The Real Effects of Negative Thinking

Feb 6, 2024 | Business, Mindset

Life isn’t always easy. Yet, we make life more challenging with negative thinking. The influence of negative thoughts is far-reaching. There’s no part of your life that escapes. It affects you mentally, emotionally, and physically. It limits your ability to achieve and to enjoy life. There are reasons why pessimists are so miserable.

There are 2 primary effects that negative thinking has on your life:

  1. It has a negative impact on your mood and outlook on life. Negative thinking feels bad. Thinking negative thoughts can make you feel sad, afraid, angry, hopeless, and negative in general. These emotions taint the way you view the world and have a deleterious effect on your ability to make wise decisions. 
  2. Negative thinking inhibits your ability to achieve goals. For any objective, you have things pulling you toward your goal and other things pushing you away. When you think negative thoughts about achieving a goal, you’re much less able to accomplish it.

Imagine you’d like to take a trip to Hong Kong. This has always been a goal of yours. But then you start thinking about it:

  • “It’s so far away, the jetlag will be awful. I’ll probably spend half of the trip just recovering.”
  • “The language is so different from English. How will I manage?”
  • “I should spend the money on something else.”
  • “I’ll lose a lot of money exchanging currency.”
  • “I’ve heard Chinese prisons are the worst in the world. What if I break some weird law I don’t even know about?”

All of a sudden, that dream trip to Hong Kong doesn’t sound so dreamy anymore. Negative thinking makes goals seem harder than they are in reality.

These two negative effects are pervasive. They influence your entire life. But, there are additional consequences as well.

More Negative Effects

Negative thinking has other consequences that limit your capabilities:

  1. It’s damaging to your health. The stress caused by negative thinking is horrible for your health.
  2. It lowers your self-esteem. When you think you’re ugly, fat, and stupid, you can’t feel very good about yourself.
  3. It reduces your confidence. Negative thoughts about yourself lower your self-confidence. Negative thoughts about others make you less confident in their abilities. Your negative thinking can impact everyone around you.
  4. It saps your energy. Negative thinking is exhausting and saps your resources.

How to Limit Your Negative Thinking Patterns

Luckily, there are ways to limit your negative thoughts and bring in positivity each day:

  1. Check yourself throughout the day for negative thoughts. Use a timer and perform a check every 15 minutes. Check yourself during your regular daily activities:
  • Lying in bed
  • Shower
  • Driving to work
  • Work
  • Lunch
  • And so on 
  1. When you notice a negative thought, change it to one that’s more positive. For example, you can change the thought, “I hate driving to work” to “Driving sure beats taking the bus. I can listen to my music as loudly as I like.” 
  2. Get into the habit of thinking positive thoughts. Before doing any task, take 15 seconds and think a few positive thoughts about it. The task will be easier and more enjoyable.
  3. Spend more time with positive people. It’s unlikely that you’ll rise far above the people you spend the most time with. Ensure that the people around you are positive.

Reducing the incidences of negative thinking is one of the most effective ways to spend your time and enhance your life. Negative thoughts can harm your happiness, success, and health. Spend time to ensure that your thoughts are supportive and positive and turn your life around.

Hi there, I'm Jennifer.


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