Mind

How to Disarm 10 Worst Kinds of Negative Thoughts

You have already learnt how to eliminate negative thoughts. Learn how to cope with the 10 most common types of thinking.How Negative Thoughts Affect Your Life

My today's article is inspired by David Burns, the author of "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy." he teaches the techniques of analysing negative thoughts, calling them distorted so you are able  to disarm and defeat them.

I will not repeat all that he teaches in his famous book. However, it is an interesting classification of thoughts that I chan be challendeg dna disarmed.

Before that, for those who disbelieve in the power of negative thoughts, let me remind that thinking is subject to Universal Laws. Let me mentioned some of them (these are not all the laws that have an impact on your life):

  • The Law Of Cause and Effect - what you sow you will reap,
  • The Law Of Focus - what you dwell on, grows,
  • The Law Of Attraction - you will attract the outcome of your thoughts,
  • The Law Of Correspondence - your luck in the Universe depends on your inner world of thoughts and emotions.

10 Types Of Negative Thoughts And How To Overcome Them

I need to point out here that one negative thought may belong to some of the categories described below. However, most of the methods of eliminating these thoughts are efficient in the case of each, even the nastiest thinking pattern.

1. All-Or-Nothing Negative Thoughts

This type of thinking is typical for a dual world, present on the Earth. You look at things in absolute, black-and-white categories. We do not see the grey shades. Although you cannot classify cruelty as the Light, even this kind of behaviour serves something, e, g learning forgiveness. The "all-or-nothing " thoughts often appear together with judging people and other beings.

Example: People are cruel.

2. Overgeneralization

You perceive everything in one of the two categories "always" or "never". There is no "sometimes". However, the Universal law of Change obviously indicates that nothing is always the same. Even each lunar cycle may be different, despite having the same phases.

Example: He is always late.

3. Mental Filter

You dwell on the negatives and ignore the positives. And according to the Law of Focus, the vicious spiral has no end. Remove the spectacles of black focus. Moreover, you can focus on one negative aspect without noticing a different perspective. This kind of negative thoughts is often found together with overgeneralization.

Example: It is dangerous to walk on the beach alone.

4. Discounting the Positives

You insist that your accomplishments or positive qualities don’t count. This is similar to seeing negativity in everything but used in a bit different context. For example, you find it hard to accept compliments and acknowledge your achievements. This type of thought also goes in hand with overgeneralization, labelling or mental filter.

Example:s I must have been lucky as I cannot write a book.

5. Jumping To Conclusions Negative Thoughts

You conclude things are bad without any definite evidence. These include mind-reading (assuming that people are reacting negatively to you) and fortune-telling (predicting that things will turn out badly).  In both cases, these thought patterns are incorrect. Why? Because today we still cannot read other people's minds in most cases (only a few, with special potentials, have got this skill) although it will be available in the future. Fortune-telling, in turn, is based on past experiences replayed in the future while the truth is that the future is created by present actions, thoughts and words, not by predicting things in unknown reality.

Examples: I will not pass this test. (fortune-telling) He will fire me because of my delayed report. (mind-reading)

6. Magnification Or Minimization Negative Thoughts

You blow things way out of proportion or you shrink their importance. It is widespread in the case of domestic violence and toxic relationships. For example, you can minimize the fact of being name-called, beaten or slapped and magnify the good deeds the abuser has done for you. This type of negative thoughts is often found together with discounting the positive or mental filter. The difference is that mental filter and discounting the positive assume no positivity, while in the case of magnification or minimalisation there is some.

Example: My university degree was stroke of luck…really, it was.

7. Emotional Reasoning

You reason from how you feel. To some extent, it is true as if you can hear something many times you start projecting his words. But it is up to you how you perceive yourself. Also, emotional reasoning makes sense as your thoughts and emotions are bound together. Why? Because emotional responses are there result of some thoughts and thoughts are induced by emotions. Time has come to break this vicious circle.

Example: I feel like an idiot, so I must be one.

8. “Should” Statements

You criticize yourself or other people with “shoulds,” “shouldn't,” “musts,” “oughts,” and “have-to.” The truth is that you do not have to or should not. You can choose. You/It could be, happen etc. "Should" or "have to" imply slavery, "can" and "could" -  freedom.

Example: I should/have to always be available for my family and friends.

9. Labelling

Instead of saying, “I made a mistake,” you tell yourself, “I’m a jerk” or “I’m a loser.” This type of thinking is the symptom of destructive criticism, installed by your parents, teachers, boss or partner. The problem with labels is that the person (or even yourself) does not know the whole truth and that there are exceptions. You are not always a jerk and also this word is very negative. Read the rest of this article to learn how to replace "jerk".

Example: I am a jerk.

10. Negative Thoughts Of Blaming

You blame yourself for something you weren’t entirely responsible for, or you blame other people and overlook ways that you contributed to a problem. Instead of blaming, learn. Blaming often goes hand in hand with "should" statements, labelling and mental filter. It is triggered by guilt, shame and self-criticism.

Example: It is my fault that our marriage has ended with divorce.

Learn how to deal with guilt

  • 8 Ways How to Handle Unhealthy Guilt
  • Can Guilt Be Healthy?
  • Looking at flowers will dissolve the worst negative thoughts

    The Solutions For All Negative Thoughts

    Now the time has come to answer the question again: How to eradicate these ten types of negative thoughts?

    1. Question them

    I will give you some examples of questions which you may use to disarmnegative thoughts and their destructive energy:

    All-Or Nothing

    • What is the other option in between available for me?”
    • How true is the all-or-nothing scenario?

    Overgeneralisation

    • Can you find the cases when you/he/she behaved differently ...? (define the "always/never" activity)
    • When was the last time you have ... done the "always/never" thing differently?

    Mental Filter

    • What would other people (especially your best friends) say?
    • Are you sure that there is no positive aspect of this situation?

    Discounting the Positive

    • How do I know it is only luck and not your skills, hard work ?”

    Jumping To Conclusion

    • How certain are you that ... (your thought)?

    Magnification

    • What would your friend say then?
    • Is it really so important/unimportant?”

    Emotional Reasoning:

    • How do I know that I feel like ... (e.g. an idiot)?
    • Who has said that (apart from my mom/boss)?
    • Is it really true?

    Shoulds

    • Will anything collapse if you do not do something? How sure are you of it?
    • What will be the worst thing then and is it really a disaster?

    Labelling

    • But is it true?
    • When are you NOT a jerk?
    • What does it mean to be a jerk?
    • What would other people say then – would they (your friends) agree?

    Blaming

    • Who said  that it is your fault?
    • What would your friend say?

    2. Use Snippets

    These are short statements which you say aloud or a in your mind immediately when a negative thought of any kind emerges. Here are some examples:

    • Stop it ! I'don't think in this way anymore..
    • That's not mine.
    • Go away (where you have come from)!
    • No blaming/ shoulds/labelling etc.!
    • (Go) to the Light/Fire!

    3. Put Them To The Bin and Burn

    I have written an article on how to put negative thoughts to the bin (and burn with the Purple Light). Study it carefully. In the shortest, visualise a big bin or even better - a furnace where all unwanted, negative thoughts will be dumped and burnt.

    Learn how to manage your thoughts

    4. Rewrite Them

    When you eradicate negative thoughts by writing, they are cleared better as your subconscious mind is involved. Here are the examples from today's article with alternatives to these thoughts:

    Negative ThoughtAlternative

    • People are cruel.
    • He is always late.
    • It is dangerous to walk on the beach alone.
    • I must have been lucky as I cannot write a book.
    • I will not pass this test. (fortune-telling)
    • He will fire me because of my delayed report. (mind-reading)
    • My university degree was a stroke of luck…really, it was.
    • I feel like an idiot, so I must be one.
    • I am a jerk.

    Alternative statements for negative thoughts

    • It is my fault that our marriage has ended with divorce.People may be cruel but everything has its purpose.
    • He is late on Monday mornings once per month because of drowsiness.
    • It may be dangerous to walk on the beach alone but not during the daytime and most people find it safe anyway.
    • I have worked hard to write this book so that it must become successful.
    • It is very probable that I will pass the test because of conscientious studying and I believe in myself.
    • I am not sure if one missed deadline is a disaster and I can always improve my performance in the future.
    • My university degree is the result of my hard work and skills.
    • I feel incompetent in this case but I usually handle my life very well.
    • I am argumentative from time to time but working on my behaviour.
    • I have done my best to save our marriage but sometimes divorces happen.

    5. Work with your emotions

    If you blame yourself for saying something which made another person angry, forgive yourself. You do not always have an influence on the situation. But then you can take two conclusions – what to do differently and what not to do the next time. Good luck.

    Learn how to manage emotions

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  • In A Nutshell

    I am aware that working on automatic thoughts is not easy. I agree with Dr Burns that the best method to question automatic negative thoughts is regular writing, naming and questioning them. Also do not forget to burn your thoughts mentally, not only the used-up pieces of paper. Good luck with keeping your mind negativity-free.

    Vicky