“We act how we think and feel. When we remove the negative thought, with it goes the drama and pain.” – Anon.
Negative thinking gives you zero benefits. It doesn’t serve you any good. Instead, it can make you feel anxious and depressed.
As a wise man once said, nothing is more damaging to a person that their unguarded thoughts.
Also, you must understand that your way of thinking is not defining you as a person. Your negative and toxic way of thinking doesn’t make you a bad person. But, giving way too much power to your negative thoughts can be harmful.
Dr. Alice Boyes, the author of The Anxiety Toolkit and a clinical psychologist, says that cognitive restructuring is an essential and most effective treatment for blocking negative thoughts.
Here are 5 ways to restructure and reframe your way of thinking.
1. Observe and examine the thought
Psychiatrists and psychologists all over the world agree that negative thoughts are often products of irrational thought patterns or cognitive distortions. So, take a moment to do nothing and simply observe your negative thought. This doesn’t require meditation or psychotherapy – all you need to do is observe and examine your negative thought and then watch how it dissipates.
2. Question any ruminations
Ruminations are bad patterns of the overthinking process where you get the false impression that you can solve the problem if you keep thinking about it. Instead, you should try a most effective method of reframing your thoughts by writing down your problem and the solution next to it. You can write 2 columns on a sheet of paper and label the first one “Thought” and the second one “Solution.” This will help you clear your head.
3. Ascertain the evidence
Every time a negative thought pops into your mind, start evaluating all the evidence you have that is behind it. For example, if you think that you never have enough money, create two columns. In the first column, state all things you want to have but you don’t have money to buy, and in the second column make a budget list and a plan for limiting your spending, or maybe finding an extra job.
4. Practice mindfulness
“Stop. Breathe. Think about your thinking.” This is a simple mindfulness exercise by Christopher Bergland, a scientist and a three-time champion of the Triple Ironman triathlon. He says that mindfulness is simpler than many people imagine. You should only follow these three basic things.
5. Understand neutrality and impermanence
Understand that negative thoughts don’t have a power on their own. You decide how much power to give them. So, one great way to see how little power they have is to distract yourself. Always do something you love doing so that there won’t be room for negative thoughts in your life.
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