Getting Rid of Negative Thoughts and Having Positive Ones

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    I always am asking my boyfriend for reassurance to escape the negative thoughts I have, even then I usually don’t believe the answer. How do I stop these negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones? I try just watching them, but they don’t go away usually and even when I try and combat them with logical thought, there is a big part of me that still wants to ask for reassurance. I’m just in need of some help, I don’t wanna continue to ask for reassurance and have these negative thoughts

    Thanks! 🙂


    Would you like to share more details on both situations? If you don’t or can’t share more details maybe go deeper and try to find out what is the cause of the negative thoughts. And also what’s the cause of the need for reassurance.


    Dear Leanne:

    It sounds to me, from my personal experience similar to yours, I think, that your child part, your inner child feels betrayed or abandoned or distrustful (or all) by your parent or parents, and you naturally project it into your boyfriend (who may be decent or not, i do not know). Is your inner child hurting beccause of her emotional abandonment? If so, she needs healing which is a deeper, longer process than simply changing negative thoughts into positive thoughts. If you believe deeply within your mind, your brain, that you are unloveable or that you cannot trust another to love you consistently, then changing thoughts is not going to work. Changig deep beliefs, core beliefs, takes looking into their origin with your mind and heart, perhaps within the context of good psychotherapy and slowly healing that hurting child. What do you think?
    Take Care:


    You can’t logic away your feelings.

    It seems to me your problem is not so much having “negative” thoughts, but the feelings that underly these thoughts. If you’re constantly asking for reassurance, those feelings may be fear, anxiety, guilt? Your thoughts may prompt these feelings, but they also arise from these feelings. Simply trying to over-write the thoughts may not be working for this reason.

    Let’s pretend, as a metaphor, that your feelings are small creatures that give you thoughts to think and want something from you. Perhaps paying closer, quiet attention to the feelings themselves, without trying to “get rid” or piling too much thinking on top of them, will help these “creatures” feel heard and appreciated and they’ll have less need to be so noisy. That means, once you learn to be with the feeling, the thoughts will tune out by themselves.

    Or maybe there’s some stuff going on in your life that just makes you really, really worried for legitimate reasons. If that’s the case, no amount of positive thinking or reassurance will make those worries go away. Pay attention to what it is you fear and thinking of ways to increase your sense of safety and security. That might be helpful.

    I hope you find peace and safety. My best wishes.


    My experience with anxiety is that if you recognise that anxiety is bearable and goes away on its own and you don’t fight it or try to replace it with something positive, it goes away on its own.

    There are different types of asking for reassurance, so I don’t want to give you advice that won’t help. But I used to ask for a lot of reassurance on whether I as “_____ enough” (enter pretty much anything that I had begun to doubt) and the reason I didn’t believe anyone’s reassurance was because I already felt I knew I wasn’t “_____ enough” so their opinion really didn’t matter anyway. If it’s this kind of thing – low self-esteem – then yeah it’s pretty horrible but I find this best:

    1) Recognise what thought or feeling you are having (notice it)
    2) Distract yourself – when you have the thought immediately do something nice for yourself (maybe make a list of small things you like so you can absorb in something positive) – this step helps to prevent rumination which will make your feelings worse
    3) Come back after distraction (once you have forgotten the feeling/thought) because then you will be more clear headed and ask yourself what you’re really afraid of – what are the consequences of not being “good enough” – are you afraid that you will be isolated from society? (I think this was/is my fear), are you afraid you will be criticised, punished, hurt? That’s teh bit you need to logic, not the self-esteem thoughts. If you logic the self-esteem thoughts (But I AM pretty, or whatever) you will make them worse, unfortunately.

    The other possibility is that you are seeking reassurance over the potential for abandonment. This is one of those things that is rooted in all kinds of different issues. It could be fear of being left because of ‘who you are’ (low self-esteem), or for some people it is fear that they cannot survive in the world on their own (fear of independence), or for some people it is fear that they will not meet another person who is ‘as good for them’ as the person they are with now.

    Again, you want to look at what specific fears are behind the shallower fears (so a less deep abandonment fear might be ‘does he/she look less interested today? Is that a sign he/she is leaving’?) Don’t logic these thoughts. Don’t sit there and think ‘no there are many reasons he/she would do that, it doesn’t mean he/she is going to leave’ because this just confirms to yourself that the potential for them to leave is terribly and terrifyingly important. Ask yourself instead, WHY is it so important. Is it because it would say something about you? (Think of all the ways this isn’t true – one person’s feelings towards you do not define you). Is it because you believe no one will ever be better for you than this particular person? (Recognise that if it were true one day that this particular person was less interested then that de facto makes them not the best person for you, which means there are people out there even better!), or if it’s that you fear being alone…then in that case I will let someone else help because that’s the fear I don’t have experience with and can’t understand as well as the others 🙂

    I would also ask yourself, btw, why you fear asking for reassurance. Have you tried telling your boyfriend that you feel you need reassurance all the time and want to find ways to improve your anxieties? Does he know how much this is bothering you? Just having his support for the underlying rather than ‘on the surface’ issues would be great for you, as it is difficult to cope with painful feelings if you feel you cannot/should not admit to them (you can always tell people).

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