How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.”

Even though I’m a yoga teacher, I still find it’s easy to fall prey to negative thinking. Having negative thoughts play out like a movie can only bring you pain, something that I’ve experienced many times throughout my life.

Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. I like the imagery of a small ball rolling along the ground, and as it rolls, it becomes bigger and faster.

That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of ugliness. On the contrary, a small positive thought can have the same effect blossoming into a beautiful outcome.

I’d like to share with you an example of how one small thought can turn into a very negative experience.

I have lived on my own for the last ten years. Obviously, during this time I’ve grown accustomed to living in a particular way; I have my routines with cooking, cleaning, and living happily in my place.

My boyfriend of two years, who I have had a long distance relationship with, will soon be moving here and we will be living together. Lately I’ve had negative thoughts of moving in with him knowing that my living routine will have to change and we will have to create a new routine together.

Unfortunately, I’ve already jumped into the future and have had thoughts that we will not be able to come up with a living arrangement that will make us both happy. In my mind I have seen myself already getting angry about our cooking and cleaning situation.

He came for a surprise visit this past weekend, and boy, was it a surprise for him. We had a miserable weekend together.

I did not enjoy his company because I was already angry with him, and he was confused and equally frustrated with me. What could have been a really fabulous weekend ended up being a painful and heavy weekend.

When we start to have negative thoughts, it’s hard to stop them. And it’s much easier said than done to shift your focus to positive thoughts. But it’s the only way, especially if you want to avoid going down a path that is painful and unnecessary.

Here are ten things I did to help overcome my negative thoughts that you can also try:

1. Meditate or do yoga.

One of the first things I did was head to a yoga class. It took my focus away from my thoughts and brought my attention to my breath. Yoga is also very relaxing, which helped ease my mind. Yoga helped me stay present to my experience so instead of jumping to what could happen, it brought me back to the now—the only moment, the most important moment.

2. Smile.

I didn’t do much of this during the weekend, so I literally had to bring myself in front of a mirror and force myself to smile. It really does help change your mood and relieve stress. I also felt lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.

3. Surround yourself with positive people.

I called a friend who I knew could give me constructive yet loving feedback. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.

4. Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive.

For example, instead of thinking, “We are going to have a hard time adjusting to our living situation,” think, “We will face some challenges in our living situation, but we will come up with solutions that we will both be happy with.”

5. Don’t play the victim. You create your life—take responsibility.

The way I was thinking and acting, you would think I was stuck. Even if our living situation becomes unbearable, there is always a way out. I will always have the choice to make change happen, if need be.

6. Help someone.

Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. I decided to make a tray of food and donate it to the Salvation Army. It took my mind off of things and I felt better for helping someone else.

7. Remember that no one is perfect and let yourself move forward.

It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. I felt terrible that I acted this way and that I wasted our weekend. The only thing I can do now is learn from my mistakes and move forward. I definitely don’t want to have a weekend like that again.

8. Sing.

I don’t remember lyrics very well and it’s probably the reason that I don’t enjoy singing, but every time I do sing I always feel better. When we sing, we show our feelings and this provides an amazing stress relief.

9. List five things that you are grateful for right now.

Being grateful helps appreciate what you already have. Here’s my list: my cats, health, a six-week trip to Asia, a new yoga class that I’ll be teaching, and for my mom’s biopsy coming out clean.

10. Read positive quotes.

I like to place Post-It notes with positive quotes on my computer, fridge door, and mirror as reminders to stay positive. Also, I’d like to share with you a quote by an unknown author that was shared in a meditation class that I attended:

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

Overcoming negative thinking is one of the major struggles you might encounter when working with the Law of Attraction. After all, even as you’re harnessing all these amazing new tools that help you to think positively and look towards a brighter future, you’re still fighting unhelpful limiting beliefs from earlier in life; many of these beliefs can creep in unbidden and start to disrupt your image of a better life.

Thankfully, however, there are many practical things you can do to help yourself stop negative thinking patterns. Here are five of the most effective ways to stop negative thinking.

5 Techniques To Stop Negative Thinking

1. Thought Stopping

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

When you notice that negative thoughts or images are starting to enter your mind, try actually say “stop!” to yourself. If you’re alone, you can try saying this out loud, but it can also be very effective when just said in your head.

If you prefer, you can use language that’s stronger than “stop” (such as “Get out of my head!” or even something a bit more colorful). For people who aren’t as moved by words, images can be more powerful. The classic example is a bright red stop sign that you picture in your mind’s eye when intrusive thoughts begin to appear.

There are also some more direct approaches to thought stopping. For example, you can try the old tactic of splashing your face with water or just change the direction of your thinking. Some people like to count backward from 100 to 1.

2. Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can be used in a couple of different ways. First, they might be deployed in the same way as thought stopping techniques. In other words, you might say an affirmation as soon as you feel a negative thought coming your way.

For example, if you’re working to find a new partner using the Law of Attraction and catch yourself thinking that you don’t deserve love, you can say “I am a valuable, lovable person and I will find a great relationship.”

Secondly, however, saying affirmations on a daily basis starts to reshape your thinking, making them a powerful tool even when you’re already in a good mood. Design your affirmations carefully, and try making eye contact with yourself in the mirror when you recite them.

3. Enforcing Boundaries

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

If you’ve lived with negative thinking for a very long time, you might think it’s unrealistic to just suddenly expect yourself to change your approach. In this situation, even affirmations and thought stopping techniques may seem to merely delay negative thinking for a later date.

If this sounds familiar, you might want to spend a couple of weeks at least enforcing boundaries when it comes to negative thinking. The idea here is that you choose a fixed, limited period for allowing your mind to entertain negative thoughts and that you commit to forcibly stopping or fighting them at every other time of the week.

When you’re reassured that you will have time to consider these thoughts, you may find they seem less powerful and have less potential to dominate your mind. Further, many people find that they can’t even think of anything when they come to their scheduled time to allow contemplation of negative thoughts and that this actually helps them to break their pattern.

4. Writing and Destroying

If your negative thoughts are linked to a specific strong emotion like fear, anger or jealousy, try letting them all out in writing. Use a pen and paper, and really express all of that pent-up negativity. You can then choose a way of destroying this paper, symbolizing your commitment to moving on. For example, you could tear it up, crush it into a ball, burn it, or scribble over it.

Those who aren’t as keen on using words to express themselves, artistic endeavors can have a similar impact. For example, you could sculpt a representation of your negativity, or paint it, and then destroy that (or change its shape).

The point of this technique is just to get some kind of physical representation of your negativity so that you can banish it in some satisfying symbolic way.

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

5. “Just Because”

You can also try to reason with yourself when you feel you are starting to spiral into negativity. This technique involves finding a sentence you can recite to yourself in order to acknowledge that you have power over your bodily responses and to increase that power over time.

Practice this approach by taking a deep, cleansing breath and say something like “Just because I’ve had some bad relationships doesn’t mean I have to do this to my body” or “Just because I’ve struggled to find a good job doesn’t mean I will never find one in the future.”

After your chosen sentence, say “Now relax” (letting the word “relax” be your cue to exhale, letting out tension and negativity).

Start To Clear Negativity From Your Life Today…

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By Patricia Harteneck, PhD

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

Most of us spend a lot of time inside our own mind — worrying about the future, replaying events in the past, and generally focusing on the parts of life that leave us dissatisfied. While common, negative or unwanted thoughts can prevent you from enjoying experiences, distract you from focusing on what’s important, and drain your energy. They can also make you feel anxious and depressed.

The good news is that with dedicated practice, you can replace negative thinking patterns with thoughts that actually help. This can make a huge difference in your day-to-day happiness and comfort.

Try these 7 ways to manage (and decrease) your negative thoughts:

1. Recognize thought distortions. Our minds have clever and persistent ways of convincing us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts reinforce negative thinking. If you can recognize them, you can learn to challenge them. Here are four common thought distortions:

  • Black and white thinking. Seeing everything as one way or another, without any in between.
  • Personalizing. Assuming you are to blame for anything that goes wrong, like thinking someone did not smile at you because you did something to upset her. (It’s more likely that person is having a hard day and her mood had nothing to do with you.)
  • Filter thinking. Choosing to see only the negative side of a situation.
  • Catastrophizing. Assuming the worst possible outcome is going to happen.

2. Challenge negative thoughts. Whenever you have a distorted thought, stop and evaluate whether it is accurate. Think about how you would respond if a friend spoke about herself that way. You would probably offer a good rebuttal to his or her negative view. Apply the same logic to your own thoughts. Ask yourself if you are assuming the worst will happen or blaming yourself for something that has not gone the way you wanted. And then think about other possible outcomes or reasons that something turned out differently than you hoped.

3. 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.

4. Release judgment. We all judge ourselves and others, usually unconsciously. Constantly comparing ourselves to other people or comparing our lives to some ideal breeds 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.

5. Practice gratitude. Research shows that feeling grateful has a big impact on your levels of positivity and happiness. Even when you are experiencing a challenging time in your life, you can usually find things (even small things) to be grateful for. Noticing the things that are going well and making you feel happy will keep you in touch with them. Keeping a gratitude journal and writing a few things in it every day is one easy and effective way to do this.

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

6. Focus on your strengths. It’s human nature to dwell on the negative and overlook the positive. The more you can practice focusing on your strengths and not dwelling on mistakes you’ve made, the easier it will be to feel positive about yourself and the direction your life is taking. If you find yourself thinking harsh thoughts about your personality or actions, take a moment to stop and think about something you like about yourself.

7. Seek out professional support if you are unable to manage your thoughts or find they are interfering with your ability to meet your daily responsibilities or enjoy life. Counseling and therapy can help you weather life changes, reduce emotional suffering and experience self-growth.

More info on this topic

Increasing your positivity doesn’t mean becoming unreasonably naïve or optimistic in the face of suffering. It’s just as important to recognize that pain is simply a natural wave in the flow of life. In fact, experiencing and processing negative emotions in a healthy way can be an important part of personal growth.

People tend to make two mistakes when confronted with a negative emotion: they either ruminate and obsess over the problem, or they try to numb their emotions.

Why ruminating and numbing don’t work

  • Rumination is deceptive because it feels productive to “think things through,” but gratuitously obsessing over a situation that caused pain only reinforces the strength of the negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Numbing the emotions does not work either, according to researcher Brené Brown, because it’s not possible to selectively numb an emotion—in other words, if you try to blot out your anger, you’ll blot out happiness and serenity along with it. Similarly, avoidance of an experience does not allow us to find other ways to deal with it: if we deal with sadness by using alcohol to numb ourselves, we don’t learn how to cope with sadness (and we potentially develop another problem with overuse of alcohol).

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

Strategies for coping with painful emotions

You can’t expect life to be 100% obstacle free simply because you are cultivating positivity. Indeed sadness, remorse, frustration, and stress are often natural (and healthy!) responses to the ordinary losses and struggles of human life.

Learn what you can do when you find yourself struggling.

Strategies for coping with painful emotions

Difficult emotions are part of life.

Rather than getting caught up in the suffering (“I can’t stop going over what I did wrong”) or trying to mask the feelings (“I just try to push it out of my mind”), a responsible and productive way to deal with negative emotions is to accept them as a natural human response to pain.

When you find yourself struggling with a painful emotion, try one of these strategies:

  • Drop the thoughts you are telling yourself about the situation and turn your awareness toward your body. What does this emotion feel like in your forehead, chest, gut, or legs? You don’t have to change any of the sensations; simply notice the energy of the emotion in your body. If you find yourself getting caught up in a sensation (“I don’t like the way this feels!”), take a few deep breaths before turning your attention, in a nonjudgmental way, back to the body. Try to maintain a feeling of gentleness and kindness toward yourself.
  • Write out your feelings in a journal or notebook. Expressive writing has been scientifically shown to benefit trauma survivors, helping them to make sense of and accept their experiences. Putting emotions on the page can also trigger insight or a path of analysis that may not have manifested internally.
  • Share your experience with a trusted friend. If writing doesn’t appeal to you, talking through your feelings with someone else can provide another opportunity to express yourself honestly and openly. The buffer of social support also increases feelings of confidence and trust, which help offset negativity.
  • Think about the suffering of others. Painful emotions like fear, grief, or anger all have a claustrophobic effect—they can make you feel as if your suffering is unique to you. This feeling of alienation only intensifies the pain. But by contemplating the fact that whatever it is you’re feeling right now has been felt by millions of others at some point in their lives, you give yourself a break from the isolation of your own experience. Reflecting upon shared suffering also boosts your compassion, which has been proven to produce greater positivity and more meaningful connections with others.

Note: None of these strategies is designed to make the painful emotion disappear. These are simply tips for dealing with negativity in a productive way.

Healthy Coping Skills

Instead of numbing emotions or obsessing over them, experts recommend that you recognize the inevitability of encountering some suffering and then move beyond it. This process may include:

  • Staying present with the negative feelings and practice watching them with a gentle, nonjudgmental attitude. Recognize when they are triggered by thoughts, and assess whether your emotions are responding to what you are thinking or what is actually happening.
  • Recognizing that pain is often a catalyst for growth and resilience.
  • Learn more about creative therapiesSeeking out the support of others.
  • Using a creative activity, such as journaling or drawing, to express emotions.
  • Practicing forgiveness for those who have caused pain.
  • Identifying unhealthy or ruminative thought patterns and gently letting them go.

Brown, B. (2012). Daring greatly. New York: Gotham Books.

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Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.

How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

Photography by Elvira Kalviste / Moment / Getty Images

This is a common problem for many people: just how are we supposed to deal with negative emotions that keep coming up when we’re stressed or hurt? Should we stuff our anger and frustration away and pretend it doesn’t exist, so we can minimize the fallout from these emotions? Or should we risk making things worse by saying or doing the wrong thing? As it turns out, “stuffing emotions” is definitely not the healthiest option and there are easy techniques that anyone can use.  

If you’ve wondered what to do with these feelings, however, you are not alone in struggling with negative emotions. Many people have the same question about stress and coping. When they feel overcome with negative emotions like hurt, frustration or anger, they know they shouldn’t pretend they feel nothing, but they also don’t want to dwell on negative feelings and ruminate. But while most of us have heard that these are not healthy strategies for stress relief, what other options are there?

Choosing to Deal With Negative Emotions

Ignoring feelings (like “stuffing your anger”) is not the healthiest way to deal with them. Generally speaking, that does not make them go away but can cause them to come out in different ways.   That’s because your emotions act as signals to you that what you are doing in your life is or isn’t working.

Feeling angry or frustrated can be a signal that something needs to change. If you don’t change the situations or thought patterns that are causing these uncomfortable emotions, you will continue to be triggered by them.

Also, while you are not dealing with the emotions you are feeling, they can cause problems with your physical and emotional health.  

Rumination, or the tendency to dwell on anger, resentment and other uncomfortable feelings, however, brings health consequences as well.   So it’s important to listen to your emotions and then take steps to let them go.

Understand Your Emotions

Look within and try to pinpoint the situations that are creating the stress and negative emotions in your life.

  • Negative emotions can come from a triggering event: an overwhelming workload, for example.
  • Negative emotions are also the result of our thoughts surrounding an event; the way we interpret what happened can alter how we experience the event and whether or not it causes stress.

The key job of your emotions is to get you to see the problem, so you can make necessary changes.

Change What You Can

Take what you’ve learned from my first recommendation and put it into practice. Cut down on your stress triggers and you’ll find yourself feeling negative emotions less frequently.

This could include:

  • Cutting down on job stress.
  • Learning the practices of assertive communication (so you don’t feel trampled by people).
  • Changing negative thought patterns through a process known as cognitive restructuring.  

Find an Outlet

Making changes in your life can cut down on negative emotions, but it won’t eliminate your stress triggers entirely. As you make changes in your life to bring about less frustration, you will also need to find healthful outlets for dealing with these emotions.

  • Regular exercise can provide an emotional lift as well as an outlet for negative emotions.  
  • Meditation can help you find some inner “space” to work with, so your emotions don’t feel so overwhelming.  
  • Finding opportunities for having fun and getting more laughter in your life can also change your perspective and relieve stress.

Find a few of these outlets, and you’ll feel less overwhelmed when negative emotions do arise.

You will also want to practice healthy options for ongoing stress reduction. Give them a try and you’ll feel less stressed.

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How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

O ften in daily life, we confront people who hate their lives, cry over silly things, complain unnecessarily and end up creating a negative aura in their surroundings. This is the power of negativism. In this generation full of tensions and daily hassles, negative thoughts are very common. They keep firing one after another. The extent to which negative thoughts surround an individual describes its effect on the person. Negative thoughts are cognitions characterized by negative perceptions, expectations and attributions. Pessimism is the word used for this mental state.

Lifestyle is the overall pattern of decisions and behaviors that determine a person’s health and quality of life. Negative thoughts can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and health-damaging behavior.

CAUSES BEHIND HAVING A NEGATIVE MINDSET OR
NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

The causes of negative thoughts vary from individual to individual. Sometimes it is easy to guess the cause while sometimes the person himself or herself is unaware of it.

To list a few, here are some common causes:

1> Poor company: Being a part of a group where people have a negative outlook on everything, affects individual perception also. Even while taking decisions outside the group, that perception will interfere.

2> Lack of self- confidence: Pessimistic people always step back while taking big decisions because of a lack of confidence. They always have a negative view of the outcome.

3> Past experiences: Past decisions gone wrong or unexpected outcomes hurt such people, which prevents them from taking big steps in life. Fear of the result always occupies their minds.

4> Faulty belief system: Such people seldom believe in positive or favorable outcome of anything. This faulty-belief system always creates the worst possible scenarios and threaten the individual.

EFFECTS OF HAVING A NEGATIVE MINDSET OR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

According to studies, pessimistic people are more prone to get physical and mental health problems. Repetitive and pervasive negative thoughts can be detrimental to mental health.

To list a few, here are some effects seen in pessimistic people:

1> Frustration: Not being able to do something big in life because of extreme negativism is a reason for frustration in these individuals.

2> Anger: On analyzing oneself, a person gets angry or annoyed for why is he or she so negative in life.

3> Hopelessness: A normal person loses hope in difficult situations while a pessimist is always lack of hope, expectation or desire.

4> Poor choices: People with negative approaches take poor decisions often neglecting most of the opportunities.

5>Psychological disorders such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Antisocial personality, depression may also be seen in people suffering from extreme pessimism.

SOLUTION TO REDUCE THE FREQUENCY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

The power of positive thinking is increasingly being recognized these days. Optimism, which is a mental attitude of believing in positive /favorable outcomes of some specific endeavor or in general, has been linked to psychological and physical well being. Motivational speakers, life coaches, counselors, and mental health professionals also speak about the importance of optimism. Inculcation of positivism in life can prove to be of great help to such people.

CAN HAVING A CERTAIN LIFESTYLE REDUCE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS?

Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

Here are some life skills which can be helpful:

1> Meditation and Yoga: The increasing importance of meditation and yoga in modern society, cannot be ignored. Focusing attention early morning helps an individual in reaching a different state of consciousness. Pleasant and calm feeling in mind invites good positive thoughts.

2> Balanced Diet: A balanced diet is a diet that contains an adequate amount of nutrients required in a day. A balanced diet can give more energy and lift one’s mood. “In a healthy body resides a healthy mind.” So, a balanced diet can also help in overcoming negative thoughts by taking care of the mental health.

3> Exercising: Physical fitness is equally important for a healthy mind. One must exercise daily for physical and mental wellness. Mental wellness is the fundamental solution to beat negative vibes.

4>Self-care: Taking care of yourself in every way possible, pampering body as well as mind by visiting counselors, seminars or reading motivational books is also important. By feeding the body with healthy things, we’ll get positive outcomes in return.

However one cannot become an optimist in a day. So one must take steps, even if they are small and steady.

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How to deal with negative thoughts (the healthy way)

When we are filled with anger or sadness, it can be hard to make decisions in the moment about how to cope with our feelings. No one wants to feel annoyed or upset, so it’s important we find healthy ways to release our negative emotions. Acting out in the wrong ways can exacerbate our problems, but finding a proper release can help us cope and hopefully make our situations a bit better.

“We need to express, release, or detox our negative emotions or they will build up and block us from enjoying our present, being productive, and reaching our goals,” says Sharon C. Martin, LCSW over email. “When we release negative emotions, we free up space and energy for positive, successful, and fulfilling things. We need to gain awareness of our feelings, accept them without judging them as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ and use healthy coping skills to release them.”

Maybe you have a go-to activity when you’re feeling down, or perhaps you’re someone who prefers to retreat into their room and take some time for yourself, but whatever your preference is, it’s important to have an idea of what can help keep your negativity at bay. Next time you’re feeling upset, annoyed, or just plain frustrated, consider these eight healthy ways to release negative emotion if you’re looking for a productive way to cope.

1. Breathe Deeply

“If you have negative energy that burns you up inside, take some deep breaths,” says Michelle Katz, LPN, MSN. “Take in the emotion, and release it with a breath. For someone who feels like they don’t have time to meditate, taking a deep breath can help. Think of it starting in your stomach and coming up from your chest.”

2. Write It Down

“A lot of people write because they are releasing emotion,” says Katz. “If you don’t want to share with friends, share with your diary. Protect it with a password so you’re not worried about someone finding it.” A study from UCLA found that putting your emotions into words can alleviate physical pain, as it reduces your brain’s emotional response in the amygdala.

3. Distract Yourself

Whether it’s engaging in an activity you love or throwing yourself into a new project, distraction can help prevent you from ruminating over the same negative thoughts. “When you start feeling a negative emotion, tell your brain to stop feeling that way,” says Katz. “Say ‘stop’ in your head, and distract yourself from that feeling. Focus on something else and push yourself through.”

4. Workout

“A hard workout that gets your blood pumping and body sweating is a physical release that helps release emotions that are trapped in our body, such as stiff muscles and neck and back pain,” says Martin. One study from Rutgers University found that a combination of meditation and aerobic exercise can help reduce depression, rumination, and overwhelming negative thoughts.

5. Utilize Imagery

“If you have an emotion like anger, envision the emotion of anger being hot and boiling,” says Katz. “Imagine pouring cool water over it. Give the emotion a place, and take the emotion, and throw it to the moon. Picture releasing it. Give it a shake. Just imagining that really helps a lot of people.”

6. Talk With Friends

“Go to a trusted person and you talk it out,” says Katz. “Your friends are sitting there and being active listeners, and in the end you feel better. It feels better to get things off your chest.” A study published in the journal Developmental Psychology found that during times of stress, being around a best friend can help reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

7. Smile

“Sometimes it can help to just try to be positive,” says Katz. “Smile at someone on the street. When that person smiles back at you and says ‘hello’ and ‘good morning,’ you have released the bad energy.” In fact, smiling when you’re down can have a feedback loop effect on your body, causing a release of more positive emotions.

8. Sleep

Your beauty sleep is important for more than just feeling rested. “Seven to nine hours of sleep [per night] sets the stage for having a strong emotional baseline to handle difficult emotions,” says Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC over email. Sleep can help reset your brain’s ability to cope with emotions, which can help your response to negative situations, according to research from the Psychological Bulletin.

Try each of these tricks to see which works best for you, or come up with your own go-to activity when you feel like you’re on the verge of releasing all your negative emotions. And don’t worry, sometimes it’s perfectly normal to feel down.

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Kids Could Get Vaccines Before School Starts — What Parents Need to Know

Pfizer asked the FDA for emergency authorization to start inoculating 12 to 15 year-olds after extremely promising study results.

Candace Cameron Explains Defense of Her Family Christmas Card After Receiving So Much Hate

She’s clapped back before, and she’ll do it again.