5 way to reduce stress through positive thinking

5 way to reduce stress through positive thinking

You can reduce a lot of stress by stopping your negative thoughts. The first step in the transformation from negative to positive thoughts is recognizing and becoming aware of this. Negative thoughts often contain 'thinking errors' and are irrational, they are not in accordance with reality. Read in this article how you make your thinking patterns visible and get a grip on ineffective behavior. In short: Reduce stress through positive thinking.

also read: Top 9 Benefits of Positive Thinking

Common thinking errors are:


  • Black-and-white thinking
It's all-or-nothing and there is no room for nuances. This way of thinking is unrealistic because life is rarely black and white. It can be recognized by the 'if-then reasoning'.

  • Paste label
Instead of saying 'I make a mistake' it is said 'I am a failure'. You label yourself and others, this has a restraining and restrictive effect.

  • Exaggeration
You draw the conclusion from one negative event that it will always be that way. It is thought in patterns of failure or failure and can be recognized by words such as everything, nothing, everyone, always, never, nobody.

also read: how to overcome negative thoughts - 13 tips

  • Mentally filtering
This is a way of thinking in which only the negative things are considered. Neutral and positive experiences are not seen or are turned into negative experiences.

  • Reading Thoughts
You assume that everyone thinks the same.

  • Predicting the future
You assume in advance that something bad is about to happen. Predicting the future and reading thoughts are forms of self-fulfilling prophecies.

  • 'Should' think
You criticize yourself and others with commands, obligations, threats or other demands. 'I should'. Thoughts that 'must' contain are irrational.

  • Self-
blame You blame yourself for something that you are not or only partially responsible for. All negative events are related to themselves.

"It is not the situation that determines how you feel,

but the thought of that situation,

or how you look at the situation."


Reduce stress through positive thinking

Fortunately, thoughts are a means, and you can always decide for yourself what you think and whether you want to continue with a certain thought. Even more thinking is not the solution, otherwise thinking is. If you change your mind, your feelings and behavior also change.

also read: 8 ways to develop positive thinking

Situation + Thought = Feelings and Behavior

Do you find the behavior and the feeling that you have not fit the situation? Are there situations in which you want to feel different? You will probably have a thought that will not help you. You can try to analyze for yourself why that is, or rather: the underlying idea.

Because you can be aware of your thoughts, you also have the means to do something about it. To investigate your beliefs you can go through the following 5 steps:

Step 1: Describe the situation, your thoughts, and your feelings

Give a brief description of the event. Keep the description factual, so without feeling or interpretation. Describe the event as if a film camera were recording it.

Express your thoughts. This is not easy because your thoughts are often not really literally thought. Yet you often know more about these thoughts and you will put them into words the moment you write them down.

Note what your feeling was in the situation described. They can be multiple feelings and you can note them all. Feelings that you can notice are, for example gloomy, cheerful, happy, scared, fear, shock, sadness, in the pit, tense, nervous, angry, disgusted, exhausted, jealous, and so on.

also read: 10 exercises to be more positive in life

Step 2: Investigate the chain of thoughts

If you have succeeded in formulating your thoughts, you can go a step further by studying them further. You check with each written thought whether there are other thoughts that play a role. You do this by asking yourself "What makes this so bad for me?" You always ask this question with every answer that comes to mind. Every answer is noted as a new thought. You get a chain of thoughts with this. The last thought is an impeding belief! You probably know this well and regularly stop you from taking steps.

Step 3: Challenge all thoughts and formulate better alternatives

Now ask the following two questions with each thought or conviction: 

1. Does this thought help me to solve my problem, or does it actually complicate it? 

2. Is this idea actually true?

With these questions, you investigate how helpful this thought is to solve your problem and how credible, true or functional your thought is.

also read: How to Be More Positive - 16 ways

Step 4: Search for a functional idea

Finally, look for an alternative thought or explanation that is credible and evokes fewer negative feelings than your initial thought. Formulate the thought positively, do not say "I do not want ...", but say what you do want. Contrast this alternative thought with the first thought. Which is more likely?

Step 5: Determine the result

After completing the previous steps, you finally state how credible the thought has become for you. You also write down whether this leads to a change in the feeling that you initially noted.

In this way, you can make your thinking patterns visible and thus get a grip on ineffective behavior! Because as soon as you are aware of it, your feeling will change and so will your behavior. And as soon as you understand this, a movement for change has already started!

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5 way to reduce stress through positive thinking 5 way to reduce stress through positive thinking Reviewed by Amit on August 23, 2019 Rating: 5

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