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How to stop negative thoughts

(19 Posts)
Amelia1764 Sat 03-Feb-18 19:33:19

I'm annoyed about a family situation at the moment- there's nothing I can do but I find myself constantly thinking about it. I find myself having arguments in my head and preparing what I would say if one of my sister in law says something or imagining scenarios..

I'm sick of the negativity in my head - I keep telling myself to stop thinking about it or trying to think of something else. My husbands family really annoy me but I have to find a way to accept the way they are and to stop thinking about them.

My life is good - a lovely husband and three great kids... I wish I could just concentrate on them and forget about extended family members who aren't worth the headspace. Any tips on how to do that?!

chickenowner Sat 03-Feb-18 19:35:33

I sometimes have this problem.

I find that listening to audiobooks helps, especially if I'm having trouble switching off and falling asleep.

Otherwise as soon as you start thinking those thoughts try to move onto something else - easier said than done I know - but after a while the thoughts will lessen.

misscheery Sat 03-Feb-18 19:59:03

Shamelessly place marking as I was about to create a thread with the exact same question today. I try to guide myself after the "your negative thoughts attract negative things happening to you" way of thinking but it's so so so HARD! And so easy to always think negative....

frasier Sat 03-Feb-18 19:59:18

You've solved half the problem by realising you do it and want to stop it. Eventually these thoughts will stop on their own but it can take years.

Is there any possibility that your SIL will say something? Are you rehearsing because that is a real possibility? If so, then it is your brain protecting you and you need to make sure you are never in the position that they can carry out this "threat".

If that is unlikely, then distraction is the key I think. When you catch yourself thinking the negative stuff, have a go to thought or daydream to revert to. I think about a book I'm never going to get around to writing. It's a case of fake it til you make it really.

BexConnor Sat 03-Feb-18 20:01:34

Oh I do this too. It drives me mad. I constantly imagine negative scenarios playing out in my head and what I would do/say in response etc. Half the time the thing I'm fretting about never actually happens anyway!

ElspethFlashman Sat 03-Feb-18 20:04:33

I catch myself and say to myself sternly "That is an unhelpful thought"

Then I actively decide to figure out something else, like my grocery list.

You have to be quite stern with it, I find.

Cuban8 Sat 03-Feb-18 20:04:56

HEADSPACE - mindfulness meditation

Can't recommend it enough. I'd be a gibbering wreck without it - actually I was before I started it

user100987 Sat 03-Feb-18 20:07:04

Also placemarking as I do this so so much 😔

Snowysky20009 Sat 03-Feb-18 20:11:39

Me too. I also 'cause' situations to happen. For example:- If I 'think' someone is annoyed with me and they ask me to do something with them, I say no, what's the point, we won't have a good time and so on. I don't know why I do it, and I hate myself after, and always end up apologising.

pandarific Sat 03-Feb-18 20:13:55

If they’re affecting you so much, can you go low contact? Only seeing them when it’s utterly unavoidable, and even then avoid being alone with them and always have someone there as a buffer?

ZzzMarchhare Sat 03-Feb-18 20:17:49

Mindfulness- I'm a massive sceptic for stuff like this but it has really given me a lot more peace. It has also given me the space to back off negative people which has made life so much easier.

affectionincoldclimate Sat 03-Feb-18 20:20:41

I was an anxious worrier too. When I had group therapy there was one thing that the facilitator said that always resonated. Negative thought is like a bus. You can get on that bus and ride it. Or, let the bus pass and see it drive off without you.
Whenever I'm about to go into a spin, it always comes back to me. Bye bye bus - I'm not getting on. Sometimes I get up and physically walk to make my mind follow the body so to speak.

DamnDeDoubtanceIsSpartacus Sat 03-Feb-18 20:27:39

The Headspace app is great but it costs. Insight timer is free and has lots of meditations to listen too, really helps.

Vitalogy Sat 03-Feb-18 20:32:06

Another one suggesting meditation.

littlecabbage Sat 03-Feb-18 20:37:50

Try a book called "Learned Optimism" by Martin Seligman. Not an airy-fairy self help book, but based on years of clinical research. Description here:

"Known as the father of the new science of positive psychology, Martin E.P. Seligman draws on more than twenty years of clinical research to demonstrate how optimism enchances the quality of life, and how anyone can learn to practice it. Offering many simple techniques, Dr. Seligman explains how to break an "I--give-up" habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, and experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue. These skills can help break up depression, boost your immune system, better develop your potential, and make you happier.. With generous additional advice on how to encourage optimistic behavior at school, at work and in children, "Learned Optimism" is both profound and practical-and valuable for every phase of life."

I haven't read it myself, but have read the follow-up book about improving optimism in children, which was an excellent book.

laura65988 Thu 08-Feb-18 08:24:40

Stop letting people rule ure head forgot it and move on I was worse for this but I don't need people that I don't care or like or say put downs and u don't think u can say anything back do not have any contact as it will never change and u're the one that gets hurt everytime no point rehearsing something ure probs never going to say x

Nikephorus Thu 08-Feb-18 08:28:08

Have you tried the rubber band on the wrist idea? I haven't but I can imagine that if you ping it hard enough you'll definitely stop thinking of those negative thoughts!

Balaboosteh Thu 08-Feb-18 09:55:20

It’s called fulminating. It’s a form of anxiety. It’s also a mental habit. I can’t praise meditation too highly for this. It gives you the levers to let thoughts go. You practice on your ordinary thoughts - ie by meditating, learning to turn away thoughts of anything but the present - and this gives you the skill to do on the heavy ones that come galloping in. I find it has helped to give it a name. And yes, certain people set it off. I now know that I “can’t cope” with certain people and that avoiding them is a necessity. Easier with people that aren’t your family but low contact is a good way forward. Nothing rude, no drama, just letting go.

youcantalwaysgetwhatyouwantt Thu 08-Feb-18 10:27:44

Sounds similar to me, sorry but I'm place marking as well as it's really getting me down.

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