I still hear people saying how difficult it is to change their thinking from negative to positive. And I admit that it is difficult to do, in fact you can never be totally positive because of the wiring in your brain.
Because your brain has a negative bias, it thinks and remembers mostly negative information. It does so to help keep you out of danger. When something bad happens to you, there is a marker placed in your long-term memory so that the next time something similar happens to you, your brain will retrieve this memory as a reference point,
This action then becomes a pattern of behaviour if you let it become so or if you are at a low point in your life. This habit can be changed but it takes time, at least 60 to 80 days in fact. There is no quick fix for your brain except maybe for a headache!
There are several techniques that you can try which will stop your negative thinking;
- Punishment - wear a rubber band on your wrist and flick it on the inside of your wrist to produce pain each time you catch yourself having a negative thought.
- Diversion - immediately think of; a happy thought, a place that you like to go to, a movie that you have seen, a holiday you went to, anything positive that diverts the negative thought.
- Let it go - this technique has been around for a while and works for a lot of people. Rather than 'fight' to push the thought away, acknowledge it and then let it gently leave your thought process. If it comes back again do the same thing until eventually the thought no longer returns.
- Affirmation - have a 'go to' positive mantra that you keep repeating in your head.
- Stop talking negative - if you are noticing that you are talking negatively, change it. For example, we have a tendency to identify the bad stuff if someone asks us how our day was, instead tell them what was good about your day.
- Smile & laugh - force yourself to smile as much as possible, this tells your brain that you are happy.
- Stop looking back - negative thinking can be due to feelings of guilt and regret from past mistakes. Be in the here and now when this occurs by focussing intently on what you are doing.
- Be around positive people - negative people are destructive so exclude them from your circle of friends. Be around happy people and those you want to be around.
- Journal positive events - write down one or two positive things that happen to you each day and read the list at the conclusion of the week or when you are overcome with negative feelings.
- Read positive quotes - studies have shown that reading positive quotes can help to change your thoughts. (I post four of these each evening on my personal FB site https://www.facebook.com/lance.burdett.5/)
Choose any one of the techniques from above and keep using that technique for at least a week. If you haven't noticed a change then try another technique for the same period. Some of you may want to try using a combination of techniques to get a faster result.
Finally, you must keep reminding yourself that it's all just a thought. Often when we think of something so intently all the time it becomes part of us and we start believe that it is reality. It's not, it's just a thought.