- Mental Health»
How to Beat Negative Thinking
Negative thinking has certainly destroyed my life in the past. In many situations, I simply gave into this type of thinking and allowed the worst possible outcome to happen rather trying to carve a more positive, more successful path. I remember when the day that I finally decided to put an end to it. I was lying down on the couch that I was living on, looking up at the ceiling, and thinking to myself, I don't want to do this anymore. Guess what happened? I stopped the vicious cycle of negativity. I put my foot down and I put an end to the misery that I was causing myself.
However, this took time. It was certainly not easy and I know that anyone who is trying to accomplish the same thing is going to struggle initially. Therefore, I have created this small guide as a way to help you through my situation. If you suffer from negative thinking, here is how you can beat those negative thoughts and move into a place of happiness and success!
Step 1. Admit That Things Need to Change
You can't create a change unless you truly want to. I can tell you from experience that I have told myself to change over and over again and change only happened once I really wanted it to. If you're happy or if you feel safe living a negative lifestyle, change is not going to happen unless you have finally reached rock bottom from your negative thoughts. If this is you, give yourself some time to grow and come back once you're ready to create that change. If you know that something needs to change now and you feel mature enough to take that on, great! Let's move on to step two.
Step 2. Become Aware of These Thoughts As They Occur
After living so negatively for so long, I didn't even realize that I was doing some things. Whenever I said terrible things about myself or doubted happiness coming into my life, it was just natural. Years of thinking that way can make it seem as though that is the way you are supposed to think. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. These thoughts, while natural, are not healthy and you need to pay attention to them when they occur. When are they happening? Where are they happening? Why are they happening? Catch them as they pop up and you will begin to see patterns in the way that you think about yourself and the world around you.
Step 3. Stop and Breathe
When you finally begin to realize that these thoughts are happening, stop and breathe. Stop these thoughts in their tracks and take a moment to soak the information in. Catch yourself in the act and ask yourself why you are saying such things. Much like meditation, all you need to do to get rid of the thought is just breath and let it go. Don't finish the thought. Don't think about the thought. Just let it free into the world and continue on with your day.
Step 4. Replace the Negative Thought With a Positive One (and Be Realistic!)
Now that you've stopped a thought from going through your head, you need to replace it with another one. Make this thought positive. For example, let's say that you were thinking about yourself being fat and gross. (I've done this before.) Stop this thought and replace it with something along the lines of, I'm not at my ideal body type yet but I am trying really hard and I love (this), (this), and (this) about myself. However, make it realistic so that you don't end up resenting the fact that you are lying to yourself. You will know when something is not realistic and you will immediately catch this lie.
Step 5. Repeat the Process
Like any healing journey, it will be a process. Negative thoughts will try to make their way in for the majority of your life. However, it is up to you whether or not you decide to let them in!
Did you find this process to be helpful? Did it work for you? Let me know in the comment section below!