I’ll admit, I am obsessive by nature. More often than not, I’ll find myself dwelling on the details as opposed to focusing on the bigger picture. And when something goes wrong, I easily lose sleep because I just can’t seem to shut myself up! Sometimes, we let our minds get carried away. And when negative situations present themselves, we can end up letting the wrong thoughts linger. Negative thinking is an addiction. And it will hinder you from moving forward with your life. What you think about yourself and your current situation can influence your future. So if you find yourself caught in a battle over your peace of mind, here are some tips to help you.
Remember, you are in control. Just as easily this pattern of thinking was started, you can end it. When there is a particular negative thought repeating itself over and over in your mind, nagging you to the point of frustration, simply tell yourself STOP! Imagine you are screaming it at the top of your lungs (say it out loud if you have to). The point is to interrupt yourself so that you can place your focus elsewhere.
Distract yourself. Now that your thoughts have been interrupted, find an activity that you can do to take your mind off of whatever that you were thinking. Have a favorite reality tv show? Put it on. Favorite book that absorbs all of your attention? Read it. Warm enough to take a walk? Go. Do anything to occupy yourself from those debilitating thoughts.
Replace it! This is a tried and true technique to help put your thoughts in perspective. Take one thought. For example, “I’m terrible at interviews, I’m not going to get this job.” And replace all the negatives with positives. So that sentence would be turned into : “I am more than prepared for this interview, I will get this job. And if I don’t, something better is coming my way.” By taking the time to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones, you are forcing your brain to think differently. And once you make this an habit, overtime it will become easier to stop your negative thoughts.
Share how you feel with someone that cares. I want to put emphasis on someone that cares. Sometimes when we have an ongoing issue, we tend to complain to everybody. The people at work, the lady at the cash register…anyone who will listen. But not everyone cares, and not everyone will give you the encouragement and advice that you need. Speaking to a close friend or family member ensures that you have a safe space to share your feelings. And if they love you, they won’t let you carry on with your negative thinking. I find that in times of trouble, my friends give me the positive affirmations that I need to move on.
And my last tip…meditate. Meditating (intentional focusing) on healthy and positive thoughts will help you gain control. But keep in mind, you must be intentional. Having a positive mindset takes work. And if you want to change your way of thinking, it involves a commitment to your overall well being.
What are some methods that you use to help your peace of mind?