Many of us spend a lot of time in our own heads. Our own emotions can often feel like a roller coaster ride at times. We replay bad events from our past, worry about the future and often focus to much on the negatives in our lives. To many negative thoughts can lead to things like anxiety and depression. It can also drain all your energy from you. Getting drawn into this cycle of negative creates a prison in your own mind.
The good news is if you are struggling or find yourself stuck in a cycle of negativity you can turn it around. With some effort, understanding, and some practice you can completely transform your life and turn your negative mind into a more positive one. Here are some tips on how to overcome negative thinking.
- Understand and recognize your negative thoughts and patterns
Many of these patterns are brought on by something. What is important to understand is that much of these negative thoughts serve no real person or function. They are unproductive thoughts that do nothing but drain you of your energy and directly cause you to feel negative emotions. By analyzing and recognizing the patterns you can then start to make a conscious choice as to how you feel. It is not an easy task but with practice and effort it can be overcome.
One type of negative thinking is being too critical and hard on yourself. Many of us are our own worst critics. We think way more negatively of ourselves than anyone else around us. It is important to understand your flaws and weaknesses so that you know what you should improve on, but you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself to the point that you only focus on your weaknesses and flaws. You must remember that you possess good traits and strengths as well. When you focus to much on your weaknesses and flaws in can quickly erode your self-worth and confidence which often leads to a vicious cycle downwards.
Another type of negative thinking is regret and guilt. While it is important to learn from past mistakes it is also just as important to not beat yourself up too much over those mistakes. Learn from them and move on. By focusing too much on past mistakes you may begin to feel a sense of worthlessness or even guilt. These feelings can also quickly destroy your self confidence and self-esteem.
- Challenge your negative thoughts
Whenever you are experiencing a negative thought or thoughts it is important to challenge it and ask yourself if what you are thinking is true. It is important to ask yourself how you would look at the situation if it was coming from a close friend of yours instead of inside of your own head. Think of the reasons how something turned out different that you had hoped and then focus on how you can improve the situation next time.
- Be thankful
We often get wrapped up in only the bad things that are happening to us. We often forget all the good things happening for us in our lives. Sit back and try to think of all the good things going for you and all the good things to come. This includes even the small things that we usually take for granite. This is especially important when you are going trough a difficult time in your life. For some people taking a few minutes everyday to say out loud or writing down what they are grateful for is a great way to remind themselves of the things that are going well and a great way to keep them in touch with the things that make them happy. Research has shown that people who are more grateful are generally more happy and positive people.
- Take care of yourself
Diet and exercise are not only healthy for the body but the mind as well. Exercising just 30 minutes a day has been shown to improve happiness and increase positivity. Try and eat a well-balanced diet of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. It is best to avoid sugars and excess fat. Sleep is also very important. Try to aim for 7-8 hours of a sleep a night.
- Forgive yourself
It is important to remember that we are all human and we all make mistakes. When you make a mistake, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. You should learn from it and move on. Try to forgive yourself like you would forgive someone very close to you. This is a very important part in learning to think positive and not let yourself become consumed by your own inner critic.
- Other people don’t care about your mistakes as much as you do
It’s easy to fall into the vicious trap of negatively if you think to much about what other people think of you or your mistakes. This can often lead to you draining yourself of your own power and putting yourself in a stage of analysis paralysis. The reality is most people don’t care nearly as much as you do or nearly as much as you think they do. Many people may not even care at all. People simple don’t have the time or energy to analyze and think about every little thing you do. They are to busy dealing with their own issues to care about yours.
- Vent it out
When you are frustrated or feeling negative thoughts it can be extremely helpful to talk it out with someone. Talk to a trusted family member or friend about whatever is bothering you. They may even share a different viewpoint than you and can share some insight from a more positive perspective. You may even realize things on your own by simply just talking out loud about it. This trusted family member or friend may even be able to help you come up with an action plan to fix whatever is bothering you.