I know we all struggle with negative thinking from time to time. Sometimes it’s the inner critic that won’t shut up, other times it’s worry that keeps you spinning, and still others it’s anxiety that grips you with it’s stranglehold.
Here’s the thing, science is proving the harmful effects that these negative throughs have on your health, your relationships, and life in general. Even worse, research shows that when you try to push down or argue with these harmful thoughts, they instead AMPLIFY and make matters worse.
So today I wanted to share 4 ways to move you out of the negative thoughts and into a fresh perspective.
- The first one is to notice them in the first place. So often they become second nature that you don’t catch them when they begin to creep in. Once you recognize them as what they are – harmful negative thoughts – you begin to have a choice to how you want to respond to them. This takes the power away from them and returns it to you, to make a choice in what to believe and how you want to feel.
- The second is simply to come back to the present moment. Have you ever noticed that negative thoughts are often anchored in past events, or in worry about the future ones? Sometimes you are feeling negative about the present moment, too, especially when you are judge things around you as “bad”. One of the fastest ways to “get present” is to bring awareness back to our senses. Smell the air around you. Feel the texture of the clothes on your skin. See what’s around you. Become aware of your current environment and pay attention to your direct sensory experience.
- The third is to begin a dialog with and question the negative thoughts. These questions come out of acceptance and commitment therapy and are helpful to recognize negative thinking.
. Is the thought helpful?
. Is it absolutely true?
. Is this an old story that my mind is playing out of habit?
. Does this through help me take effective action?
. How do I want to feel?
. How can I make the best of this situation?
. Who would I be without this negative thought?
. What can I be grateful for in this moment?
- The fourth is to have a daily self love practice. Devote some uninterrupted time to yourself. When you get to know yourselves deeply, you begin to know your own unique truth and can act from that knowledge instead of the negative thoughts. You are able to stay centered, and focused on taking the best care of yourself. From this solid and grounded place, you begin to forgive yourself and protect yourself from the negative thinking that keeps you spinning. From that place of genuinely loving yourself and your life, you love and respect yourself even more and find little time to allow yourself to stay stuck in negative thinking.
If you choose one or two of these actions, chances are you’ll begin to move yourself out of negative thinking and into a place of healthy, positive thoughts that support your best health.
Thanks for reading this mindful moment. I hope you take away something of value from it. I always welcome your thoughts or comments, so don’t hold back.