Recently I admit that I have adopted a negative pattern of thinking that needs to be booted out and replaced with positive thoughts and actions. Certain areas of my life have become “unmanageable” and my brain needs immediate retraining on how it is to respond.
How do I do this and actually succeed?
How can my thinking patterns become a permanent life change and not just a facade? How can I have a sensitive spirit but not let problems affect me so deeply? I am not one who puts on a mask and pretends everything is ok when it is not, but I also don’t want to walk around with a sour puss face either. I want to teach my brain to respond in a way that not only exudes a healthier attitude in me but also brings health to everyone I interact with each day.
BEGIN TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE THINKING. THIS IS WHAT HAS HELPED ME.
First of all, you need to take control of your thought patterns and how you let life affect you. Realize that you didn’t get this way overnight, you must keep in mind permanent change won’t happen quickly either. It will take perseverance, patience, and lots of practice. Destructive behavior is natural, constructive behavior takes work.
I find the Bible has great life advice and I always begin searching there first for answers. In 2 Corinthians 10, God is teaching me to take every thought captive. So whenever you have a negative thought, commit to making a conscious effort to ask yourself: Is this a good thought or a destructive thought? Is this thought going to impact me or others positively or negatively? Does this thought produce kind, gentle, and loving responses towards others and myself? Is the thought true or is it a lie? Did you adopt a lie about yourself or your situation simply because of what has been said or done? If you take the time to meditate and break the thought down, this gives you time to determine how you will respond.
While tough and sometimes even terrible things may happen, your desire is to work through the pain and the seemingly negative patterns of thinking and learn to flip it around and find what part of that thought can be used as good and positive actions both for yourself and others.
Here are three ideas I have been using lately that are working for me.
- Choose not to listen to gossip or hang around others who are speaking harshly. If you hang around and join in, you are endorsing the negativity. It’s best to simply walk away. This is easier to do if it happens at work or another social venue but how you respond at home is a bit more challenging. If the negativity is coming from your spouse or another family member, simply decide to leave the room. By leaving the room you are giving yourself time to retrain your brain to think positive thoughts.
- Choose not to let another person’s issues become your own. Do not focus too much energy and thinking on fixing everyone else’s issues, but realize you have enough of your own to work on. Plus, if you are not part of the problem or the solution, it is best not to become involved with other’s issues. It is best to back off and choose instead to work on your own thinking.
- Choose to share your thoughts with a couple of very close friends who you allow to challenge your negative thinking because you trust them and know they will direct you onto a more positive path. Choose friends that have your best interests in mind, and listen attentively to what they are saying and be open to their suggestions. It will keep you humble, accountable, and allows you to see yourself through other’s eyes.
Remember my Friend, once you replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, you’ll have positive results!
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” -Maya Angelou
These are a few “thoughts” that have come to mind. I really hope they have helped you. Please send me any ideas about what has worked for you when you are having negative thoughts. I would love to hear from you.