I’ve had my fair share of negative emotions, predominantly when I suffered from anxiety and then postnatal depression. It’s been a hard slog working through them and learning how to think positively, but gosh it feels good when you learn how to recognise your negative thoughts and turn them into positives.
Are you still finding that part challenging though? Well, never fear, I’m going to share some tips with you that have really worked for me.
Negative thoughts are draining, aren’t they? Negative thoughts tend to make life seem like it’s really really bad, like the world might come to an end, but really, it’s not that bad at all. It’s the negative thoughts that are to blame. Even the tiny negative thoughts can morph into something utterly stupid. But yet, one tiny little positive thought can make the difference.
It’s all about identifying the negative thoughts, catching them before they manifest. Make your self more mentally aware of them, as soon as they pop into your head, acknowledge they are there and write them down. Look at them and challenge them, turn them into a more reasonable perspective.
For example, here are some negative thoughts that have most commonly popped into my head and how I would try to deal with them once I caught them and analysed them:
|Negative Thought||Turn it into a positive|
|I can’t do this, there’s no way I have the ability to do well.||Look at all the things I have done. I can achieve many things when I put my mind to it. If I focus, ask for advice and learn what I need to, my chances of success will increase.|
|What if I ask her over for coffee and she finds me boring? I will feel so embarrassed.||We get on well and it’s likely coffee will be quite enjoyable. I’d rather take the risk and see what happens than not do it at all.|
Sometimes it takes a little more than turning negative thoughts into positives, it’s how you live your daily life that builds a foundation for more positive thoughts. Here are some other things I do that help me think more positively.
I have positive quotes around my home. We have a blackboard wall in the kitchen and I make sure I have my weekly mantra written on there so I can see it every day. I also have a pile of quotes on my desk, a new one for each day.
I always try to smile, especially at other people. The number of people I walk past that try to avoid eye contact is so disappointing. It is so uplifting when you can give someone a smile and receive one back.
No one is perfect
I always try to remind myself that everyone is not perfect. With social media it always seems to be the ‘perfect’ on show but what we forget is that no one is perfect, each person has similar struggles in life. We need to understand that the media creates a unrealistic view of what life is and unfortunately it’s easy for many to think that what we see in the media is real life. Most often it isn’t. Get back to reality and realise that no one, not even the celebrities, are perfect.
Listen to positive music
When I listen to music, I make an effort to really listen to the lyrics. I really dislike music with negative or depressing lyrics. Mr. G will hate me saying this, but a lot of the music he listens to, I despise because of this. It makes me feel yuk, so why would I listen to it? Often too, I listen to music without lyrics, music that helps me drift off into positive places and has a calming effect – water trickling, rain, birds, the sounds of the rainforest…
Surround yourself with positive people because their positive energy will brush off on you. Whenever someone is speaking negatively I usually tune out or try to end the conversation somehow because I know from previous experience, the negativity of another person usually makes me go from feeling reasonably happy to reasonably unhappy. Negativity can be contagious.
Almost all of the books and magazines I read have to do with people overcoming hardships in their life to become successful. These definitely help me to think more positively about myself and what I can achieve. I will definitely not get this out of any gossip magazine or website full of fluff.
I know for a fact that exercise clears my head and boots out negative thoughts but I’ve never been able to figure out why I’ve found it so hard to exercise when I know the benefits. Now that I’m starting my learn to run course this month, I’m going to make sure I have lists posted around the house – in the kitchen, in my office, the bathroom, outlining how I feel after exercising. Exercise boosts serotonin levels, serotonin is the feel good chemical in our body. Not enough of that and then the negative thoughts come creeping back.
How do you think positively?
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