How to Counter Negative Thoughts and Deal with them 

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Alex Jaramillo Goicoechea, Staff Reporter

The world can be a negative place. It does not matter how positive the individual is. The pessimism in the world gets to everyone at some point in time. Some people bounce back from negativity quicker than others, which is okay. Everyone is different. What is not okay is staying in a negative place for days on end. This is bad for your mental health and can be bad for those who care about you, too. However, it is quite common to experience negative thoughts and feelings. When you feel yourself start to slip away into a negative mind space, there are some things you can do to try to escape it. 

The first and hardest thing to do is be logical about the situation. If this is difficult for you to do naturally, you can make a list of why logically, this terrible thing will not happen. Or, if they are just negative thoughts, you can list pros about your day or week to keep you in a positive state of mind. When you were younger, did you remember your teachers having you write things you should remember? The same theory applies to this. Once something is written on paper, you will remember it better, influencing you to believe it. Therefore, writing out a pros list will help these positives in your life stay in your mind longer and stay with you beyond the moment of happiness. You should continue to make new lists of positives when you slip into a negative state of mind.  

Doing the opposite practice of writing out your negative thoughts is also beneficial. Getting these negative thoughts out of your mind and onto a piece of paper will make your mental load lighter. They become one less thing taking up space in your head. Some people choose to ball up, rip up, or even burn these papers once they are done writing out their negative thoughts. This allows the individual to physically see their negative thoughts dissipate into nothingness. Some journals even give directions on what might help you dispose of these negative thoughts in similar ways mentioned previously.   

Distraction is also an effective way to avoid negative thoughts. Once you feel negativity, you can do things such as reading, going on a walk, writing, exercising, watching a movie, or even talking to friends. Occupy yourself with something you enjoy. If you find these negative thoughts staying with you, you might want to venture down the avenue of self-care. Although it might be difficult to do something nice for yourself, try your best to push through it. Take a nice shower, do a face mask, listen to music, paint your nails, groom your beard, cut your nails, or put perfume or cologne on. Just do activities in the realm of self-maintenance which allow your body to know that, even though you are not doing well mentally, it is still necessary to care for yourself. Your body will thank you as well. You will start to feel lighter and like you have a new glow around you. It is hard to feel bad when you both look and smell good.  

I realize these things are easier said than done. Please take comfort in knowing that the topic of negative thoughts affects millions, and it has been written about more times than one can count. Just keep on trying to improve every day. Even the smallest improvements in any way count. There is no shame in needing assistance to remove these negative thoughts. If you need help or are suffering and in distress from these thoughts, please seek help from a mental health professional. They will be able to provide you with professional help and can help kick-start your progression in positivity. Again, there is no shame in feeling down or blue. However, you cannot let yourself stay there to live a healthy and happy life.