Wellness \ Mind & Body

How to Eliminate Negative Thoughts And Ease Stress

With all that life throws at us every day, it's natural to be overwhelmed by negative thoughts:

"I should have known better. I'm never on time. I can't do anything right."

We have the normal stresses of worries about family, worries about the economy, worries about deadlines and what have you, worries about our own health.

And our health can be affected by negative thoughts.

Now there may be a way to break the pattern. Dr. Herbert Benson, a professor at Harvard Medical School, says the answer is a process called cognitive restructuring.

"Cognitive restructuring is how you can frame your thinking."

First, you relax and breathe deeply for a few minutes, all the while chanting a chosen word or phrase. After achieving a relaxed state, Benson says it's easier to challenge and change your negative thoughts.

"You give a thought to—'must it be that way?' and then you choose — perhaps I can retrain that thinking. Stop, breathe, reflect, choose."

According to Benson, regular practice of this exercise can give you a more positive outlook on life—and even ease some medical conditions resulting from stress.

"It has to be based on an opening of the mind so that the mind is more receptive, quieter, less noise, less static so you can change your thinking."

So the next time your stress level starts to rise, remember: that impossible situation you're facing may not be so bad after all.

This entry last modified on: February 4, 2013 4:33 PM

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This simple positive thinking technique from Dr. Herbert Benson can help erase the negative thoughts that are stressing you out.


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