Janet A Johnson's Business and Lifestyle Blog

Removing the Sting from Negative Thoughts

Posted: May 5, 2015

Your thoughts are an important facet of who you are. They shape your personality and your very existence. Your worldview is closely tied to your thoughts and feelings. Each little morsel that is transmitted by your brain has the power to alter your mood and even your desire, or lack thereof, for action.

The human mind in all its complexities is a very powerful tool, which can achieve great things or defeat us before we even dream of starting something new. How we think can often be translated to our attitude and relationships with others. Subsequently, exercising the mind to think more positively can have a great effect on your overall well-being, and will also help to reduce stress, anxiety and feelings of despair.

Start with some much needed introspection

Indulge yourself with a few moments of introspection. During this period jot down the first few thoughts that come to mind on a piece of paper. What is the result of this exercise? Do you find that negative thoughts outweigh positive thoughts?

If the result indicates an inclination to being negative there are a few things you can do to redirect your focus.

Alter your interpretation of negative thoughts

Negative thoughts come in many shapes and forms. They can be that nagging voice of insecurity that is deeply rooted in your own fears, or they can be a representation of realities that you find difficult to manage. Regardless of the way they are manifested, the outcome will typically be the same – anxiety, sadness, tension, inaction, avoidance and other disruptive feelings. A good way to combat these negative thoughts is to re-purpose them to your advantage.

For example:

If you have to meet a work deadline in only a matter of days you may be plagued by thoughts that declare: “You are going to miss the deadline and lose your job”. Instead you could alter this outlook by actively thinking “Meeting this deadline is going to be an uphill battle, but I am ready for this challenge; I will succeed!” Instead of assuming defeat before the race has even begun, you will aim for victory despite knowing the odds that are stacked against you.

Do not focus on idealism and perfection – accept you for you!

A great source of negative thoughts is the expectation that we should be living an idealistic life based on societal norms. It is made considerably worse when we compare ourselves to others needlessly and determine that we have fallen short. To counter this effect, you must accept that you are an individual on your own path, and that your life unfolds in its own unique way. Accept that you will make mistakes and that there is no need to dwell on anything that will drain you of your peace of mind.

Be your own change don’t play the victim card

If you find yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable, do not make yourself the victim. Instead, look at how this can lead to personal growth and make every attempt to learn from the situation. Where possible, make a change that will turn the tables in your favor. Do not grab hold of powerlessness; find your strength in all of life’s challenges.

Surround yourself with positive people – avoid negative people

You cannot expect to become a more positive person with negative people telling you otherwise. Our thoughts are just as much affected by external dialogue as they are by internal dialogue. If you find that you have been surrounding yourself with more than your fair share of negative people, it is time to make a change. Aim to interact with people who are like minded with similar goals, and will encourage you.

Make a list of all the positive things you have going for you

It is time to be immodest and toot your own horn. Make a list of all the things you love about yourself and your life in general. Don’t be coy. Be as emphatic as you wish and declare to yourself just how truly wonderful you are!

Accept that negative thoughts are normal and silence them with positive reinforcement

Negative thoughts will always find a way to resurface. It is a normal reaction to the unexpected or the undesirable. Accept them for what they are and make it your duty to silence them with positive reinforcement. If you hear yourself thinking “I am not good enough,” tell yourself “I am not just good enough I am superb!”



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Janet A Johnson

Hi, I am Janet A Johnson a Management Consultant and Life Coach with over 15 years strategic program/project management and business management experience. I am the owner of StrategyNook LLC, a consultancy agency specializing in strategic project management, business management, web development, branding, internet/social media marketing, life coaching and stress management. Schedule your free consultation today and let's talk strategy and customized solutions.

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