Negative thinking and negativity in general is something that in essence feeds on itself. The longer you harbor and entertain negative thoughts, they begin to manifest themselves physically in your body and then in your world. You are what you think about and the world is your mirror. In other words, your outer world is a direct reflection of your inner world. We literally create our world with the thoughts that we harbor and it begins with how our body responds to the things we think about. If you think depressive, negative thoughts, your body and energy become depressed. Your body is the mind. Hence, it is commonly noted that communication is essentially 90% body language and 10% verbal.
A lot of suicides have been a result of bouts and bouts of negativity that pushed some people over the edge. A lot of relationships breakdown after the honeymoon phase as partners become less clouded and more aware of each other’s negatives, and ‘choose’ to dwell on the negativity which builds resentment towards each other.
Negative thinking gathers momentum like a snowball getting bigger and faster as it rolls on the ground, collecting more snow. This ball clearly illustrates what a single “little” negative thought can become if not well managed. It will become, bigger, faster and more intense. They victimize you and take over your mind like a virus infecting your body.
How Do We Control Our Negative Thoughts
A thought needs to be entertained for long enough to stew an emotion inside us, thus have any power. The best way to shatter negative thinking in your life is by not letting it in and ‘entertaining’ it – instead developing the ability to re-frame any situation and think positively. Everyone gets negative thoughts. It’s completely normal. They can occur via an external stimulus, our conscious thinking and even through our subconscious mind when we sleep.
The key lies in not pursuing these thoughts obsessively, which if done will cause your RAS (Reticular Activation System) aka neural pathways to actively seek out the very thing you are looking to avoid and run away from via your negative thoughts. When you learn to let go of negative thought patterns and not entertain them – they lose power over you. The opposite is true with positive thoughts too. The more you add fuel to it and energize them, the more likely they are to manifest in your world.
You are completely empowered and have all the control to drive the thoughts you want decide to harbor. It’s your choice. When negative thoughts knock and you let them in – it’s your choice.
Below are 7 strategies to help avoid, alleviate overcome negative thoughts.
- Go Do Something for Someone Else
Serving others is one of the best ways to help reduce negativity as it takes the focus away from you. In today’s ultra individualistic and self-conscious world, taking the focus away from you and projecting your energies toward other people when you feel self subjective will help quieten down the mental dialogue and inevitable negative self talk, as they arise.
The more you do this, the less self-centered you become and the less power your negative thoughts will have over you. It is important to keep in mind – not to do something for others with the object of dispelling negative thoughts. This is really still serving yourself, as you are ‘helping others’ to ‘help you’ dispel your negative thoughts. When you become a blessing to others, you will feel good because the world is your mirror.
Meditation trains you to ‘be with’ you thoughts and not ‘be in’ your thoughts. The exercise of meditation is basically a process of letting go. The more you meditate, the more you will become adept at letting go of negative thoughts and focus them on your breathing. Most importantly, meditation improves self awareness, so you are more conscious of negative thoughts as they occur and able to take corrective action as opposed to being reactive whilst already being caught up in the whirlpool of negative thoughts. Meditation brings you back to the present and away from wild probabilities imagined by your mind.
- Practice Gratitude
Try to be thankful for all that life has offered you. Focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t have will help steer your mind towards more positive thoughts. Leveraging these thoughts can help you discover how you can use what you have to achieve even more in life. Practicing gratitude is one of the very first steps that will help steer your thoughts away from negativity.
- Surround Yourself With Positive People
Break the cycle of negativity by cutting links with people who contribute to your negative thinking and begin surrounding yourself with more positive people. When you are in a negative spiral, the last thing you need is people who make it worse by feeding your negative thinking. Bring in more people who are capable of putting things into perspective. When you are pursuing positivity in your life, it is import to make a clean break with all negative energy. Negative people are to be treated like a disease, no different as how you would stay away from a virally infected person.
- Start Taking Responsibility
Negativity always results when you begin making yourself a victim. On the other hand, you can begin becoming the master of your own happiness by taking responsibility for your actions. One of the most beautiful things about life is that we are given the freedom ‘to choose’ where we want to take our lives.
- Find the Positive In Every Situation
No one has an entirely smooth ride in life. Everyone, at some point, has a very rough ride. But some people learn how to find the silver lining in every dark cloud. Learn to make the most of those events that you consider misfortunes such as divorce, bereavement or loss of a job. When things happen to us that rattle us out of our comfortable existence, learn to focus on the positive aspects.
- Work Toward Your Goal
Working towards your goals and meeting daily little milestones can help you in breaking the cycle of negative thinking. If you have a big goal that is eroding your energy, take little daily steps towards your ambitions. This fuels positive energy and is reinforced each time you take the smaller steps with the larger picture in mind. Where there is light, darkness cannot be found. Where positive is, negative cannot be found.
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