How to Reduce Negative Thoughts

If you want to reduce your negative thoughts, try the technique of compartmentalizing. Doing so will also help you reduce fear, anxiety, and tension.

Just as a train, submarine, and ship have different compartments, so can the mind. You can reduce your stress if you compartmentalize your negative thoughts. This may be easier for men who tend to think linear. But it can also be very helpful for women who tend to think in a more circular manner.

Think of your mind as having different compartments. When your thoughts bring feelings of anxiety, tension, or stress, place those thoughts in a compartment by itself. This compartment is watertight. Negative thoughts are sucked into this compartment. None other can enter.

Redirect Your Negative Thoughts

This concept is a variation of pivoting or redirecting your thoughts. Since emotion always follow cognition, just by redirecting your thinking to something else, the stress is diminished. Simply remember that a feeling of anxiety, being stressed out, or wanting relief from stress can only dissipate when you think of something else. If you conceive the negative situation as being in a separate compartment, you will find it easier to leave it and enter a new thought or compartment.

Visualization can play a significant role in compartmentalization. Visualize a long railroad train with an engine in front, a caboose in the rear and a number of railway cars in between. Label one car, “Stress.” Let this “stress railway car” roll by while you think of another railway car, such as the diner.

If, for example, you are going to miss a deadline for a project, say to yourself, “So what if I miss the deadline?’ Just realizing that nothing disastrous will happen, you can move along to another compartment—one that is stress reducing.

Tip: To manage stress, compartmentalize negative thoughts to isolate them and move on to a different compartment.

You can get many more empowering tips like this one in my award-winning book, Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. Buy one and get one free as a gift. You will not want to depart with your own copy. Be sure to check out the Without Stress Facebook Group where you can connect with other life-minded people on a journey to reduce stress.