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5 Tips to Stop the Snowball Effect of Negative Thinking

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Humans are full of complex emotions, but it’s what makes us us. We go through good times and tough times and still keep our heads held high. Life is all about experiencing different things and making memories. Constant change and new experiences are what keep us growing as a person. However, sometimes when we face hardship, it can be hard to move on from it.

It’s the same case when we’re feeling down and start overthinking. Most of us have experienced this at some point in our lives. You’re dealing with something traumatic, and it leads to you overthinking about a million things. How does one obstacle lead to a total mess full of negative emotions? 

One second, you’re calm, and the next second, you cannot stop panicking over every single detail. That’s what happens when your negative emotions get the best of you. How can you stop this from happening? Here are a few tips that might help keep everything at bay.

1. Identify Your Thoughts and Feelings

The first thing you need to do when you catch yourself overthinking is to give yourself a break. Take a deep breath and identify all the things you’re feeling in that moment. What are the thoughts coming to your head? What are you worried about? What can you do about it?

When we first start getting anxious over a small thing, it can very easily lead to a plethora of negative emotions. These emotions seem so intense that the person experiencing them feels as if they would never be okay again. So, it’s a good idea to identify all your physical and mental symptoms. 

You can also try writing them down and read them out loud. If you’re feeling anxious and stressed, then you write down what your body is feeling. A lot of times, our brains trick us into thinking that things will never be okay. However, that’s not entirely true; when we go through something traumatic, we start imagining the worst possible scenarios. 

For instance, if you pray regularly and you miss one of the prayers, you might spend the next hour stressing over it. You might keep checking your reminders of all the prayer timings to avoid missing the next one. It can lead to a self-destructive cycle. It’s important to remind yourself that you made one mistake, but that does not mean you’ll keep making the same mistake.

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” – Zig Ziglar

2. Practice Mindfulness

A lot of times, when we’re dealing with something hurtful, we get sad and start thinking negatively. That’s because, during a hard time, it’s impossible for some of us to look at the good things in our life. We face one problem and rejection, and that makes us believe that life will always be like that. 

A common example would be getting a rejection letter from your dream college or company; it would make you think that you’ll keep getting rejected. During moments like these, it’s important to be mindful of the present moment. Remind yourself of all the problems you have faced before and that you will get over this as well.

When our bodies can sense danger, we get scared, and that can result in us spiralling. However, if you keep reminding yourself that you’re safe right now, it can be quite helpful. Reminding yourself of your surroundings can help us stay in the present moment and not fall down the hole.

3. Get Up and Find a Distraction

A lot of times, when we’re experiencing a negative emotion, it can leave us with extreme physical symptoms. We can experience trouble breathing, low blood pressure, and anxiety. When this happens, it can be hard to get yourself out of it. Therefore, you can try moving around and finding a distraction.

The only way you can stop your brain from imagining all the worst possibilities and worrying over everything is by changing your train of thought. The snowball effect of negative thinking is all about getting stuck in a cycle. However, if you find a hobby or distraction, you stop this cycle. You can trick your brain into focusing on something else.

4. Keep a Mental Note of All Your Triggers

When we get anxious or feel bad, most of the time, it happens because something triggered us. We all go through traumatic experiences because it’s a part of life. But sometimes, when we move on, we can still be left with random triggers. 

For instance, you had a physical injury in the past when you were playing a game, and it can result in a trigger. You might think you have moved on, but the next time you put yourself out there, it can be harmful. You can start playing, but your brain will feel a sense of fear that you’re going to be hurt again. This is how triggers work and can leave you anxious.

You can try identifying your triggers and write them down. Most of the time, we don’t pay attention to what our bodies are trying to tell us. If we listen and remember that our brain needs a break, it can avoid any harsh results.

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

5. Remind Yourself That This is Temporary

Have you ever been on a scary ride, and you kept thinking that it was never going to end? That’s how it feels when you think that things will never get better. We face a problem, and it leads us to believe that all we will ever have are going to be problems.

If you want to pull yourself out of this, you can try reminding yourself that what you are feeling is temporary. It helps to have a support system in the form of your friends and family who remind you that you’ll move on. You won’t always stay this way.

It takes a great deal of emotional strength and hard work to not let our feelings take over. We face problems, and we face happy times but none of them last forever. Just because one thing didn’t go our way, doesn’t mean that nothing ever will.

It can be hard to stop yourself from always breaking down when you face disappointment. But it’s a lifelong journey, and these tips will help you regulate your emotions better. Once you learn how to deal with all the feelings you have, you can learn how to be a better person.

Nouman provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for prayer times.

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