Hello, Last time we spoke about how negative thinking is normal, until it gets out of control.
Barbara Fredrickson's book, “Positivity” states that “Negative emotions are necessary for us to flourish, and positive emotions are by nature subtle and fleeting; the secret is not to deny their transience, but to find ways to increase their quantity.” She recommends we balance negative emotions with positive emotions.
How can we monitor our emotions daily to keep it on track for happiness?
We may have a demanding job, stressful kids, unfortunate circumstances, or anything negative that may be happening at the moment whether it is a short term or long-term situation.
If you develop an outlook of positivity you will have more resources or ways to turn your mind to a more joyful or satisfied state. This is where a daily practice in improving our mental health takes place.
There are many benefits of positive emotions. But first let’s look at the effect of negative emotions. They drown you, age your body and mind. Remember times when you were going through difficulty you lost sleep, went toward junk food, lost interest in physical activity, didn’t want to connect with family or friends or anyone, got angry or inpatient easily, let yourself go in your physical appearance, and perhaps demonstrated poor work performance.
Positivity does the reverse. You sleep better, care about your body with good nutrition and working out, you turn to trusted people, avoid toxic situations and people, and want to improve job performance. You tend to complain less and try to look for solutions to avoid a downward spiral of feeling bad or getting depressed.
Negative thoughts and emotions are acceptable and normal. It is reducing it, and getting out of the dark hole before it consumes you.
The key is to monitor positive and negative emotions daily and make sure the positive emotions outnumber the negative ones. Example of negative occurrence today: my boss got irritated with my work product. I was having a bad hair day, late getting to work, my back hurts, my son is disruptive and causing trouble in school or I got in an argument with my partner last night.
Then you must think of the situation as positive today: I have a job that pays well, eating nutritious foods, have a spa day this weekend, I’m getting a manicure after work, I just helped a friend or family member in need, something along these lines. You contribute to your positivity to outweigh or cancel out the negative events.
How is it that some people who have been in the worst of circumstances and were able to rise and be at a better place than before? Others have flatlined and continue to experience negativity, undermine themselves, and cannot see beyond their repetitive thought patterns.
Can these thought patterns be replaced with changing the daily negative thought patterns until they become habits and a new way of thinking? It’s similar to eating junk food every day and getting poor results in health, body, size, and moods. The same goes for junk thoughts.
When was the last time you experienced a downward spiral of negative emotions? A time when a situation was against you. How people experience emotions can be based on past experience, cultural differences, personalities and their level of sensitivity. This will vary from a family member or friend compared to you, so don’t compare.
If you visualize a bad experience and a good experience in your life, check how your mind and body responds in different ways. Does your heart race or do you sweat or get tight when you relive the negative experience or perhaps start to cry? How about the positive experience? Does it bring a smile to your face, or create inspiration or need for more similar experience? Do your muscles relax?
That’s why visualizing before, let’s say a presentation, sports game or anything that requires you to go over and beyond to be at your best, you think of something pleasant or something that allows you to be centered and breathe deeply to get your body and mind in the positive state. It’s all about the state you are in to allow blessing and goodness to present themselves to your life.
To be experiencing positive you felt good and radiate that joy to everyone else to feel the same. We are so tuned into when something is wrong or bad happening. How about when we experience positivity? Ask how is this possible? What is going to make more of my time experience this? Why do we tend to get obsessed sometime with a negative situation or aspect of ourselves or a person? Why does that get pronounced, instead of looking at likable or positive quality?
I am not talking about a major loss here such as a loved one dying or a violent act. Anything that is fresh or just happened will obviously be negative. I am speaking of the quick to judgment situations where you have a negative reaction.
Here are THE Healing Minds POWER TIPS to start using today to minimize negative thinking:
1. Since negative situations and therefore thinking and emotions that go with it are unavoidable, the focus will be when and how can you replace them with more positive ones.
Here are some positive emotions. Choose one a day and think about what you can do to fulfill that emotion. The emotion you choose is hidden but can be found within you.
Joyful -playful, having fun, more upbeat to connect and experience new things. Remember when you were a child, what was fun? Can you do that at your desk for joy in the middle of deadline driven work day?
Gratitude-appreciating people or circumstances in life, when you are gracious you want to return the good to someone else
Serenity-everything in your life is right and you want to continue receiving more in your life.
Interest- You are drawn to something that you want to learn or explore which is a good thing.
Hope-knowing that something can be made better.
Pride-do something good not just for self but for family and community.
Amusement-Have fun doing something that makes you laugh and can be silly.
Inspiration-can use this to pass positivity to others. Seeing another person's excellence strives you toward excellence.
Awe- you are taken aback and possibly gives you inspiration.
Love- Love something or someone.
Create- create something whether through art, words, music, or cooking.