In our series this month on anxiety, panic and OCD. We explored negative thinking and 12 ways to recognise negative thoughts. The unseen!
A process that takes time to gain conscious awareness of and not an overnight fix. Quite frankly it is quite inconvenient and often very painful.
Probably easier to self medicate on booze, sex, food or whatever other past times you can find that will give you some temporary pleasure to avoid that difficult shit!
It is one thing to recognise negative thoughts and the characteristics of negative thinking, but how do you actually change them? If you got that far……..then here are some tips…
7 Keys to Positive Thinking
1. Remember The Good Things. Keep a list of some good things in a diary or notes in your phone. When you are feeling low or bad about yourself you can remind yourself- I have been happy before. Each day write down what went well, what you enjoyed, what nice things have happened to you or people around you- don’t be a hater, it is pointless, better to celebrate other peoples successes too!!
2. Is It Really That Bad? Negative feelings can be the result of predicting the future and making situations much worse than they really are . Often the things we imagine in our heads are not as bad if they do happen in real life. Ask yourself, how bad would it really be if the worst happened? Can you do anything to prevent it? How can you deal with it if it does happen?
3. Relabel It. If you have a pain in the tooth, it’s a signal that you should see a dentist. In the same way emotional pain can be a signal that you need to do something about the situation. Seeing pain as a signal to change things for the better is a very positive step. Many people use, or do destructive things to avoid dealing with pain, this results in things getting worse long term. You may want to get help from your GP to be referred to counselling, or find alternative therapies, such as mindfulness. Get a coach or mentor, become part of a self help group with like minded people to share your problems and experiences.
4. Hopefulness. Negative thinking can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, ‘I can’t do this so I won’t even try’. Repeating negative statements to yourself, even if it is in your head will kill any hope. Making positive statements and receiving encouragement will make positive outcomes more likely, cancelling out negative thinking.
5. Blame The Event. Making one mistake does not make you a stupid person. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Blame the event or the behaviour only, not yourself. Say ‘that was a stupid thing to do’, not ‘I’m really stupid’
6. Keep Your Focus. Remind yourself what needs to be done and don’t get distracted. Don’t think about all your problems and try to change everything at once, accept where you are at. Focus just on what you have to do to today, then relax and work through it one step at a time. When you’ve handled a difficult situation well, or done something good, reward yourself, no matter how small it is. Count the positive things, not just the negative.
7. Be GRATEFUL. Start saying thank you. When we start to appreciate things and people you will see a shift in your mind-set, changing the atmosphere you live and work in. It’s hard to be negative when you
appreciate something, even other people will have a hard time being negative around you. Your circumstances may not change but you can change your attitude.
Tune in this week to our podcast, with a mindfulness expert and start to change your negative thinking and behaviour.