& Stop entertaining those negative thoughts inside that beautiful head of yours
Unfortunately, negative thoughts are a very natural thing- just like anxiety, but they can keep you from remaining present and can lead to unhealthy thinking patterns. The belief that the solution to the problem is to banish the thoughts completely is truly misguided. Learning to accept the negative thoughts but also question them is the real key here because we can’t stop our thoughts but we can control them and how they affect our behaviour.
I’m not sure if anyone else does this type of journaling but it’s been incredibly helpful for me and there’s two parts to how this works. You see, it’s important that we acknowledge our negative thoughts. It doesn’t mean that we have to accept them as truth but we mustn’t simply ignore them because this is how we can slip into a negative mindset without even realising it.
Take 5 minutes out of everyday to ask yourself: what is it that I’m feeling right now? and then you can learn to match that feeling with a negative thought that you’re having, to see that your thoughts and feelings do coincide. Next, write down an events diary where you simply write down the events of the last twenty-four hours, be sure to stick to facts! This will help you to understand that although nothing majorly catastrophic has happened in your day, your automatic thoughts have indeed affected your feelings and therefore your behaviour. It also helps identify your triggers if something has happened.
Focus on the positives
Another productive way to combat a negative mindset is to take time to focus on gratitude. You may find it helpful to write these things down but I often like to keep it in my head as a shield of protection. No matter how destructive the thoughts may be, take a little time out to identify three things that you’re grateful for. Sometimes these can be grandiose things that may have helped to lift your spirit, other times they can be very basic day-to-day appreciations that we often take for granted like simply being alive or having clean sheets to sleep on every night.
Surround yourself with the right people
Energies are contagious. If you’re surrounded by negativity, you can’t expect to achieve any more than that yourself. We’re all products of our environment and so it’s important we choose wisely when it comes to who we spend our time with. The art of letting go is something that I am still working on and so I understand it’s a lot easier said than done, however, it’s one of the most important contributors to a positive mindset. Ask yourself: is this a good/healthy relationship?
What techniques do you find helpful when you’re caught up in negative space?