HOW TO MANAGE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of The Positive Mindset Tribe.
In this episode I will be talking about negative thoughts, what to do when we have a negative thought, and this leads to another one and another one and next thing we know we are caught in a spiral of negativity and we don’t know how to snap out of it.
I will be covering:
- Why we have negative thoughts in the first place.
- The importance of being aware of our thoughts.
- How to avoid getting caught in the spiral of negativity.
- Tips to minimise negative thoughts and train the mind.
WHY WE HAVE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS.
Negative thoughts can take the form of self-criticism, we can be our worst enemy right?
Negative thoughts can take the form of possible catastrophic events, this is very common. We have an extra expense one month, and that leads to everything is so expensive, I don’t have enough money to pay the bills, omg what if I starve.
Negative thoughts of any form are normally there to protect us. They might be old programs or limiting beliefs about ourselves, that we might have developed earlier in life to protect ourselves. So if I’m telling myself you are not good enough for that job, you’re not smart enough, don’t even bother applying, as annoying as it sounds, maybe what I’m doing is protecting myself from rejection, from being disappointment.
In the case of catastrophic events, when our thoughts are driven by fear, we are also trying to protect ourselves from a painful event, our instinct is to survive.
A bit of self-criticism and fear to some extent are healthy. The problem is when they become limiting. When we stop going to activities we would enjoy because we tell ourselves that people will laugh at us or won’t like us. When we don’t follow our dreams, our purpose because we think we are not good enough.
SO IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE BECOME AWARE OF THESE THOUGHTS AND KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THEM
When we have a negative thought we have two options. To stop, understand where this thought is coming from and decide what to do with it. Or entertain it and feed it. What do we normally do? We feed it. Because that is the habit, the autopilot. And where we put our attention, energy follows. The more attention we give to a negative thought, the more we feed it the stronger is going to grow. If we knew the power our thoughts have we would be very careful with what we think!!
Same as in our last episode we were talking about how visualising your goals, what you want to attract into your life will help you manifest it, guess what? When you are entertaining negative thoughts you are creating that reality. The more you visualise yourself in a negative situation, the more in resonance you will be with it, the more likely you will attract it.
Where we put our attention, energy follows. By feeding those negative thoughts those possible scenarios, we are making them happen.
Our negative thoughts grow because we feed them. But we have the CHOICE, this is so important, we are the ones who choose if we want to entertain and feed and grow a negative thought or if we want to stop it and do something about it.
HOW TO SNAP OUT OF THE SPIRAL OF NEGATIVITY
Now, I know this is easier said than done, especially when we have had one negative thought, we have taken the bait and the spiral of negativity starts, how do I get out of it?
This will require practice. Because the spiral of negativity normally happens in autopilot. So we need first the awareness and second the willpower to stop and react differently.
Becoming aware of our negative thoughts is the first step because sometimes we get caught in the spiral of negativity without even realising! And you ask yourself, how on earth did I get here? So form now, spend some time reflecting about the type of thoughts you have in a day, what type of negative thoughts are more common? Keep a journal, as soon as you spot a negative thought, write it down, that way you will feel you are in control, it is much easier to be in control of your thoughts when you write them down or even when you say them out loud, that when they are just in the mind, they can feel like big monster we can’t control.
The second step, once we are aware that we have had a negative thought, and we all have negative thoughts sometimes, it is normal, it is not about eliminating all negative thoughts that would be a real challenge, it is about know what to do with them. It is about how we react to these thoughts.
So next time you have a negative thought, first of all don’t judge it. Treat yourself with compassion and kindness always. Ask yourself, if I feed this thought where is this going to take me? Does this serve me? And also ask yourself where does this thought come from? Who used to think like this? What is this thought trying to protect me from? What is it trying to achieve? Because all negative thoughts have a purpose, they are not random. When we understand the purpose of the thought we can meet this need in a different healthier way. For example if I’m worried about my health, and I’m scared about getting ill, and I have negative thoughts about how many terrible things can happen to me, I can ask myself what are these thoughts trying to protect me from? Right, these thoughts want me to be healthy, to not get sick. But instead of entertaining those thought I could make a plan to have a healthy diet, to exercise, to spend time in nature, maybe take some natural supplements to have optimal health. And if I know I’m doing everything I can to be healthy then I don’t need to entertain negative thoughts about terrible scenarios.
TIPS TO MINIMISE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND TRAIN YOUR MIND
We can’t eliminate all negative thoughts but we can minimise them. Here are some tips:
- Avoid news, TV and or social media. They are all about fear anger and separation, they are not going to have a positive impact on your mindset and they will probably trigger negative thoughts.
- Pay attention to the people you spend time with, thoughts are contagious. Same as when you spend time with someone who has bright energy, who is fresh and full of life you will feel energised, happier if you spend a lot of time listening to negative thoughts from other people, very likely that will trigger negative thoughts in you, you will absorb theirs.
- I said before that one of the most important things is to be aware of our thoughts and stop and reflect on where it comes from. For this, we need to train our mind. We know that to train the body we have to go to the gym and we forget to train one of the most important parts of our body which is the brain. The best way to train the main is with meditation. Because meditation is all about being aware of our thoughts. Not about leaving the mind blank, unless you are a monk that is not possible! It is about being aware of what is going on. And that way, when you train your mind, as soon as you identify a negative thought you have the power to stop it. The monkey mind, all that chatter won’t stop if we don’t train the mind to be quiet. Meditation is the best tool to train the mind, it is one of my favourite tools ever, I have a Youtube channel full of guided meditations. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated, just sit in a quiet place, set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes and for those 5 minutes just bring your awareness to your breath.
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Sending much love and light to everyone,
See you next week.
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