Stop Negative Thinking
overcoming negative thinking is one of the major struggles you might encounter when working with the Law of Attraction.
After all, even as you’re harnessing all these amazing new tools that help you to think positively and look towards a brighter future, you’re still fighting unhelpful limiting beliefs from earlier in life—and many of these beliefs can creep in unbidden and start to disrupt your image of a better life.
Thought Stopping- When you notice that negative thoughts or images are starting to enter your mind, try actually say “stop!” to yourself. If you’re alone, you can try saying this out loud, but it can also be very effective when just said in your head.
If you prefer, you can use language that’s stronger than “stop” (such as “Get out of my head!” or even something a bit more colorful).
Positive Affirmations- Positive affirmations can be used in a couple of different ways. First, they might be deployed in the same way as thought stopping techniques—in other words, you might say an affirmation as soon as you feel a negative thought coming your way.
Enforcing Boundaries- If you’ve lived with negative thinking for a very long time, you might think it’s unrealistic to just suddenly expect yourself to change your approach. In this situation, even affirmations and thought stopping techniques may seem to merely delay negative thinking for a later date.
When you’re reassured that you will have time to consider these thoughts, you may find they seem less powerful and have less potential to dominate your mind. Further, many people find that they can’t even think of anything when they come to their scheduled time to allow contemplation of negative thoughts and that this actually helps them to break their pattern.
Writing and Destroying- If your negative thoughts are linked to a specific strong emotion like fear, anger or jealousy, try letting them all out in writing. Use a pen and paper, and really express all of that pent-up negativity. You can then choose a way of destroying this paper, symbolizing your commitment to moving on. For example, you could tear it up, crush it into a ball, burn it, or scribble over it.
Those who aren’t as keen on using words to express themselves, artistic endeavors can have a similar impact.
“Just Because”- You can also try to reason with yourself when you feel you are starting to spiral into negativity. This technique involves finding a sentence you can recite to yourself in order to acknowledge that you have power over your bodily responses and to increase that power over time.
Practice this approach by taking a deep, cleansing breath and say something like “Just because I’ve had some bad relationships doesn’t mean I have to do this to my body” or “Just because I’ve struggled to find a good job doesn’t mean I will never find one in the future.”
Ask yourself some hard questions- Once you've been keeping track of your thoughts in your journal for a bit, take some time to ask yourself what unhelpful rules, assumptions, and patterns you can identify in your thinking.
Ask yourself questions such as-
-What are my standards for me? What do I find acceptable and unacceptable?
-Are my standards for myself different than my standards for others? How?
-What do I expect of myself in various situations? For example, how do I expect myself to be when I'm at school, work, socializing, having fun, etc ?
-When do I feel the most anxious or self-doubting?
-In what situations am I hardest on myself?
-When do I expect negativity?
-What did my family tell me about standards and what I should and shouldn't do?
-Do I feel anxiety in some situations more than others?
Remind yourself that thoughts are merely thoughts- Those negative thoughts you encounter are not facts. They are the product of negative core beliefs that you've adopted over the course of your life.
For example, instead of saying “I'm stupid,” say, “I'm having the thought that stupid.” Instead of saying, “I'm going to flunk the exam” say “I'm thinking I'm going to fail this test.” The difference is subtle but important in re-training your consciousness and eradicating negative thinking.
Find the triggers of your negative thoughts- Knowing exactly why we have negative thoughts is hard to pinpoint, but there are several hypotheses about why this happens. According to some researchers, negative thoughts are a byproduct of evolution in which we are constantly scanning our environment for clues about danger or looking for places of improvement or things to fix.
Sometimes negative thoughts are brought on by anxiety or worry, in which you are thinking about all that could go wrong or could be dangerous, humiliating, or anxiety-provoking. Additionally, negative thinking or pessimism can be learned from your parents or family when you were young.
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