Topic Tuesday: Negativity

“7 Prompts to Overcome Negativity” (By: Zahra Biabani)

Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for treatment. If you are dealing with an eating disorder, please seek out help. These are just questions that mirror the Socratic Questioning method, designed to help you challenge your thoughts.

We all know the feeling – the downward spiral of negativity that is often started by a sudden thought or an emotional response to someone else’s words. This spiral can be even more pernicious when you are dealing with an eating disorder, body dysmorphia, or related disorder.

Whenever you’re feeling attacked and overwhelmed by negativity, I encourage you to take a look at the prompts below and challenge yourself.  Learning to recognize the invalidity of negative thoughts is vital in order to affirm positive thoughts.

  1. What exact feeling/situation inspired these thoughts?
  2. Write down three words that describe how you feel right now- then write down the antonyms of each of those words and think about times you’ve felt THOSE feelings.
  3. Ask yourself what outside influences played into your emotions when you’ve felt the (above) positive feelings, and what outside influences are involved in how you currently feel.
  4. Now think about three ways you can disconnect yourself from the influencers that are playing into your current emotions! Are you worried that OTHERS think these negative thoughts about you, or do you YOURSELF feel them?
  5. Ignore these outside influencers and ask yourself a question without emotions attached. Is there any EVIDENCE to back up these negative thoughts/feelings? Write these down (if any).
  6. Think about the ways you can refute this evidence – or think about how a friend would refute this “evidence” that is backing your negative thoughts!
  7. Write down how you might respond to a friend who expresses they are facing the same thoughts as you are. Now repeat what you wrote to yourself! It doesn’t have to be out loud – even thinking it makes a difference.

Bring it full circle by bringing yourself back to the situation, present with outside influences (negative or positive) AND yourself. Remind yourself to be YOUR OWN friend and to constantly challenge your negativity with critical reasoning.

These prompts are super helpful, but it’s not so easy to just whip out your journal to address them whenever you’re feeling down. Oftentimes, I am more prone to get “down” when I’m surrounded by a large amount of people!

So that begs the question…. what should I do when I can’t write these down? It’s simple – anchor your inner dialogue around these prompts!

I hope these questions help you grapple with negative thoughts, whenever they flood your mind. Remember that you are worthy of self-love and happiness.

About the Author

Zahra is a college student passionate about a sustainable life and style that doesn’t hurt our environment, our fellow humans, or our budgets. Her blog additionally talks about growing spiritually, living sustainably, learning endlessly, and existing healthfully. The faith-based sustainability and wellness website, Soulful Seeds, is meant to inspire you with content that nourishes your soul, enabling you to bloom into the best version of yourself.