Picture this; your alarm fails to go off on a day you have an important early engagement. As you try and rush to make it to the meeting, you’re stuck in constant traffic. It’s easy to crowd your mind with negative thoughts.
However, these thoughts are more than just a passing fete. Throughout the day, you’ll notice almost everything that can go wrong does undoubtedly go wrong.
Whenever you focus on negative thoughts and feelings, you start drawing from negative energy, which can ruin your whole day.
So while it may not be your fault that the alarm didn’t ring, but the negative thoughts you have from that point onward will have a significant and clearly visible impact on your day.
How then can you fix this? Well, the answer sounds pretty straightforward; to stop yourself from having negative thoughts.
However, the approach may be more complex than you first realize. For starters, you don’t always realize you’re having negative thoughts. The thoughts may appear right at that moment, only for you to notice it much later.
Additionally, the more you try not to think about something, the more you’ll find your mind levitating towards the subject. This shows that you can’t just lock away the negative thoughts when it’s convenient.
Then, does that mean all hope is lost? Are you stuck with your negative thoughts? Fortunately, there are quite a number of things you can do to turn the situation around.
As mentioned above, you just can’t turn off your thoughts and feelings. Instead, you can replace them with positive thoughts. Below, let’s dive into how you can turn negative thoughts around, and thereby tapping into the positivity and constructive energy around you.
What bad thinking habits do you have?
Rarely do most people realize they have bad thinking habits. Something could appear logical to one person, while to everyone else, it is an apparent vice.
The first step in changing negative thoughts for positive ones is investigating these bad thinking habits. Some of these habits are;
Jumping to conclusions
The mind is a powerful tool that is almost always hard at work. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, everything you interact with is being stored in the subconscious part of the mind.
For example, when you’re walking, the mind records the feel of the sun on your skin, the smells around you, the ground you’re stepping on, the surrounding sounds, and the sights near you. Since this is too much for you to process, it is stored in the subconscious.
Sometimes, the mind will join a few facts together and conclude. The problem is, you may not have all the facts. And this jumping to conclusion without seeing the whole picture could have detrimental effects.
Accepting inaccurate of false information
Sometimes, you may want something so badly that you start believing something you know well is a lie, or you don’t have the full facts on.
This is a form of cognitive bias that could end up leading you astray because of the facts you’ve deiced to idealize or ignore.
The mind of a child is often fascinated by the simplest of things. Kids are always curious and end up asking a ton of questions. As they grow up, however, this curiosity may die down, leaving a blanket of ignorance.
Ignorance can be simplified to not knowing something and taking no steps to acquaint yourself with the subject.
An example is stereotyping. Someone may hear one statement about another group and believe it without asking if it’s true or if there’s more to it.
There are myriad negative habits, and while you may not be able to see all of them, those around you can help you identify which ones you may be prone to.
Effective ways to stop negative thinking
Once you have figured out what negative thinking habits you have, you can now move to the various ways to keep the negative thoughts from taking over your mind. You can accomplish by;
Meditation is an age-old practice that dates centuries back. Even without scientific evidence or backing, different cultures practiced mindful meditation in one way or another. This is because mediation not only helps you focus, but it also helps in self-awareness.
Through meditation, you can identify the negative thoughts clouding your mind, and then try getting to the root cause of these feelings and thoughts to rectify it. Moreover, meditation is an easy yet effective problem-solving practice. (Related: Meditation Where To Start)
There are innumerable meditation styles and techniques, and you can try several to examine the results each has on getting rid of negative thoughts.
Related reading: 4 Documented Meditation Benefits for the Brain You have to know – Opens in new tab
2. The right company
You’ve heard of the saying, “bad company corrupts good morals.”
Not only is it true, but it also has a huge impact on your mind. When you surround yourself with negative people, you will, over time, turn negative.
Keeping the right company is a step towards ensuring you develop positive thoughts. To evaluate whether you have negative or positive friends, look at how each reacts to a situation, and watch for the thinking habits.
While at it, you may also discover your negative thoughts influence your company, which, as mentioned, is great toward being positive.
3. Take responsibility
Sometimes, things happen that are outside your control. For instance, if it starts raining, you had no direct part to play in the weather changes.
Therefore, there’s little you can do to change the situation.
However, there is still a lot within your control. When you take responsibility for the factors within your control, you have a greater chance of accomplishing your tasks, which then gets you in a positive mood.
For example, in the alarm clock illustration above, you should check to see if the clock is working correctly or if it did go off, and you slept through it. If the clock is the problem, you can get another one or find an alternative.
If you didn’t hear it ring, you were probably fatigued or slept late, which you can fix by going early to bed. The more proactive you are, the more control you have over your thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes, to get yourself to believe in something, you have to keep hearing it. And who better to keep telling you than yourself.
You can start your day by affirming yourself and believing in your skills, talents, and strong suit. A simple “today is going to be a great day!” can do wonders for your mind.
You may even find yourself having positive thoughts from mundane everyday situations. Consistently affirming yourself can help you become more positive and boost your mental health.
Being grateful is a sure way to cultivating positive thoughts. Unfortunately, most people are gracious only when something grand happens, which may not be very often.
If you start being grateful for the small wins and the progressions, your mind starts focusing on these wins, which keeps you in a positive mood.
6. Focus on the present
Most negative thoughts are from visualizing something traumatic from the past or being nervous over something that hasn’t happened yet.
While you should reflect on your memories and past experiences, you shouldn’t let what has already happened, take control of your thoughts.
At the same time, it is of little use to spend time worrying over the future. Grounding is a technique used to help you connect with the here and now.
Grounding techniques are effective in fending off negative thoughts. They are also easy to pull off, and you can choose from the various techniques.
7. Choose to remain positive
When confronted with a challenging scenario, you can either stay positive or tune negative. Getting negative is the most common response for most people.
However, remember that you have control over your mind. When you notice you’re tuning negative towards someone or a subject, you have to remind yourself to look at the positive side continually.
8. Engage your mind
The mind is always working, when you’re carrying out a task, it’s focusing on the task. When you’re not doing anything, the mind starts to wander off.
Whenever you find yourself having negative thoughts, try and find something to do. This will keep you from having negative thoughts as well as keep you away from the source of these negative thoughts.
Growing positive thoughts in negative situations
The truth is, negative thoughts can result in a narrow view of life. The negativity may be keyed in on one topic that you may end up obsessing over that you miss out on everything around you.
The negativity could also be general, in which case you’ll find negativity in almost anything. Cultivating a positive and negative mindset is not an easy fix to any problem.
If anything, positivity helps you see a clearer picture, which will slowly turn you into an inherently positive thinking person.
Finally, even as you work on flipping the switch to a more positive mindset, if you find yourself struggling with negative thoughts, you should talk to an expert, such as psychologists and other qualified professionals.
And remember, the power of positivity attracts positivity from the universe.
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