Skip to content

Health & Balance

Font Size

Dealing With Negative Thoughts - Topic Overview

What exactly is a negative thought?

Suppose a coworker or a grocery store clerk suddenly gave you a mean look. How would you react? Would you just let it slide off you, like water off a duck? Or would you take it personally and feel bad about yourself, or even get angry about it? If you turn small things into big things that bother you for days, weeks, or even longer, you're having negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts can make you feel sad and anxious. They take the joy out of life-and they can take a toll on your physical health. That's why it's so important to learn how to deal with them.

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

A Thing or Two With Michael Chiklis

I really freaked out. I experienced the feeling of claustrophobia for the first and only time in my life. The costume was made from thick latex rubber, and I had to sit in a chair for five hours while it was literally glued to me from head to foot. My body core superheated, and I became incredibly hot -- which only heightens the feeling of claustrophobia. I felt overwhelming helplessness because my hands and feet were bound. I couldn't get out on my own if I wanted to. I looked at my wife and said,...

Read the A Thing or Two With Michael Chiklis article > >

How can you deal with negative thoughts?

One way to deal with negative thoughts is to replace them with thoughts that make you feel better. Let's say you just learned that you have a health problem. You might tell yourself "My life will never be the way it used to be" or "This is the beginning of the end for me." That will probably make you feel pretty bad-and it will make your body weaker, just when you need it to be strong.

Or you could tell yourself something like "This is going to be a challenge for a while, but if I'm patient I can learn to adapt and still enjoy my life" or "This is a setback for me, but I can recover from it if I give myself time." This kind of thought can make you feel better and more hopeful. And it helps your body too.

Do you have any negative thoughts right now? (Sometimes it's hard to even know.) Take a minute, listen to your thoughts, and see if you do. If you're telling yourself something that makes you feel bad, remember: You are in charge of what you tell yourself. So why not come up with something more encouraging?

They're "just thoughts." What's the big deal?

Because of the mind-body connection, your thoughts really can affect your health. By telling yourself more encouraging things, you're telling your brain to produce chemicals that can:

    Next Article:

    Dealing With Negative Thoughts Topics

    Today on WebMD

    woman in yoga class
    6 health benefits of yoga.
    beautiful girl lying down of grass
    10 relaxation techniques to try.
    mature woman with glass of water
    Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
    coffee beans in shape of mug
    Get the facts.
    Take your medication
    Hand appearing to hold the sun
    Hungover man
    Welcome mat and wellington boots
    Woman worn out on couch
    Happy and sad faces
    Fingertip with string tied in a bow
    laughing family