How to get rids of bad thoughts

14 Dec 2022

Stopping Bad Thoughts

1. Remember that occasional bad thoughts are normal.

This is possibly the single easiest way to start addressing your problems. Too often you believe that you are the only one with problems, or that no one understands what you are going through, but bad thoughts are a part of life and, most importantly, they will go away. Don’t beat yourself up for having bad thoughts, because they aren’t your fault.[1]

  • Avoid language like “This is my fault,” “I shouldn’t be thinking this,” or “I hate this thought.”
  • You’ve had bad thoughts before, and you’ll have them again. But you are still here, alive, and healthy. Your bad thoughts won’t kill you if you don’t turn them into monsters.

2. Think about what makes the thought “bad.”

Why are you upset about this thought? What is making it stick in your head? Oftentimes bad thoughts persist because you feel guilty, angry, or unsure about the future, so thinking about why you are caught on the same thought can help give it shape and find ways to address the problem. Common reasons for tough thoughts include:

  • Guilt
  • Hurt
  • Anxiety
  • Jealousy
  • Temptation
  • Trauma
  • Failure or fear of failure

3. Slow down your thoughts with a few deep breaths.

It is natural to feel anxious or nervous when a bad thought suddenly crops up in your brain, but resist the urge to get upset or fixate on the thought. Take 30 seconds to stop what you are doing and take five deep, long breaths. Give yourself a moment to address the thought instead of jumping right to irrational or extreme conclusions.

  • Try counting to 15 if you still feel nervous.
  • You could also color, listen to calming music, or read for a short while.
  • Alternatively, head outside, remove yourself from the room, or take a short walk to clear your head.


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