Table of Contents
Negativity can plague your mind at any moment
Everyone gets negative thoughts. Unfortunately, it is a natural part of life and there’s not always a way to prevent it.
These thoughts can occur for many different reasons – depression, anxiety, life changes, unexpected events, and more.
I remember when I was about to graduate college, I was plagued by anxiety about the future. I worried that I would never get a job, I didn’t know where to move, and I certainly didn’t want college to be over. Our friends were all going our separate ways, and it made me extremely sad. The thought of growing up in general can be very scary, and at times I would dig myself into a hole.
Negativity can become a vicious monster in our lives. It can change the way we see the world and our place in it.
When it gets really bad for me, I have a hard time pulling myself out of a rut. But, I have gained a lot of perspective over the last few years, and I feel like I am slowly getting better at battling my negativity. Here are some tips I have for those who have been dealing with this, especially as a young adult!
Learn lessons from negative experiences
I have been trying something new lately. Every time I feel particularly negative about a certain aspect of my life, I try to think about what I learned from it and how I will deal with it better next time. It is helpful to get out a notebook and write these things down. That way, I can remember the situation, how it made me feel, and how not to make the same mistake twice. Making the same mistake over and over and expecting a different result is not helpful for growth, and I have definitely done that in the past.
Negative situations foster negative thoughts. We can’t control everything that happens in our lives, but we can control our reaction and our actions.
Trust your intuition
Sometimes we humans get a gut feeling about something. Our heart tells us that there is something we should do, and sometimes we ignore it because we second-guess ourselves.
While it is really good to think things through, you also have to trust yourself. You know that you have to look out for your own well-being, and you are the only person who knows yourself entirely.
Many of my negative thoughts come from self-doubt. I like to put myself down and say that I don’t know what I am doing.
But I have realized that when I ignore my intuition about a certain situation, I can stay stuck in a pattern or situation that is not meant for me. To combat negative thoughts, you have to realize that you are capable of making good decisions, and that sometimes you have to trust your gut, even if it is a little bit scary or outside of your comfort zone.
Picture the life you want
When you are having negative thoughts, it is important to get to the root of them. Ask yourself: “What am I unhappy with? What can I change? How do I want the future to be different?”
As a young adult, there are so many unknown factors of the future. We are barely beginning adulthood, and many of us deal with uncertainty about where our lives are headed. It’s easy to fall into comparison and think that we know what happiness or success looks like.
But, everyone has a different path. You have the power to choose what you want your life to look like.
Do an exercise: Ask yourself to envision the perfect life.
Where would you love to live? Do you want a penthouse in the city or a cottage by the beach? Do you like a busy, fast paced life or a slow life? Do you like being alone or do you love being surrounded by people?
To get to know yourself, think about these things. They don’t need to happen right now. They will lead you down a path towards positivity and moving forward. You preferences may change as you get older, and that’s okay.
Understand the factors that you cannot control
Unfortunately, there are many things in this life that we can’t control. We wish we could change it, but no matter what, there is nothing we can do about it.
When we think about things that we can’t control, we have to enter a state of acceptance in order to combat negative thoughts surrounding these things.
I know that my disease is probably never going away, and it took me awhile to be okay with it. Now that I have realized that I can’t control it, I can start to let go. The only thing I can control is my reaction to it, and how I choose to take care of myself.
The bottom line is I try to control the controllable factors. That’s all I can do.
Don’t borrow trouble
My mom used to say this to me all the time. I was such an anxious child and I would worry all the time about every little thing.
But I realized that “borrowing trouble” is the perfect term for it because we are creating problems that haven’t even happened yet. Even the mere idea of some of these things happening brings us so much angst and negativity.
When I choose not to borrow trouble, I am choosing to let go of the “what if’s.” Sure, some of them might come true. The worst case scenario is always possible. But me worrying about it beforehand will not change anything, it will only increase my suffering.
Overall, negative thoughts are not fun. They can ruin our day, month, or year. Combating negative thoughts can be a difficult journey, but it is so worth it to help our mental health and wellbeing. Negativity will manifest itself in your life, so getting ahead of negative thoughts is a great way to ensure that you are looking out for yourself.
If you feel like you are stuck and can’t get out of a rut, don’t be afraid to talk to someone! It is so important to either talk to a trusted friend, family member, or a professional about what you are going through. Your negative thoughts are nothing to be embarrassed about, and if you trust someone, it can be so helpful to let it out.