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Friday, January 27, 2023

How to stop negative thinking

Sit up straight in a confident manner. Open your stance and smile more. Fix your body language and you’ll feel a lot better. It might be just what you need to clear those negative thoughts.

Negative thinking can be a habit of mind.  Thoughts sink in and linger there until you take action to get rid of them. When you first start thinking negatively, it can be tempting to try and force those thoughts out of your head.  You try as hard as possible to stop thinking about them and push them out.

But this approach often backfires.  Resisting those negative thoughts can actually reinforce that thinking pattern and just make things worse.  The more you try not to think about something, the more you actually end up thinking about it

Focus on the promise, not the problem

No matter your talents or current work environment, there will always be reasons for negative thoughts if you let them exist. When you start to feel negative, just remember why you are there. Focus on where you are headed and why that is important to you.  It really is about the end goal, not the unpleasant parts of the process.

Change your body language

Take a moment to observe your body language.  Are you slouching with a closed stance?   If you are, you’re more likely to think negatively. Bad body language can lower your self-image and lead to a lack of confidence.  In that emotional state, it’s only natural to start having bad thoughts.

Sit up straight in a confident manner.  Open your stance and smile more. Fix your body language and you’ll feel a lot better.  It might be just what you need to clear those negative thoughts.

Sing

I don’t remember lyrics very well and it’s probably the reason that I don’t enjoy singing, but every time I do sing I always feel better. When we sing, we show our feelings and this provides an amazing stress relief.

Smile

I didn’t do much of this during the weekend, so I literally had to bring myself in front of a mirror and force myself to smile. It really does help change your mood and relieve stress. I also felt lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.

Meditate or do yoga

One of the first things I did was head to a yoga class. It took my focus away from my thoughts and brought my attention to my breath. Yoga is also very relaxing, which helped ease my mind. Yoga helped me stay present to my experience so instead of jumping to what could happen, it brought me back to the now-the only moment, the most important moment.

Make a conscious choice

You can’t get rid of negative thought patterns unless you can surface what they are. Get to know your negative thinking and how it gets triggered. Only with that self-awareness can you begin to identify when it is happening and make a choice to shift your perspective in the moment.

Just breathe

In order to stop negative thoughts, you need to slow everything down, and first learn to just notice them. Incorporating alarms, reminders and literal time blocks into your schedule to just breathe will bring you more ease and self-awareness.

Then, when you start to notice how many negative thoughts you are having, simply breathe them away. The trick is not to judge yourself or get caught up in your negative thoughts. You will get stronger at this exercise with time, just like anything else.

Get around positive people

Do you want to catch a cold? Get around people with a cold. I am not sure that advice still stands, but it certainly means something to me when coaching others. I see a lot of people associating with like-minded and often negative people when they are trying to change something in their lives, like a job. Negative people are not optimistic. Get around positivity physically, through your ears and eyes.

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