It is not difficult to overcome negative thinking, but using these 10 steps and committing to feeling better will make the process so much faster. The very fact that you are here, reading this, is proof that you are aspiring to feel better and make a shift in your thinking patterns.
Like any other habit, negative thinking is a behavior you taught your mind to do. Nobody is born with a mind that is always thinking gloomy thoughts. We learn our brain to think like this, with each bad situation we go through. So, your negative thinking patterns is simply the way you coped with sad or frustrating situations. You either got very subjective and attached to this event, or you simply got over it and detached yourself. It’s obvious that we can not detach us from very negative situations like the loss of someone or a great professional failure. However, how we let it affect our mind, in the long run, is how it changes the mind.
When you do not make a strong decision in letting a negative idea go, your mind is learning to think only in negative terms. In the end, you start to wonder why in the world are you always bathing in these dark muddy pools of thoughts. Luckily for you, you can rewire your mind to switch the channel.
You can make a big change in your life if you follow these steps and commit to making a change in every moment of your life. You should try to have these steps in mind, for 20 days. It is said that your mind needs 20 days to change a pattern.
1. Be kind with you
It is obvious that most of the bad thoughts are a way of expressing the resentments you built against yourself. To overcome negative thinking means you must start loving yourself. Love yourself and acknowledge that you must be able to enjoy life. A negative mind is making you, above everyone else, suffer the most. You can not enjoy life, because you think that bad things happen all the time. You need to tell yourself that you deserve better because you are a good person.
2. Stop worrying and be courageous
Sometimes, the moment when we try to make a decision is the moment when we create a lot of obstacles in our mind. We must make a trip or take an exam, but we start thinking about all the things that could go wrong. We think about all the reasons why we will not succeed. To overcome this feeling, you need to stop wasting time with these ideas and start focusing on preparing for those obstacles and problems. If you have an exam, use the time to study and practice as much as you can. If you need to go on a trip, check your bag and make a list with all the things you should not forget. If you want to ask for a promotion, think of all your achievements, and go and ask for it. Try to exchange worry and fear with preparation and courage.
3. Focus on the good side of life
Make a list with the persons, things and situation that you are thankful for. Do not focus on the things you do not have, but rather focus on all the good things you have. Think about your family, your house, your friends, your job. Be thankful for all and you will be rewarded with more.
4. Make daily gratitude lists
Each night, for 20 days, make a list with 5 things that happened in that day and you are grateful for. And if you can not find 5, try to find at least one reason you are thankful for, each day. This step will train you to see the good in life.
5. Detox your life
This is where you should try to see who or what is sabotaging you. If at the first step, you had to stop your mind from sabotaging you, this time, you need to find the exterior culprits, too. If you have a habit of watching the news in the morning, change that. Try watching the news in the evening, if you really need to. If you have a person in your friends’ circle who keeps dragging you down with a negative or toxic way of thinking, try to spend less time with that person.
6. Do something new
Commit to making something new, each day or week. Learn to ride a bike, to swim, or visit that new library you saw the other day. Staying in a routine can make your brain ruminate on the same ideas. If you experience new things, you can inhale new things and let go of old patterns, more easily.
7. Train the brain
A great way to rewire the mind is to read motivational and self-development books. They will explain how to overcome negative thinking by using various media. Another great way is to watch motivational speeches videos and positive movies.
8. Keep a journal
Write a journal where you write your emotions and experiences. Having a journal is like pouring your deepest thoughts on the table, without the fear of being judged. It will feel like your personal therapist and it will help you let go.
9. Let go of control
Stop trying to control everything and understand that sometimes, things simply happen. We can not predict everything that will happen, but we can maintain a positive perspective. Try to focus on now and here.
10. Do what you love
Do more of the things you love. Start dancing if you love to dance, listen to music, practice sport, practice your favorite hobby.
These 10 steps will help you overcome negative thinking if you commit to making a small change each day. You will see that you can change negative thoughts into positive thinking.
I hope these words will help you escape from the gloomy prison of the mind and take a step to the light and happiness.