“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” Mohandas Ghandi
The power of thoughts can change your attitude within 1 second! We are our thoughts. Whatever we think is how our perception of the world will remain. If we have negative thoughts then the situations around us become mundane and stressful.
The simplest way to change our negative thinking is by changing our negative thoughts to positive thoughts. Whenever a negative thought arises within our mind, revert to a positive one immediately.
Challenge the Negative thoughts head on!
The best way to challenge a negative thought is by writing it down. Writing it down helps you reflect on the substance of your thought. If it keeps rolling in your mind then you give it the opportunity to grow. This perpetual negative cycle keeps growing.
After you write it down, reflect on the thought for a minute. Read it and write an equally positive one that will break the negative cycle.
Last year I was loosing confidence on one of my projects. The project was facing many challenges( financial, resources, support etc…). It did not seem hard in the beginning but as time progressed my mental attitude started to deteriorate. One night I had enough and wrote down my negative thoughts. I spent half the night journaling all of them. Here is an example.
“You will never complete this job. The client won’t be happy with it”
This is how I switched it around.
“I complete all my work on time. I put all my efforts into my work and cannot control any external elements.”
After writing this positive thought I sat and meditated for 10 minutes while slowly repeating the above statement.
Changing your negative thought to a positive is not hard.
Identify what exactly is the issue. In my example I was worried about the outcome and my time management skills.
Write in the present tense. Do not use “I will”, “I should”. Use “I am”. Throw them in the garbage.
K.I.S.S.(Keep It Simple Silly). Do not complicate the message. Stick to the basics.
Stop Negative thoughts with Awareness
Our minds have a thousand thoughts a day, if not more. Some of them are tasks that we have to complete while others are emotional ones. The emotional thoughts motivate us or throw us of course.
With so many thoughts running through our minds, the negative thoughts slip in and paralyze our minds. There is no counter thought or mechanism in place to get rid of the negative thoughts.
Here is a method that I use.
- Take small breaks during work.
- Reflect on the thoughts that were holding you back.
- If you can try to write them down.
- Review your negative thoughts. The next time you have the same thought, you will be able to recognize and stop it.
- Dig yourself out of the Negative Hole Fast!
I have succumbed to many sleepless nights where I spiral downwards in negative mental chatter. It started with one thought then lead to another and kept going. Writing positive thoughts was not working for me that night. So I opened my laptop and watched some comedy clips.
The sensation of laughing and enjoying a good comedy clip from youtube or movie changed my mental perspective. I realized that my mind was stuck on this negative cycle and the only way to combat is with deep heart felt laughter.
The laughter allowed me to extract myself out of the negative situation and focus on something else outside of me. The hilarious comedy changed my thoughts to “Man, that was so funny. I need to watch another.”
Thoughts are just thoughts. They are like rain drops that fall on the water and melt into the ocean. No one thought ever remains constant forever. It melts in the abyss of your mind.
Sitting quietly to meditate allows the thoughts to drift away.
I sit in a comfortable position and breath gently. I focus on the sensations of breathing. This helps me become more aware of the thoughts that are floating around in my head. With each thought floating away, I begin to understand that I can separate my thoughts from myself. I am not necessarily controlled by my thoughts.
Simple meditation technique
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Inhale gently through your nose.
- Feel the air in your belly.
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
- Then Exhale.
- Repeat steps 1 -5 for 5 minutes.
What are some of the ways that you combat negative thoughts?