Published on May 8, 2023

How to Have Better Control of Negative Behavior

by Psych Times Staff

Stressful situations are common; at least once a week, everyone experiences something stressful, whether it be in their daily life, from small things, relationships such as family, work, or finances, but the list can go on and on. Even though stressful situations may be very common, there is one thing that’s certain; you need to control your emotions. 

This is something that’s honestly a challenge, more specifically, trying to control your behavior when you’re having a stressful time. So here are some things to try to keep in mind when you’re working towards having better control of negative behavior, whether it’s stressful times or just in daily life.

Start By Identifying Triggers

The first step to controlling negative behavior is to identify the triggers that cause it. This can be hard to do, but it’s important to be able to recognize what sets you off and what circumstances or situations seem to make your unwanted behaviors worse. To a degree, everyone has a trigger; this could be a certain attitude someone gives you, certain things that are said, an environment, or sometimes it’s even a specific person. But in the end, you need to identify this trigger in order to help better control your behavior. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

There is nothing wrong whatsoever when it comes to reaching out for help. In fact, you should try to embrace help wherever you can. This could even include something like behavioral health consulting from a professional. But overall, sometimes people just don’t see their faults, triggers, or what’s happening. You know your behavior is negative, but you don’t know why, what happened, how to stop it, how to even control it. All of it can be a lot, especially if you’ve normalized it so much in daily life. This is why you need help, as a professional will help analyze you.

Consider Your Environment

Maybe you’re struggling to make changes due to the constant push that’s in your environment. If you’re living in a negative environment, it’s only going to breed negative behaviors. Thought and behavior patterns can be hard to change because they may be encouraged in certain environments or social settings. In terms of the environment, it’s typically the place you live in, work at, or spend a lot of time at. The relations with those in the environment are also going to have a bad effect on this too. For instance, your current environment could be what causes you a lot of anxiety on top of your other negative behaviors. 

Look for Positives

There is a silver lining out there, but you need to look hard at it. Being a “glass half full” kind of person can feel nearly impossible, but sometimes that positive push is going to be what helps you control this negativity. You need to consciously monitor your thoughts, so you can identify and challenge irrational beliefs. Gratitude is another great tool for disarming negative thinking. Practicing gratitude by writing down a list of the people and things in your life that make you happy helps to give you a fresh perspective.

If you can’t immediately challenge negative thoughts, try putting them on hold for now. Visualize putting the hamster wheel of negative thoughts on a shelf and revisiting them at a later time when you’re not under the same level of stress. Then, replace those thoughts with useful ones that help you move forward.

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