What are negative thoughts? And why are they worth eliminating?
These are excellent questions to ask, because if you want to stop thinking negatively, it’s important to first understand what types of thoughts you’re trying to eliminate and why.
Understanding negative thinking
Negative thinking is a way of thinking that doesn’t benefit you at all. Sometimes, it even has an immediate negative impact on your life, since it can contribute to things like stress, anxiety, and depression.
More specifically, you can think of negative thinking as being a way of thinking that:
Click on any negative quality for an example of how negative thinking works.
With these negative qualities, negative thinking doesn’t help you in any way. Instead, it often works against you and makes your life worse.
This makes it the opposite of useful positive ways of thinking that help you in life.
Negative thinking is useless, not ‘wrong’
The most common reasons for getting rid of negative thinking are that it often makes you feel bad, makes you less confident, and makes you less successful in life.
The overall defining characteristic of negative thinking is that it is useless and doesn’t improve your life in any way (or even immediately makes it worse).
However, this does not mean that negative thinking is the ‘wrong’ way to think. Only that it’s useless for improving your life, and that it doesn’t make very much sense to do, especially when you consider that you can think in other ways.
Is the glass half full or half empty?
To understand this, consider the classic example of looking at a glass, and thinking of it as either half full or half empty.
It’s neither right nor wrong to look at the glass as either half full or half empty.
However, if looking at the glass as half full naturally makes you feel happier, while looking at the glass as half empty naturally makes you feel depressed, then what is the sense in looking at the glass as half empty?
Negative thinking is not very sensible
For this example, if you want to be happy, it makes no sense at all to look at the glass as half empty rather than half full. After all, this is a useless, self-destructive, and completely counter-productive thing to do.
Even if it’s a completely valid and acceptable way of thinking, so what? It’s still not sensible.
This example captures the essence of what eliminating negative thinking is all about: getting rid of thinking that is useless, non-beneficial, and counter-productive (and, therefore, not very sensible, no matter how ‘valid’ the thought might be).
Frequently asked questions about negative thinking
Click on each question to learn more.
Learn more about negative thinking
Already, you have learned what negative thinking is, how to identify it, and how you are always better off without it. This is a lot of powerful knowledge already.
The next step, for you, is to learn more about the impact of negative thinking, beyond the 3 primary negative effects, and why it’s in your best interest to get rid of negative thoughts, since you have a choice in how you think.
(If you’re already itching to get rid of a negative thought that’s been bothering you, use the Positive Thinking Tool, which helps you eliminate any negative thought in 5 minutes or less.)
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Section 1 Lessons:
- What is positive thinking & how does it work?
- What are the benefits of positive thinking?
- What is negative thinking & why eliminate it?
- What is the impact of negative thinking?