How to Stop Negative Thoughts from Controlling Your Life
If you are reading this, chances are you know first-hand what it feels like when there is a never-ending storyline, caused by negative thoughts, playing on loops in your mind.
While at times, you might know precisely what has caused them to appear, other instances the fear has nothing to do with you directly but could involve people you know or are concerned about.
I am not into Pollyanna positivity; however, I do believe that what we think about regularly can become the new norm in our minds.
And if we don’t guard against unnecessary thought-provoking fear we can get caught up in a cycle of worry and anxiety.
When we are unaware of the negative thoughts playing in the background, we are pulled into greater pessimism causing further distortions in our reality.
Now our focus becomes all about gloom, and we fail to see the beauty, opportunities and wonder in our world.
So how do we escape the never-ending negative thoughts and get control of how we are living?
Here are 6 ways to get you back in the driver’s seat and take control.
1. Listen to your negative thoughts.
Once you have identified some of your thoughts you might want to ask yourself
“Are these ideas or fears mine, or do they belong to someone else?”
Are they the result of listening to others?
Have you been digesting everything in the media?
While you may want to keep up to date with the news, be intentional to what you are taking in.
Decide when, where and how much you want to hear daily.
Avoid having it playing in the background while you are doing other things as your unconscious mind is always listening.
2. Write down some of the common themes.
Many of the thoughts we think are repetitive.
By writing them down in a notebook or a piece of paper, you will get a better understanding of the beliefs that are driving them.
3. Challenge your negative thoughts
Do they have merit? Or are they on the verge of catastrophizing, going to the worst-case scenario?
Reign them back in.
Just because we think a thought, doesn’t mean it’s true. You can learn to let them go and replace them with more empowering ideas.
You are the only one who thinks in your mind, and you get to choose what you believe.
If you don’t like a thought, you can learn to let it go without buying into it
4. Focus on the good.
Our minds default to what is not working or going right, but with a little effort, you can create a habit of looking for the good in all situations.
It’s all about where you choose to put our attention.
Where you place your attention is where you place your energy.
So be selective with your focus and get more of what you want in your life.
5. Practice Gratitude.
Many successful people practise gratitude daily.
Researchers found those people who practised writing down 3 good things each day experienced more happiness throughout the day.
Make it part of your morning routine, such as after you brush your teeth or while you are enjoying your morning coffee, and it will set the tone for your day.
6. Get Inspired.
Be selective with the company you keep.
Spend more time with people who uplift and encourage you and be mindful of those who incite more fear or dread.
If restrictions are preventing you from spending time with others, take your pick of inspiring and through-provoking podcasts available.
Once again, make this part of your morning routine.
We live in a time where information is plentiful; however, not all information is conducive to our well-being.
Be attentive to what you are ingesting and to the thoughts that are causing you to feel overwhelmed. Don’t accept all thoughts as having merit, challenge them and don’t buy into the story they are trying to create. Focus on the good in your life and establish healthy morning habits to give your mind something else to think about.