It occurred to me that changing the habit of negative thinking should be on anyone’s New Year’s resolution list. That is, anyone that is guilty of negative thinking…
The truth is nothing good comes out from negative thoughts. “Stinking thinking” as I call it does nothing but drag you down and alter your perception of life. It serves no purpose but it can define you as a “negative person” that nobody wants to be around. Negative thoughts are powerful, they can consume you and cause damage.
Negative thinkers tend to attract negative things in their life. Only you determine the power of each and every negative thought.
As Buddha once said: “Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.” When you feel those thoughts taking over, you have the power to do some cognitive restructuring. With that, let’s look at
5 ways to stop negative thinking that will help you learn the fundamentals of cognitive restructuring:
1. Observe your thoughts
Take a moment to sit alone in a room and go to the quietest and most peaceful place of your mind. Once you’re there, observe your negative thought(s) and then watch it/them disappear.
2. Determine the evidence
If you want to reframe your thoughts, you need to evaluate the evidence behind them.
On a sheet of paper, draw two columns. In column A write the supportive proof of your thought and in column B write the objective evidence demonstrating the opposite. What information did you learn?
3. Don’t Overthink it
Constantly overthinking an issue won’t make it go away, therefore it’s pointless. Instead, reframe your thoughts:
Grab a sheet of paper and create two columns. Name the first column “thoughts” and the second “solutions”. When you catch yourself overthinking, write down the topic and the time. Write anything that comes to your mind in the “solutions” columns. At the end of the week, count the number of times your thought appeared and any take note of any insights you may have gained. Are you seeing anything of value? If you’re not, read number 1 again.
4. Practice mindfulness
Christopher Bergland is a three-time champion of the Triple Ironman triathlon and a scientist. He explains mindfulness as basic, much more basic than most people think.
“Stop! Breathe! Think about your thinking. Anyone can use this simple mindfulness technique throughout the day to stay calm, focused, optimistic and kind,” says Bergland.
If you want more formal training, you can try structured mindfulness meditation techniques and practices.
5. Wear your meaning to pause® Bracelet
At each pause, practice mindfulness, think positive thoughts and create more meaningful moments throughout your busy day. Pretty soon you will find yourself in the habit of positive thinking and enjoy the ripple effect it creates.