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How to Reframe Negative Thoughts?

What do you do with your thoughts?

It can be hard to reframe our negative thoughts, especially if we don’t realize we’re dealing with them. It can be exceptionally hard identifying what the negative thoughts we have are. Here are a few ways to reframe negative thoughts.

Identify the thoughts.

What might be negative to someone, might not be negative to another, though there’s a general baseline of what a negative thought consists of. You can ask yourself if you say mean things to yourself, but you can also ask yourself if you’d say these same thoughts to the ones, you love the most. If you wouldn’t, it could be a negative thought.

Realize what makes the thoughts come.

Does being around certain people make you upset? What about doing certain activities? It’s important to remove people and triggers from our lives if it’s possible.


Ask yourself why you’re thinking those thoughts.

This one can be hard because sometimes we have trouble being honest with ourselves. Are you thinking of those negative thoughts because someone instilled them in you? Or have you made a minor mistake and you’re also your biggest critic?

Make it a habit to come up with better thoughts

When a negative thought comes to mind, be patient with yourself and try replacing it with a better thought.

For example, if you’re thinking “I can’t do anything right,” try to remind yourself that “I can’t be great at everything but as long as I try, it’s all that matters.”

Forgive yourself for the negative thoughts.

At the end of the day, we’re only human and humans make mistakes. No one owes your forgiveness more than you. No one owes your kindness more than you. Sometimes we can work on our negative thoughts and go days or even weeks without thinking negative thoughts but then we mess up. So, what do you do next? We pick ourselves up and try again.


The process of reframing your negative thoughts and actively thinking positively isn’t easy but it’s not something you can fail at. As long as you’re trying, you’re doing a lot for yourself. If you are having more trouble with this process than expected, reach out to someone you trust or even a professional.

- Regard Tang


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