Negative thinking serves absolutely no purpose at all. It drains your energy and steals your inner strength. The more you let negative thoughts control you, the stronger they become. It’s not always easy to turn off negative thoughts, especially when they accumulate and start to affect how you process information. Negative thinking has absolutely nothing to do with you as a person. These type of thoughts don’t define your character and they can’t determine your future, unless you let them.
When our thoughts start to link together it’s like a snowball rolling downhill. It starts off as a small innocent thought, but it builds momentum, gets larger and can gradually spin out of control. If you allow this to happen, it will affect every single thought, feeling and/or emotion you have.
Every single one of us determines the power of each negative thought. Unfortunately it’s very easy to allow negative thoughts to have too much influence in our daily lives. This is when these negative thoughts start to cause problems.
When I’m working with a client on ways to improve positivity I teach them to come up with a different interpretation of an event or an experience. Here is a simple exercise to help reframe negative thoughts:
1. Write down the problem.
For example, you are nervous or anxious about going back to work following lockdown.
2. List your thoughts about the problem.
I’ve forgotten everything and will look stupid.
It will take me months to settle in.
We won’t be able to maintain social distance.
I am dreading it.
3. List the feelings and emotions you feel when you think about it.
4. Create alternative positive thoughts or outcomes.
I know my job inside out.
I enjoy my job and the people I work with.
There will be strict procedures in place to stop the virus from spreading.
Going back to work means full pay instead of furlough.
5. Write down the evidence to support those alternative thoughts or outcomes.
I was off sick last year for a month and found it easy going back. If I can do it then, I can do it now.
My boss has already sent me the guidelines on social distancing so I know they have thought about it thoroughly.
Going back to my proper income will alleviate the money worries I have.
6. Write down your feelings and emotions after you have reframed your negative thoughts.
It’s impossible to get rid of negative thoughts completely, but doing this exercise can help stop those thoughts spiralling out of control and put a little perspective back into things.
“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.” Buddha
Remember, your thoughts are not facts. They are just your thoughts.
Make the Change. Not tomorrow. Not next week, but NOW.