It's very easy to think the worse of any situation. Even when something positive does occur, someone is sure to point out something negative. For example, you and your family bought a new car. This car is going to help the family with transportation needs and make sure safe travels. However, someone will come along and negatively mention the fact you now have a monthly car note, maintenance repairs that can happen, tires that might go flat, etc. For some, these may sound like bothersome issues but for others they understood the first responsibilities when they first purchased the vehicle so it doesn't bother them.
In life, we have the freedom of choice. This freedom of choice also involves how we think. We can certainly see a situation as being overwhelming and emotional or we can see the situation as a teaching opportunity and gain better understanding. It is perfectly normal to have some first negative thoughts and doubts about situations. However, the goal is to learn how to not allow those negative thoughts and doubts to linger in your mind.
What are some ways to reduce negative thoughts?
Gain a broader perspective
Sometimes being narrow-minded can cause negative thoughts to develop. This also includes being stereotypical. We may find ourselves saying something negative just because someone else said it or we see something depicted without having full understanding of what we saw. For example, some may believe that Africa is just full of jungles, wild animals, and starving sick children. This is normally because they've only seen movies and/or television commercials depicting these images of Africa. However, Africa also has major cities and tall buildings with healthy people. We have to broaden our perspective. This may require reading and/or travelling more to discover the truth for ourselves.
Realize storms don't last always
When the hard times of life begin, it even harder not to get overwhelmed with emotions. Life has different seasons and some seasons are tough. Some tough seasons last longer than expected. However, we must remember that seasons change. It's tough now but later it won't be as tough. We shouldn't allow the tough season to make us dwell in negativity. We must recognize that even in the tough season as long as we can see the next day, the change is going to come!
Think more on the pure things of life
We all have ways to relax and unwind. This can be reading a book, watching a favorite movie, going to the pool, etc. These activities normally doesn't produce negative thoughts to come to mind. This is because as we relax and unwind, our mind also begins to relax and unwind. Our mind begins to focus on the pure things of life, e.g. peace, relaxation, joy, etc. When a negative thought comes to mind, we should instantly try thinking of something pure and simple. It can be as simple as thinking about your favorite book, envisioning your last vacation, remembering the scent of your favorite flower or perfume, etc. This shifts our mindset and once the negative thought is gone, we shouldn't try to recapture it. Eventually, with more practice, the negative thoughts will be less frequent and you can enjoy the more pleasant things in life!