10 Reality Checks For Negative Thoughts

Yesterday I talked about one way that we can become stressed, through our thoughts. So often our thoughts are distorted by our attitude and perception of a situation. This comes from what we have experienced over time. If you have a negative thought about a situation then it will influence your perception and impact your attitude.

One way that I have found to control my thoughts is to write down the situation that I am struggling with. When we write something down we don't tend to write how we 'feel' about it, we just write down the facts. 

For example, you think that you may be about to get fired from your job. Your brain will tell you that your world is about to end and you begin to feel terrible. You think in your head - 'I am about to get fired and because of that my life is falling apart'. If you write the same problem down on a piece of paper, you tend to write "I am about to get fired". You leave out the emotional response part.

When you write the problem down your brain will go straight into problem solving mode and the next thing you find is that you are writing down ways to overcome the problem - "I will get a better job". Additionally, your subconscious will become engaged because you have written it down and it will work on the problem for you while you are doing something else.

Here are nine other ways to put the issue into perspective;

·        Ask yourself - Is this really as bad as I think it is? What is the worst that can happen? Will it matter in a month or a year? 

·        Know that our brain exaggerates things to help us, your reaction is always an overreaction.

·        We all make mistakes, don't harbour guilt or regret. Move on quickly.

·        If appropriate, make a joke about the situation. This will have less of an impact on your negative emotions.

·        We can't please everyone. If you have been criticised for something remind yourself that it is just their opinion, just one person.

·        A situation is rarely the fault of one person, look at the bigger picture.

·        Don't avoid a problem, get on and fix it. If we leave it for too long the problem just grows in our mind and we can then add procrastination to the pile of bad thoughts.

·        The world sometimes isn't fair, try to see it that way. It is how you respond to a situation that makes you who you are. Respond as best you can in the situation then know that you have done your best.

·        Never fret if you don't reach perfection for perfection in your eyes may not be the same in another person’s eyes or it may be more than they ever expected. We are all different.