What should I do with negative thoughts?

Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine

What you do not want to do is fight or bury the thoughts. This would simply leave you stuck in them. Sometimes, these negative thoughts are our psyche’s way of taking care of us. They may reflect ideas that really do appeal to us, but that are in conflict with our belief system. Be open to that possibility. At other times, these thoughts seem to act as our own personal “gremlin” and do not reflect who we are. In both situations, these thoughts can serve us.

Sometimes the thought is actually about something that we truly want but are afraid to acknowledge. In this situation, it will feel good (although sometimes difficult and uncomfortable) to stay with the thought. When this is the case, the thought may simply be our psyche’s way of saying that we need to stand up for who we are and what we want. It may also be forcing us to look at uncomfortable feelings that we need to stop burying.

Conversely, we can find out who we are by the contrast of what we do not like -- as much as by what we do. Again, take a moment to feel the “negative” thought without any guilt or reactivity. If it does not feel good, then simply recognize (with a smile) that it is not who you are. Knowing what you are not can actually help you to know yourself. Instead of battling it, tell the previously annoying thought “thank you” for helping to show you who you are! Then simply let go of it.


Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy

More About this Book

Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy

Happiness is our natural state of being. It is who we are. This happiness is obvious when you look at little children before they take on society’s beliefs. Their natural state is to feel all of...

Continue Learning about Managing Negative Emotions

Be Less Furious: 7 Smart Tips to a Calmer You
Be Less Furious: 7 Smart Tips to a Calmer You
Whether you’re irritated by inconveniences or fly into a fury at the slightest provocation, we can all benefit from learning to cope effectively with ...
Read More
What is a healthy way to deal with intense or unfamiliar feelings?
Lara Honos-Webb, PhDLara Honos-Webb, PhD
Next time you encounter a feeling that is intense or unfamiliar, try the four s's: See: Try to g...
More Answers
How can I manage negative thoughts when changing my health behaviors?
Sheri D. PruittSheri D. Pruitt
When changing health habits, you can be sailing along and then -- all of a sudden -- it happens....
More Answers
Eat These Foods to Boost Your Mood
Eat These Foods to Boost Your Mood

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.