Stressful events can make you feel bad about yourself. You might start focusing on only the bad and not the good in a situation. That is called negative thinking. It can make you feel afraid, insecure, depressed, or anxious. It is also common to feel a lack of control or self-worth.

Negative thinking can trigger your body’s stress response just as a real threat does. Dealing with these negative thoughts and the way you see things can help reduce stress. You can learn these techniques on your own, or you can get help from a counselor.

Positive thinking helps you cope with a problem by changing the way you think. How you think affects how you feel. Unwanted thoughts can make you feel anxious or depressed. They may keep you from enjoying life.  A technique called “thought-stopping” can help you stop unwanted thoughts. Thought stopping involves these things:

  • What you think can affect how you feel. Thought stopping helps you change how you think so that you feel better.
  • Changing your thinking will take some time. You need to practice thought-stopping every day. After a while, you will be able to stop unwanted thoughts right away.
  • Some people may need more help to stop unwanted thoughts. Talk to your doctor or a therapist if you want more help to stop thoughts that bother you.
  • Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event, find things you may be able to change, and deal with things you cannot change.
  • Assertive communication helps you express how you feel in a thoughtful, tactful way. Not being able to talk about your needs and concerns creates stress and can make negative feelings worse.
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