5 Ways to Give Up Negativity in Your Life

By Staff Writer Published on March 7, 2017

As a busy college student, do you occasionally find yourself struggling to stay positive? You’re not alone. The American Psychological Association reports that about one-third of college students struggle with depression and nearly half of these students reported feeling overwhelming anxiety. Unfortunately, these statistics may not come as a surprise to you.

College can be stressful. Between properly managing time, studying for finals and midterms, navigating financial mazes, and more, there’s no surprise that challenges can lead to feelings of negativity and gloom. Thankfully, with these five tips, you can make small adjustments to your everyday life and create a big, positive impact on how you feel as a college student.

1. Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are something you should begin to include in your everyday life, even on days when you’re feeling good. Generally speaking, positive affirmations are specific statements that help you thwart negative thinking and overcome self-sabotaging. For example, if you find yourself feeling discouraged while studying for a test, or hopeless while writing a paper, instead of wallowing in these feelings of negativity, tell yourself, “I am a smart, hardworking student and I will do well on this test/project/class.” Be diligent about your affirmations and make them a meaningful part of your day.

2. Be In Charge of Your Thoughts

Everyone is guilty of letting their thoughts get the better of them sometimes, but not everyone realizes the power they have in controlling those thoughts. By simply labeling each negative thought, you can train your brain to recognize when these thoughts are occurring and thus establish a barrier of self-protection. For example, instead of saying, “I’m a failure” after receiving a bad grade or feeling overwhelmed, say to yourself, “I’m having a thought that I’m a failure.” You’ll be surprised at how quickly this simple adjustment changes your self-perspective.

3. Stop Your Thoughts

Sometimes it’s so easy to get wrapped up in negative thinking that you don’t even realize it’s happening until you’ve successfully poked holes in your self-image. However, by training yourself to identify these negative thoughts the second they start to happen, you can use different strategies to diffuse them. The most powerful way to quickly halt your negative thinking is to simply say, “STOP!” As silly as you may feel at the time, this strategy can be very effective. If you’re more of a visual learner, consider thinking of images like a big, bold stop sign every time you’re feeling overwhelmed by negativity.

4. Be Kind To Your Mind

If you’re feeling swamped by negative thoughts or anxiety, try thanking your mind. Being kind to your mind can also be powerful when connected with verbally stopping your thoughts. For example, if you find yourself stressing over a test, sure that you failed, and already spiraling into a pit of self-loathing, use your verbal cue, “STOP!” and then proceed to thank your mind for trying to keep you safe and protected.

5. Write it Down… and Destroy

Lastly, an incredibly powerful tool for helping dissipate the negativity in your life is to write down your negative thoughts. Whether you keep a pad with you and write them down throughout the day, or jot them down at the end of the day, having a concrete place where you can physically identify the things that are causing you negative feelings will enable you to identify the stressors in your life and adjust accordingly. Best of all, after making your list and taking the time to digest these feelings, you can destroy it—a symbolic act that can help you cope and deal with negativity and stress.

By following these simple tips, you’ll find yourself conquering negativity and pursuing a college degree with confidence.


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