your life. Keep reading to find out how to stop some of those negative thoughts from taking over.

Stop Thinking in Extremes

Extremes are when you think of something in the best or worst scenario. Most things in life aren’t so black and white, so it is important that most of your thoughts are somewhere in the gray area. Sure, something might not turn out as good or bad as you thought, but most likely there is some type of shining moment in just about everything.

Don’t think extreme lows, such as something being the ‘worst’ or ‘completely fail’ – try to think of the potential good and possible drawbacks of any situation or scenario, and suddenly you won’t be quite as negative with your thought patterns.

Surround Yourself With Positivity

The people you spend time with can have a larger impact on how you think and feel than you might imagine. Even though mindfulness essentially only has to do with you and your own thought patterns, others can definitely influence its effectiveness. It is important that you try to surround yourself with as much positivity as you possibly can. You may not want to get rid of negative people completely, but reduce how much time you spend with them. Spend more of your time with those that exude optimism and always seem to have a good way to look at everything.

Let the Thoughts Go

This is a fun imagery exercise that is great for those nagging negative thoughts you just can’t seem to get rid of. Think of the most negative thoughts that always seem to consume your mind and bring your mood down, and give them all a name. They can be anything you want, as long as you can remember and identify them. Now close your eyes and picture the names you have come up with for the thoughts, then send them away. Turn them into balloons in your mind, and watch as those balloons fly away, never to return.

Focus On the Positive

This seems like an obvious suggestion, but it goes deeper than just appreciating the good things in your life. It is much easier to focus on the bad than the good, so what you want to do is stop minimizing the positive things in your life. Really focus on the good things, whether it is a new relationship, a job, your favorite place, a good book, absolutely anything that brings you joy, happiness, and optimism.


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Janice Marto, CHHC, AADP, CYT, BFA
Certified Health & Wellness Coach

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