By Martin Conboy
I’ve been doing a lot travel in the last few months and I was thinking to myself that this is stressful – at least it’s supposed to be. The problem is I don’t feel stressed. On the contrary I always seem to feel fairly balanced, levelheaded and up. I generally tend to go with the flow and not get too anxious about things. I do however come across a lot of people who are a few steps short of a massive heart attack caused by stress. Anyway it got me thinking and I did some research and here is some advice and tips that I found that I thought that you might find useful. Interestingly after reading through the list I find that by and large I’m doing most of them, so what I’m saying is they work. In this Chinese year of the rat remember at the end of the rat race you are still a rat!
Managing your negative thoughts is not easy. Human beings are dreamers. We love to imagine incredible worlds and a million possibilities and endings. This is great when you are dreaming up a scheme or your next holiday, but not so much when imagining all the upsetting things that might happen.
Humans often turn their thoughts against themselves as well. We nag ourselves and beat ourselves up over slip-ups or glitches
Negative self-talk slips out, sneaking out of your mind to push you down, and soon it becomes routine. You talk down to yourself without even realizing it- but don’t think just because you are not aware of it that it does not have an effect on your life. If you think of yourself as below par, then your lack of confidence will radiate outwards, and not in a good way. Your dud vibe makes a person want to stay away from you, which makes you feel like more of a loser, which makes you condemn yourself even more. It is a vicious cycle, however it can be broken.
Moving beyond this cycle of negative thoughts and energy and into a place of comfort for yourself takes action and a future-focus. Your actions have the power to boss your thoughts around, and soon they will see the improvement in your being and fall into line. You must declare nothing short of WAR on negative thoughts.
First of all, figure out what triggers your negative thoughts. Stepping on a scale? Looking in the mirror? Running into an overbearing friend? Realize what causes your downward spiral of negative thoughts to start to spin, and be ready for them.
Replace your negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Keep it light, uplifting and funny, like the positive side of you thinks the negative side of you is a little ridiculous for being so down in the mouth. Talk to yourself out loud if it helps. Remember- this is war.
Understand the benefits of being a positive thinker. Choosing to think more positively will not only help you take control of your life and make your everyday experiences more pleasant, but it will have countless benefits on your mental and physical health as well as your ability to deal with change. Being aware of these benefits can help you be even more motivated to think positively on a regular basis.
Here are some of the most important benefits of positive thinking:
- An increased life span
- Lower rates of depression and distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better mental and physical well-being
- Better coping skills during times of stress
- A more natural ability to form relationships and cement bonds
Take responsibility for your attitude. Remember that you experience about 50,000 to 60,000 thoughts every single day of your life. And they’re your thoughts –– nobody controls how you feel and think unless you let them. This might seem like a very challenging idea if you’re used to absorbing the emotions and preferences of other people, but you’re always making a choice to think positively or negatively.
- Own up to the reality that your feelings are something you can control. This will make you feel more empowered and able to change your thinking patterns.
Make a plan to stop being a negative thinker. That means deciding to conquer the negativity that is going on around you — and there will always be plenty of it. Think of what you can do today that is good for you and others that is positive and constructive. Decide how you will react in ways that will make a difference to your life instead of allowing people and situations to dictate what you think and do. Here’s how to have a bulletproof game plan for positive thinking:
- Don’t let other people ruin your plan. People will often make things seem more important or worrisome than they really are. By not allowing yourself to be swept away by crowd-enhanced anxiety and instead taking time to think it over and get an answer that works, you’ll feel less pressured to conform or to fall in line even though doing so doesn’t match who you are.
- Making a plan to be more positive will already be a move in the right direction. This will help you to stay positive because you will feel a greater sense of control over your life and your choices.
- Your plan can be simple: you can vow to identify and record your negative thoughts each day, and to take time to reflect on why you had those thoughts and how you can improve them.
- As you continue to execute your plan, you’ll see that identifying your negative thoughts becomes easier and maintaining a negative attitude will be harder.
Practice these pertinent techniques to lead a healthier life, and keep your sanity too!
- Avoid people who stress you out. Short of ending the relationship, limit your time with them.
- Learn to say no. Know your limits and stick to them
- Control your environment. Plan your time to avoid whatever makes you anxious like the evening news or bad traffic.
- Avoid stressful topics. If you’re hot button is religion or politics, steer clear by saying I rather not talk about this or by excusing yourself.
- Express your feelings. Bottling up feelings can lead to explosive situations. Pick a time to work things out respectfully and calmly.
- Be more assertive. Life is not a spectator sport. Take charge and deal with life head-on.
- Manage your time. Plan properly and decline less important things they don’t overextend your self.
- See the big picture. Ask yourself if what you’re worried about will matter in the long run. If it’s a no, then focus your energies elsewhere.
- Set realistic standards. Being a perfectionist often brings about immense stress. Set reasonable expectations, and be happy with good enough.
- Think positively. When something gets you down reflect on the things you’re grateful for.
- Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. There are many things in life that are beyond your control, especially other people’s behaviour. Focus on what you can control, like the way you choose to react to problems.
- Get over your mistakes. What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. Don’t keep fretting over mistakes, but use them as lessons the personal growth.
- Forgive and forget. Except that the world we live in is imperfect people make mistakes. You can only be free to forgive and work on forgetting.
- Make time for fun. Do whatever that brings fun and positive the to your life, as long as it’s not illegal