For many of us who often have negative thoughts, usually caused by depression or other mental disorders, it is essential to try to control our thinking. The only way to better our lives is to discipline our thought processes. We cannot allow this negativity to control our thinking. We have the power to overcome this aversion. The following ten steps will make it easier to fight our negative thoughts.
A brisk walk, swimming a few laps, or working out at a gym not only gets our hearts pumping, but the rising blood pressure also causes our brain to release endorphins into the bloodstream, producing a sense of euphoria. Starting every morning with 10 minutes of light physical activity, like a jog or climbing a hill, will make a definite impact on our lives. For best results, however, strive for 30 or more active minutes each day and watch our lives improve significantly.
In a quiet room, sit comfortably, feet on the floor, and close our eyes. Begin by taking several deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose with a count of 3 and out through the mouth with a count of 5. Clear our mind and focus solely on each breath. If our mind starts to wander to negativism, slowly refocus on the breath. After several minutes of this meditation, open our eyes, and notice how we feel. For the most part, our mood will be slightly better.
Initially, especially when we’ve never meditated before, it is not an easy task to empty our minds and focus only on our breathing. The habit of negativity is a difficult one to break. However, the more we practice our daily meditation routine; eventually, we begin to influence our thinking when negative thoughts enter within.
When we are in one of our negative moods, it’s hard to imagine that a simple smile could lift our spirits. The sadness may feel overwhelming, but trying to smile, for no reason at all, is like watching the dawning of the sun, when darkness gives way to the light. It’s tough to think in negative terms while we are smiling.
Listen to Positive Music
Nothing is more uplifting than music. It is possibly the main reason why music has been so prominent for many centuries. During times when our negative thoughts become overwhelming, immediately begin playing our favorite tracks. Listening at first, feeling the lyrics, then singing along with the song, and dancing to the beat.
Keep a Happiness Journal
A journal is a record of our inner thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. It is ultimately a mirror to our very soul. When we are thinking in negative terms, all we are physically seeing are the unfavorable events and a pessimistic outlook. It becomes very challenging to detect all the positive and optimistic realities around us.
Every evening, before bedtime, we must write five positive and motivating things that we experienced on that day. It doesn’t matter how insignificant we deem it to be. Every morning, we must read what we wrote the evening before and affirm it’s existence.
Find Positive Friends
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This quote accurately declares that the people we are closest to have a tremendous influence on our inner nature and beliefs.
Who we keep company with can uplift or subvert our spirits. Do they elevate us or dishearten us? Are they a positive influence or just the opposite? The complete severing of relationships with negative people, especially family members, is not the intention. The goal is to find good people who will support and encourage us when negativity arises.
Watch Positive Movies
We’ve all watched a movie when, after the credits rolled, we exited the theater feeling euphoric and delighted. Possibly, it was a laugh-a-minute comedy, a drama with a happy ending, or a superb action film where we felt like the hero.
When things are not going our way, re-watching that favorable movie may just be what the doctor ordered. The negative thoughts will slowly dissipate as our focus is on the screen.
Read Positive Quotes
When we read or listen to influential speakers like Oprah Winfrey, Jim Rohm, and Tony Robbins, we can’t help but feel inspired. Keeping a collection of their positive quotes close by is like having an “in case of emergency, break the glass” situation.
When our negative thoughts threaten to overcome our minds, reading those affirmative words has tremendous power to reverse the negativity.
Healthy eating has beneficial effects on our thoughts and emotions. Consuming poor quality or too much food affects our blood sugar levels, which, in turn, negatively impacts our moods and thinking. Not to mention the physical results of a bad diet and the disappointment we feel when we look in the mirror. Eliminating 80% of the junk food, processed food, and sugar from our diet will undoubtedly improve healthy bodies, promote positive emotions, and brighten our moods.
Researcher and psychiatrist, Dr. Norman Rosenthal, investigated why people were feeling excessive sadness, lethargy, and hopelessness during the winter months. As the temperature dips to the negative, people prefer to stay in the warm indoors. Months go by, and “the winter blues,” which many describe it, sets in. Rosenthal clinically coined this ailment as the Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
Rosenthal’s theory is that the sun favorably impacts our bodies’ serotonin levels. Seratonin is the chemical produced in our body, which boosts our moods and our feelings of calmness and satisfaction. Therefore, we should attempt to get a healthy amount of natural sunlight daily. (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)
It’s never easy to battle the unexpected negative thoughts that would enter our minds. Please recognize, however, that we have the tools to cope with the darkness and maintain a sense of normalcy. The ten suggestions we discussed are just a few activities that we can use to fight our unhappiness. Think about all the pleasurable activities that we love doing. Decide on one interest to perform. It will slowly brighten the gloom in our minds.