10 Simple Strategies on How to Stop Negative Thinking

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10 Simple Strategies on How to Stop Negative Thinking

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Now that we have come to the conclusion that you are in control of your thoughts, what do we do with it?

Well, negative thoughts drain you like a dead battery, and you literally have no energy left to continue when all you do is spend time thinking about the horrible thing you did…in the past.

It gets even worse when it leads to anxiety because then you are spiraling out of control to the future as well. Let me paint a picture for you here:

Worst case scenario number 1: You stayed up late again watching Sharknado and fell asleep, then out of the blue this thought/dream pops in your mind “What if a shark is swimming at the same time I am, and then he comes up and grabs my leg? How will I live with only one leg? What am I going to do?” You see where this is going…

Worst case scenario number 2: You are at work. That place you either love or hate. Maybe it’s a combination, but anyway, today everything is going wrong. Your boss gave you the eyeball for starters. The eyeball. What does it mean? Did you do something wrong? Did you miss a staff meeting? Oh no. Maybe he knows you left work early for an “appointment” but it was a vague message, and you really got your hair done, and now you are going to get fired. The truth is, your boss gave you the eyeball because he was daydreaming about something and seeing you in the color yellow reminded him he forgot to send his wife roses for her birthday because she loves yellow. But oh no, you had to go all crazy up in your head today.

Ok, now let’s think about some ways we can start to feel confident about this same exact situation!

  1. Smile. So he gave you the eyeball and now you smile sweetly back, and the whole thing is over in the blink of an eye. You feel better because he smiled back at you which then reminds you he’s got a lot on his plate too.
  2. Help a colleague. Take the focus off of the boss and whatever is going on by helping a friend or colleague with a problem. Really listen to what they have to say without passing judgment.
  3. Stand taller. Did you know research shows that standing up straight will help you feel more confident on the outside? Your posture actually says a lot about you so stand up straighter and square your shoulders like you have nothing to lose. You really don’t. You have everything to gain by believing in yourself.
  4. Remember your accomplishments. Look at your resume and review your credentials and accomplishments. Channel the moment you landed the job. Think about a time you made a speech or did something you had been trying to do for months. You are a smart cookie, now act like it!
  5. Put yourself together…and indulge. Did you know that those first few moments when you are getting ready in the morning can bring on a surge of self-confidence? That’s right. Choosing what you are going to wear, your routine, your special perfume or cologne can all help you with that dress for success mindset. I once worked with someone who wore frumpy clothes, hid her face behind a curtain of hair and hunched her shoulders when she walked down the hall. She never made eye contact, and I always wondered if she hated her job.
  6. Stretch yourself. Take a second of your day to stretch your legs. Take a brisk walk and stretch out your back which can lead to better blood flow and more confidence. You know how certain stretches release tension? Well, imagine it releasing any knots you feel and just instantly calming the mind.
  7. Time yourself. Every day and for a set period of (30 minutes) or even an hour time yourself and notice how many times you have “a negative thought” about yourself. Write it down. Begin to notice your self-talk; how harsh are you on yourself? Is it difficult to be compassionate when you are speaking to yourself? Take note.
  8. Expect success to find you. You know the shark scenario? Well, just like that, you can expect success instead. Expect a positive outcome on whatever you are doing and don’t just expect the worse. Start re-training your brain only to expect great things to come your way. I know this is a new way of thinking for some, but it truly helps. Find the success in small things and eventually, you will start to see success in everything you do.
  9. Accept the praise. How many times do you brush off a compliment with a negative thought? I know that when I get a compliment I often try to negate it by saying something like “Oh this old shirt. Thanks, at least it was clean.” No, I did take the time to look nice today, and someone noticed. Thank you, is the correct response. Don’t overanalyze the compliment or praise. Accept it.
  10. Practice mindfulness. When you notice your same old ways, become aware of what you are thinking. Breathe in an out and say “I am breathing in. I am breathing out.” Try this for about ten breaths until you come back to the present moment and bring your thoughts with you. Stay in the here and now. Not the past or the future.

Sometimes, in the past, however, many years, you began to feel less confident about yourself. That lack of confidence about you leads to negative thoughts, which in turn continues down a dark path. Since your life is very much determined by your mind, your thoughts can make or break the life you live. With your feelings of self-awareness, insecurities started to form and doubt continued to creep in. The older you get, though, the more you start to come back to your true self. You start to identify your strengths and weaknesses and remember what you love. Truly love, about yourself. This is where the risk-taking comes in which then helps us realize what we truly want to attract into our lives.

Remember, everyone fails at something.

Breakthroughs have happened this way. So what if your first job was a bust? You know what you want now and are prepared to go get it. Let’s pretend you left your secure job and went out into the unknown to forge your own path, I don’t know anyone who would do that…someone once said to me. Ahem. Moving on :-)…failure challenges you because there are opportunities just waiting for you on the brink of that risk. This becomes part of your journey into success. Remember, in the end it comes down to being brave. Doing meaningful work and feeling good about what you are accomplishing in life is the key to your success. This leads to the belief in yourself and after all, no one can take that away from you. What would you add to these thoughts?

Till we meet again, have a blessed day!

Zane