Changing Your Thinking: Overcome Negative Thoughts

changing negative thoughtsChanging your thinking habits can make many things less disagreeable. If you don’t like your job, for example, you may habitually think about what a chore it is, how much you hate it, and how much you’d rather do something else for a living. You may think negative thoughts about your job from the time you get up to go to work until you get home, and this may keep you miserable all day long.

You will feel better about working at a job you dislike if you practice positive thoughts such as: “At least it pays the rent,” “I sure do like my paycheck,” and “I’m going to do the best I can.” If you are depressed or anxious, think of the opposite. Instead of dwelling on the worst case scenario, imagine the most unlikely best case outcome. Both are equally unlikely, its absurd to predict the future accurately. So at least by imagining the best case scenario you will stop accepting what pops into your mind and believing it to be true.

Pick an area in which you are having trouble, then create or invent new memorable, extremely favorable, ridiculously absurd options to deal with that situation.

If you are uncomfortable around your supervisor at work or your relatives, imagine positive scenes in which you solve conflicts or make adjustments. If confidence and self-esteem are low, imagine scenes in which your confidence is increased. Imagine being praised for your efforts, being successful, or finally receiving the acceptance or affection from those who have not provided it in the past.

If nothing else by thinking of the best possible outcome you can feel more open to the shades of gray rather then the black and white world of all good or bad. It may sound strange, but your brain will think your life is better (it only knows what it’s told!) and will chemically your mood will lift gradually.

Yet, it may not be so simple. For example, you may be fighting low self-esteem because of a negative experience in he past. To change your self-image, you can repeat the affirmation, “I am good, beautiful, worthy, and strong.” However, your unconscious mind sabotages your efforts to create a new positive identity by releasing the negative counter-thought, “You are an insecure, awkward, unlovable loser.” This negative thought has had control of your self-image for years. It is a well-established thought circuit that does not give up its power so easily.

The negative thought maintains its power unless neutralized by a stronger, positive thought. With practice, eventually the positive thought will grow and associate with other positive thoughts such as, “I am a good person. There are many successes in my life. People actually do like me. I have a lot to offer.” And its up to you.

You can choose at any time to deploy an army of positive thoughts that will rapidly and effectively neutralize the negative ones. Then, when the same provocative situation arises to test you, your mind stays positive, poised, and peaceful.

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Shared by: Aaron Karmin, LCPC, Contributing Blogger

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