5 Ways To Combat Your Obsessive Negative Thoughts — So You Can Become A More Positive Person

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How To Stop Negative Thoughts From Creeping Into Your Brain, So You Can Have A Carefree, Positive Attitude

When it comes to your mental health and happiness, it's critical that you learn how to stop negative thoughts and feelings before they overshadow your positive attitude. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Negative thinking is a common problem in psychology. Sometimes, your brain doesn't allow you to clearly see the good in yourself. This can leave you stuck in your own head, believing every negative thought you have about yourself and your personality.

Over time, these self-doubts can tear down your self-esteem, self-confidence, and seriously affect your happiness and rob you of your positive attitude.

But the good news is you can learn how to stop negative thoughts and quiet that cruel voice in your brain that tells you you'll never be good enough. After all, thoughts are merely thoughts. It's when you validate these negative beliefs that you give them power.

RELATED: 3 Simple Ways To Stop Negative Thoughts From Bringing You Down

So if you want to learn how to stop negative thoughts from ruining your positive personality, carefree attitude and overall happiness, try these 5 things:

1. Look inside yourself.

Take a moment to revisit your universal truths and life goals. In other words, what do you believe about yourself? 

Once you identify these "truths," ask yourself where these beliefs come from. Do they come from your inner voice? Or, if you really listen, do they start to sound like a little bit like they're someone else’s? If so, whose voice do you hear beneath it all?

The next time you allow your positive attitude to be dulled by negative thoughts — like when you tell yourself you don’t deserve something (a good job, good relationship, etc.) — identify where the thought is coming from. Perhaps a parent, a friend, family member or ex once told you these things, and you believed it.

Regardless of its origin, your next step is to think about the goals you have for yourself — both short- and long-term — and ask your current inner voice if that's a "truth" you really want to believe in. If it's not, kick it to the curb and don't let it bring you down!

2. Accept yourself as you are.

I know, easier said than done. You are human, after all! But — despite all your good intentions — you will still make mistakes or have parts of yourself you want to continue working on. So why waste your time beating yourself up for those shortcomings, however big or small they may be?

It's up to you to define how you view yourself, so push judgment and negativity from others aside. You — and only you — are responsible for maintaining your positive attitude and for helping it shine, so learn from your mistakes and accept who you are now.

Then, use the power of positivity to keep moving yourself forward. 

RELATED: 5 Steps to Break Negative Thinking & Stop Beating Yourself Up!

3. Let only you define yourself.

You know yourself best, so why do you let others have the power to ruin your carefree mood or negatively affect your views of yourself? Only you should have that power.

If someone tells you something negative about yourself, instead of simply agreeing with them, take a moment and reflect. Ask yourself: Are you really like that? Is what this person said true, or even kind? If it isn't, then recognize you don't have to accept that version of yourself.

Just like you might want to delete old pictures of yourself on social media because they're not a reflection of who you are anymore, sometimes you need to do some cleaning and reevaluating of yourself, too. 

And if you feel like you don't really understand or know yourself, then maybe it’s time to consult with a professional about who you are at this point in your life. You change over time, so it’s normal to need to do this at different points in your life.

4. Put yourself first.

It's up to you to recognize when your happiness "batteries" are low. It might take all of your willpower at first, but putting yourself first — above others and before all of your obligations — can help you main your positive energy. 

Think of it this way: Similar to the way solar panels harness the sun’s energy to create their own sustainable power, we need to act in ways that absorb more light in our lives. So for you, that might mean spending time with people who support and uplift you, participating in self-care activities to rest and recharge, or taking time to deepen your spirituality.

Whatever you do should recharge your happiness meter so you can carry on with positivity.

5. Assert your needs.

You simply can't do it all, all the time. That's why setting firm boundaries and prioritizing your obligations is essential if you want your positive personality to have some room to breathe. 

With so many competing interests at hand, all vying for your time, you have to get clear about what — and whom — you want in your life, and carve out dedicated time for the people and things you hold dear. 

Again, this may change over time, just as everything else does, so having an open mind can help you realign and adjust. 

With these tips in mind, you can put an end to the negative thoughts and self-talk that has been compromising your happiness and, as a result, empower your positive attitude shine.

RELATED: How To Live Peacefully When You Constantly Have Negative Thoughts

If you're struggling with body image issues and are ready to take steps towards loving yourself as you are — while working toward becoming your best self —  Dr. Maxine Langdon Starr, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California who specializes in adolescents and young adults, can help. If you'd like to reach out to her, you can visit her webpage.

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