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HomeHealthChanging Negative Thinking Patterns

Changing Negative Thinking Patterns

We all experience intrusive thoughts that can affect our mood from time to time. Whether it’s related to our job, social life, family, or other factors, negativity can sometimes become overwhelming.

“We all have it. We all have it,” says Mark Reinecke, a professor emeritus of psychology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Natalie Dattilo, PhD, a clinical health psychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, agrees that negative thoughts are common and normal.

While occasional negative thoughts may not be harmful, repetitive negative thinking can lead to emotional and physical issues, especially when experienced alongside depression and anxiety.

Ruminating on negative thoughts can create a dangerous cycle, leading to worsening emotional well-being. It’s important to recognize when negative thinking patterns are doing more harm than good and seek help when needed.

Mark Reinecke recommends various strategies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to combat negative thinking patterns. Acknowledging, identifying, evaluating, and challenging negative thoughts can help break their grip.

Looking at situations from different perspectives, practicing distractions, and seeking support from friends, family, or professionals are other effective ways to cope with negative thoughts and emotions.

“Sometimes the answer is right there in front of you,” says Natalie Dattilo. Friends and family can provide support by staying engaged and offering understanding to those struggling with negative thoughts.

Professional help is also an effective option for addressing harmful thinking patterns, focusing on changing how we think rather than the content of our thoughts.

By understanding the impact of negative thinking on our emotions and relationships, we can work towards improving our well-being and finding more positive perspectives.

Friends and family members can help by staying engaged with those dealing with negative thoughts, offering support and understanding. Seeking professional help can also be beneficial in addressing harmful thinking patterns.

Focusing on how our thoughts make us feel and the impact they have on our lives can guide us towards healthier thinking habits and improved well-being.


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