Negative thinking has a devastating impact on all aspects of our lives. Negative thinking is like slowly building a prison in your own mind. With time you become the captive and it becomes difficult to break free. To ‘break out’ of these self-built prisons, some people will use several methods such as diversions, distractions or even ‘draining their sorrows’, and then later mentally thrash themselves for being stuck in their own pool of negativity. The experience that you will go through will feel like a real battle.
With a little practice and proper understanding, you can transform your own life from the inside. Below are three ways to deal with negative thinking patterns.
1. Recognizing your own Negativity
Negative thoughts are repetitive and unproductive in nature. These thoughts have no real purpose and they directly cause negative emotions.
Once you recognize your negative thinking patterns, you get to have a choice on how to react when these thoughts come into mind. The most common negative thinking patterns include:
• Anxious thoughts and worry
• Criticism and self-beating
• Regret and guilt
• Ordinary problems
• Being always discontented and wanting more and more.
2. Take Control of your thoughts
Individuals who get trapped in their own negative thoughts feel hopeless and have no idea how they will break out of these thoughts. The best way to deal with these thoughts is to face the problems head-on. Plan for the future but deal with the different situations as they come. Burying your head in the sand will not work. When you are in a bad situation, try to think positively. Focus on how to solve the problem and not on how terrible the situation is. Remember problems don’t occur without solutions. Become solution-minded instead of problem-fixated.
For you to free yourself from negative thoughts, you must be aware of your own thoughts. Paying attention to what goes on inside your mind is very crucial at any given time. Shut-down any negative thoughts that arise before they even get the chance to control your brain. Always remain in the loop when it comes to the events that take place in your inner environment.
Be an impartial witness to your thoughts. Don’t take your thoughts very seriously, they are not you. Instead, see them as inner objects that you are merely observing, taking the good and discarding the bad.
3. Connect with the Present
Negative thoughts flow from two directions, the past and the future. People ponder what they perceive as past problems, guilt trips, and mistakes. Others worry about the future, fearing what will happen to them, friends, family, or even the whole planet. When you get lost in negative thinking, you lose touch with the aliveness and simple beauty of the present moment. To get rid of these negative thoughts and become fully conscious, you must redirect your attention from these thoughts and give the present moment your undivided attention.
4. Disconnect from the 24-hour news cycle
Resist feasting on what has become a 24-hour news cycle. Remember, news has become a propaganda tool primarily promoting both fear and doubt. Fear and doubt produce ‘mental’ torment. Instead of fixating on news try meditation or just reading something you enjoy. Every beneficial change takes a certain amount of disciple. We do become what we think about most so learning to discipline your thought-life has the power to literally transform your life.