Negative mind chatter affects every single human being, from Olympic Athletes, to Astronauts, to you and me. It influences your mood, hampers your ability to concentrate, has a negative impact on your behaviour and can make you angry and unhappy. Did you know that 90% of our daily thoughts are ones we’ve had before and 80% of these are negative?
Are you plagued by negative thoughts when it comes to your ability to do absolutely anything? Do you convince yourself you can’t do something before you’ve even tried it? Do you find your mind doing the following things:
- Listing your fears – both real and imaginary.
- Recalling hurtful things.
- Judging yourself and those around you.
- Always wondering, what if?
Thankfully you can learn how to recognise and change these negative thoughts with a bit of focus and lots of practise, allowing you to take back control of your life. Whilst it’s very easy to tell you to try and think more positive thoughts, this alone doesn’t work.
Here are 4 tips to help you out:
1. Negative to Positive. The second you get a negative thought in your head counteract it with a positive one. For example, turn “I don’t have the confidence to do that”, into “Yes, I can do that”. Self-fulfilling prophecies work in the positive too.
2. Focus on the present. Yes it’s important to be mindful and set goals for your future but it’s not healthy to worry about the what if. You need to pay attention to what’s happening now. Freaking out about things you have no control over is wasted energy.
3. Get rid. As soon as you start thinking a negative thought get rid of it and immediately think of something completely different. You can only think of one thing at a time, so by using this technique your mind is letting go of the negative mind chatter.
4. Don’t react. If you react to the negative mind chatter by thinking what am I going to do, this might happen etc, it’s got you. If you fail to react, the control has gone and it won’t send you into a negative mind chatter spiral.
How I deal with negative mind chatter
I used to get anxious when I first started my life coaching business. My negative mind chatter used to go into overdrive saying things like “It won’t be successful, what if I don’t make an income, people are going to laugh”. Bizarrely this negative chatter always seemed to happen when I was in the shower after a fitness session. My mind would start racing, my adrenaline would go noticeably sky high and I would feel quite sick. The technique that worked for me was to listen to the negative words and then metaphorically brush them of my shoulder, washing them down the plug hole. I then replaced these thoughts with positive mind chatter, telling myself “of course you can do this and who cares what others think”. I was then ready to take on the day (and the world!) POSITIVELY.
Taming your negative mind chatter will give you the following:
- Clarity of mind.
- It will allow you to focus on the task at hand, in other words the present.
- The quality of your sleep will improve.
- Your sense of well-being and calm will increase.
- It will make you happier!
Work out which method is best for you and implement it the second any negative mind chatter starts.
Beat the negativity – Make the Change!