Do you have a tendency to get carried away with your thoughts? Do you fall into a spiral of negativity when fear and anxiety creep into your mind?
Focusing on any thought – good or bad – for too long will expand the thoughts.
We can’t always control what triggers a negative thought, but we can do something to shake things up when they happen.
Our most vulnerable times for prolonged thinking are when we are alone with nothing but our thoughts to keep us company.
Examples might be:
- In the car
- Working at a desk
- Falling asleep
Times when we are alone awaken our mind, and our inner dialogue runs rampant. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what you are thinking about.
If negative thoughts creep into your head, consider these alternatives to thinking negative thoughts:
Change the atmosphere – If you are on a long drive and feel consumed with negative thoughts, switch things up. Stop for a refreshing cold drink and stretch your legs. Start a conversation with someone in the coffee shop and get your mind on something else. Roll down the window or change the radio station to something upbeat with a positive message. Listen to a podcast or book on tape and let your mind escape.
Be prepared – Being aware of triggers or tendacies that you have for negative thoughts will allow you to prepare an alternative action for when they happen. Create a change of activity that occurs when an unwanted experience or action takes place. An example might be snapping a band on your wrist whenever you think a negative thought. Pre-plan an escape for your negative thinking and be prepared to battle the negativity on the front lines.
Work things out – Sometimes negativity is a reminder that there is important or unfinished business at hand. If your negative self-talk is tied to procrastination or an urging to take care of important business, do the right thing and the negative self-talk will turn into praise.
Get into the community – If your negative self-talk is distracting you, connect with a buddy or a member of your community and get support. Whether it is pre-planned or spur of the moment, seeking companionship is an ideal way to disrupt negative thinking and get back into a positive mindset.
You can turn your negative thinking into more positive and productive uses of your mind.
Take action to interrupt the patterns that cause you to think negatively and find alternatives that work for you. Before long, you will nip the negative thinking in the bud and positive thinking will bloom in its place.