One Word to Help You Overcome Negative Thoughts

Harnessing the power of positive thinking.

Posted Jan 24, 2021 |

Over the years, I have written about the positive impact of one word—the most powerful I have seen to date—that stops and overturns negative thoughts. I first learned about this amazing word at a professional conference about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies. 

CBT is based on these core principles:

  • Emotional struggles are due to faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  • Psychological problems are based, on learned patterns of problematic thinking and unhelpful behavior.
  • People suffering from emotional struggles can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.
  • Efforts to change rigid, distorted, and unhelpful thinking patterns lead to improved emotional health. 

For years, my many counseling and coaching clients have overwhelmingly agreed that the word I am soon going to share with you is very helpful. This word overcomes discouragement and inaction. It turns negative, self-defeating thoughts of all kinds into productive ones.

As I further explain in my latest book, The Anxiety, Depression, & Anger Toolbox for Teens, challenging your negative thoughts with more adaptive ones is the key to calming down and problem solving. Aren't these the two most valuable skills for a productive life? 

This one-word, negative thought buster I am about to share with you sparks more positive moods, boosts self-esteem, and will make you a more productive, self-assured person. I am going to also give you sample soundbites for how to use it. 


The magic word to overcome negative thinking is "Nevertheless." Let's look at some examples of how you can use it:

  • "I am hesitant to write this Psychology Today post today because some haters may say I don't know what I am talking about. Nevertheless, it helps me feel empowered knowing that my counseling and coaching clients find "Nevertheless" very helpful."
  • "I'm so depressed. I just don't want to do anything today. Nevertheless, I owe it to myself to try to go for a walk because it will likely get me out of my head and help me feel better." 
  • "I'm so angry at those people for not inviting me to join that group Zoom call. I feel so abandoned right now. Nevertheless, I'm going to see if I can get some feedback about what is going on. Worse comes to worst, I will reach out to others I know to cultivate closer fitting friendships."
  • "I am nervous to try to branch out and try making some new friends. Nevertheless, I will feel better knowing I am trying to connect with others rather than willfully staying disconnected." 
  • "I'm upset and cookies are my comfort food to binge on. Nevertheless, I will find a better way to deal with my feelings. The more I work on self-control, the more I will feel I have earned an occasional cookie indulgence versus destructively thinking, 'I deserve one'."
  • "I'm going to fail this test because the teacher is horrible. Nevertheless, I am going to start studying and give it my best."
  • "I am so angry at her because it feels like she never listens to my point of view. Nevertheless, if I allow myself to calm down, and state a positive intention to work things out, that will likely get us to a better place than continuing to brood about this current conflict."

If you try using "Nevertheless" in earnest, you'll likely see its power. "Nevertheless" allows us to pause and realize that we have choices. There are always reasons (or excuses) to succumb to negative thinking patterns and to do what's unhealthy, unproductive, or even morally questionable. Nevertheless, we can still choose to do the right thing.

You may question if the word "nevertheless" will help you move past your negative thoughts and the chaos that comes with them. Nevertheless, if you give it a try, you will likely find that this word packs a lot of punch to knock out your negative thoughts.

For more about Dr. Jeff, click here.


Bernstein, J. (2020). The Anxiety, Depression, & Anger Toolbox for Teens, Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing.

Bernstein, J. (2015). 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child (2nd Ed.) Perseus Books, New York, NY.

Bernstein J. (2009) Liking the Child You Love, Perseus Books, New York, NY. 

Bernstein, J. (2019). The Stress Survival Guide for Teens. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Bernstein, J. (2017). Letting go of Anger—Card deck for teens. Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing.

Bernstein, J. (2003) Why Can't You Read My Mind?  Perseus Books, New York, NY.