Welcome back to Healing Minds, a place where we talk about what effects our mental health and what we can do to improve it.
Life is tough at times, and we need something to keep us going. Living on planet Earth is not meant to be easy all the time.
Today we are going to talk about negative thinking.
We have all experienced negative thinking. Some of us to a higher magnitude where it was hard to stop, and it became a habitual way of life. It is playing the same tune over and over in your mind.
When we face difficulties in life, you can be consumed with negative thinking. That can have poor consequences and make you feel hopeless which was discussed in the last podcast. You don’t want to change your current negative situation because you feel there is no way to do it and you are stuck there forever. It’s okay to get negative or feel down during appropriate times, whether losing a job, a loved one, taking part in a stressful relationship or trying to pursue something that looks bleak. If the negativity becomes habitual and no matter what the situation, you have this as an outlook that can be detrimental to your mental health.
What are the long-term effects of negative thinking? You constantly think, this is awful, it’s over, it’s doom and gloom, how horrible, over and over and over until you exhaust yourself physically and mentally. You burn out and do not want to do anything except resort to bad habits that make you worse.
If one experiences a deep loss and goes in a downward spiral too long the immune system is compromised and you tend to not enjoy regular life outings. It can have an effect on health immensely where it can literally make you sick. You may have heard stories of one spouse having cancer for years and getting treatment and the other spouse’s health gets compromised and also get afflicted with poor physical health or even poor mental health. You can also increase inflammation in the body and not have a strong defense against colds or other viruses.
It’s impossible to be positive all the time or have positive thinking work all the time. When you have experienced a tragedy or some major hardship, you just don’t think positive so all the talk about keep positive thoughts will not work all the time. But it will become possible to keep those constructive thoughts to outweigh the negative ones.
Here are the Healing Minds POWER TIPS to start using today to minimize negative thinking:
1. Don’t think that certain life situations that don’t work your way makes your life or your being any less. It should not be if something does not work your way then you are worthless or your life is over or there are no other options for you.
2. It's a matter of having a flexibility mindset rather than a rigidity mindset. Change is inevitable, what may be today may not be tomorrow or next week or next month. Whether it is the career you always wanted or relationship or the place you live. You never know as the unpredictability of life can create loss. When you constantly think negatively of what didn’t happen or go my way and I can’t appreciate what did or where I am now. Then you resort to negative thinking. We have learned in life you don’t get everything you want and even if you are the most of anything, most successful, most intelligent, there will always be something going against you.
There are those who snap back from a bad situation quickly and start constructive thinking or positive thinking, not most of us. It’s the act of realizing something I wanted so bad did not work, but stop the negative thinking in consuming your life day after day and week after week so on to your next pursuit or something else that is good in life can be visible.
Negative thinking is really not wanting to take action or thinking you cannot and are powerless.
3. Keep a journal and vent out every negative thought possible as no one except you can read it so you can be very open and let it all out. After finished you can rip it apart or go at a later date and think about how far you have come. Or that must have been a rotten time, but I survived. At least if no one is around or you don’t want to vent to someone and bring them down, you have your special journal. You may get so exhausted from your negative thoughts that you find something to be grateful for or that will bring you some joy even momentarily. 4. Less time on social media such as Instagram or Facebook as most people place their most favorable or unrealistic experiences and it may make you feel negative if you do this daily as you don’t have what they have or are not doing what they are or feel inadequate for one reason or another. As those constant feeds are not good for your day, so taper it off or eliminate if possible. Or you can replace those feeds with ones who inspire you to improve a specific area in your life. Get back to your reality as that is the one you have to live and no one else.
5. Reach out to one person who you trust and are comfortable with sharing your thought process and getting feedback. This must be someone you totally trust with your feelings and one who you know will not gossip about you or the situation. It can be a family member, friend or even a therapist to sort through your negative state and help you look at the situation from another perspective as the person is looking from the outside in and may not have the barriers you are experiencing.
It’s okay to be negative from time to time and to quickly snap out is sometimes not possible and just think positive thoughts. Give yourself the thoughts needed, then gradually get out. This is a very normal process and will happen from time to time. Until next time, remember a healthy lifestyle begins with the mind.