I met with an old friend this afternoon with whom we discussed the impact of negative thinking and what causes us to think like this. This has inspired me to delve deeper into the issue.
Many of us on a daily basis consume our heads with unpleasant thoughts which constantly plant seeds of doubt. This is counterproductive towards our own wellbeing.
What causes us to think this way?
Do you feel undermined by your peers & those close to you? Are you afraid to let go of the past?
For many years, I have succumbed to this negative way of thinking and felt rather unhappy. Probably because I let the past affect me and couldn’t let go.
In the past few years, I identified that this negative way of thinking was getting in the way and not contributing towards my own self-confidence so I reached out to various sources to find answers.
In light of my own research, I have put together 6 ways of combating negative thinking:
1. Stop thinking the worst!
This ‘all or nothing syndrome’ is where we think that everything is going to collapse before we have even attempted to try. Almost like we are too scared to move forward so we end up procrastinating in the end. Before I gave my first consultation I was too afraid to step out of my comfort zone, so I remained frozen and stagnant. My best advice is to not over analyse the situation and write down how you are feeling at the time and read it back to yourself. This will help towards giving your mind more clarity.
2. Surround yourself with positive people or activities which make you happy
Consuming negative thoughts regularly can take its toll on your mental & physical wellbeing. A good way to feel better about oneself is to take up a hobby, in order to keep your mind preoccupied. What worked best for me was to help out at one of the Sydney living museums where I made a number of new friends and it was a great environment to keep my own mind stimulated. Once you eliminate the negative people from your life and surround yourself with the happy ones then your quality of life will improve.
3. Believe in yourself and turn ‘Can’t’ into ‘Can’
Do you always find ways to stop yourself from doing things?
I certainly have and kept on saying ‘oh I can’t do this’ and ‘I am not good enough’, which to be honest, was only in my mind! You can only really say that you are unable to do something after you have really tried. The more you say to yourself, ‘I can and I will’ ,then the more you will see a difference in the way you live your life.
4. How to stop self-blame?
Are you blaming yourself for how others are feeling and for their thoughts. How others are feeling is not necessarily your fault. We have no idea how they are feeling. Many of us face this issue when we are feeling down that we assume that things have not worked out because of something we have done. We end up putting thoughts in our mind. I can recall an event where I went to a party and saw a friend of mine and instantly thought she was trying to avoid me, when it clearly was not the case and I had planted this own feeling in my mind. The next time you start thinking in this direction, take a step back and think this is not your fault. Accept and move on.
5. Mind reading and overgeneralization
We all get into the habit of instantly reading a person’s mind before we have even started talking to them. I remember avoiding parties, because I was too afraid to approach people as I thought the people didn’t like me. To be honest, I know this sounds rather trivial but I am not alone here. Once you are conditioned to think this way then you assume everyone is out to get you. Overgeneralisation goes hand in hand with this since we view situations in negative ways beforehand. In particular, when I applied for job opportunities, I missed out on many opportunities because I automatically thought that I didn’t stand a chance and always thought the worst rather than the best.
6. Always look on the bright side of life
Work on building up a positive disposition which can really help you through your day to day life. There is an appropriate quote in this case by Oscar Wilde: “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”. This means that our attitude is what really matters at the end of the day.
Are you struggling to beat negative thinking and would like to get rid of it for good?
Then contact me for a consultation!
By Caroline Peart
(All rights reserved)
Image source: http://weknowyourdreams.com