Managing Negative Thinking

Emotions and Self
Key Points

  • It is normal to have negative thoughts from time to time.
  • Use the 3 strategies to challenge your thought and develop a more compassionate response.

What is Negative Thinking?

Everyone experiences negative thinking from time to time. It can be useful when it empowers us to plan ahead and take action. However, negative thinking can also be incapacitating and prevent us from achieving what we want in life.

When trying to conceive, the experience of not being able to get pregnant easily as we thought we would, can make us doubt our body’s ability to get pregnant or even whether treatment can be helpful for us.

Around 80% of people trying to conceive experience negative thinking on a daily basis.

It’s important to understand that the way we see the World and experience what is happening to us, is a result of our values and beliefs. This is why people experience similar circumstances in a different way. Our thoughts will trigger certain feelings, which make us take certain actions, and eventually lead to the results we have in life.
Habits, values and beliefs

Strategies to Manage Negative Thinking

1) Challenge negative thoughts
Whenever you have a distorted thought, stop and evaluate whether it is accurate. Follow the example in the table below.

Challenge negative thoughts Table

2) Take a break from negative thoughts
It is possible to learn how to separate from negative thoughts. One way to do this is to allow yourself a certain amount of time (maybe five minutes) with the thought. Then take a break from focusing on it and move on with your day.

3) Release judgment
We all judge ourselves and others, usually unconsciously. Constantly comparing ourselves to other people or comparing our lives to some ideal leads to dissatisfaction. When you are able to let go of judgment (not easy, but possible), you will likely feel more at ease.

Some ways to take a break from judgmental thoughts include recognizing your own reaction, observing it, and then letting it go. Another helpful technique is to "positive judge." When you notice you are negatively judging a person, yourself, or a situation, look for a positive quality, too.
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