Are Negative Thoughts Controlling You?
Negative thinking is a destructive habit that limits you as a person and inhibits your potential. For most people it’s not if you have negative thoughts, but how many, and how often. But all is not lost. You can learn to retrain yourself to think positively, and thus find contentment, and make the most of life.
What are Negative Thoughts?
You will recognize them in that non-stop voice in your head that blames other people for your problems. But perhaps more importantly, they reflect how we see ourselves. Indeed, the mind has a nasty habit of turning that running commentary of negativity, inwards, until it undermines our self-confidence. Frequently these thoughts can take on a self-critical voice and make judgements about how others see you.
Or those negative thoughts reinforce how inadequate you are and become the voice-of-doom, predicting the worst case scenario if you try something new. Indeed, they are the enemy of
self-confidence. Such thoughts make your feel helpless, which leads to feelings of dread, and in turn stops you taking risks. It becomes easier to stay trapped in the cycle of negativity, than to break out and free yourself.
The problem lies in that thoughts govern your state of mind. If you constantly chew over past hurts, you become blind to the good things in life. By blaming other people, you stop taking responsibility for your own actions and become like a piece of flotsam, lacking self-determination.
If you are the sort of person who criticizes themselves, just think how much lighter you will feel without the weight of self-condemnation around your shoulders. How much freer will you be, when unshackled from the preconceptions of what other people think about you?
How to Change
The first step is to recognize negative thoughts for what they are and label them. Once the habit is identified, it starts to lose its power. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop and tell yourself, this is a negative thought. If you find yourself wondering what people think about you, stop and say, this is my thought, not fact.
Another tip for when your mind goes into overdrive, and the voice of doom sounds loud and clear, is to practice existing in the moment. This means recognizing the chatter in your head for the noise it is, and focus on one thing in the present, such as your breathing, or which part of your foot is in contact with the ground. Practice living in the moment – from learning a breathing technique, to becoming aware of your own body, focusing on the moment helps still the mind’s endless chatter.
Negative thoughts make you the victim, which means letting someone else control your emotions. When you stop blaming other people, and take responsibility for your own actions, that’s when you will start to grow and find peace. The first step is to identify negative thoughts, and then, by outing them, you start to win the battle.