By Alexa Reinecke, NCC
It can feel almost impossible to think positively when you’re overwhelmed and struggling. This is because our minds can get stuck in a loop where negative thoughts repeat over and over. Then, we focus only on what is going wrong and how badly it feels. If we let this thinking go on for too long, our thoughts begin to dictate our lives and become our reality. Our world becomes small and hopeless instead of one full of possibilities.
If this sounds like you, or a place you’ve been before, here are some tips to pull yourself out of that negative loop and think more positively in general.
If you’re having a lot of negative thoughts about a situation, follow these steps:
- Check-in with yourself. Ask yourself:
- Is this the end of the world?
- Am I overreacting?
- Am I getting ahead of myself?
- Is there another way to look at this?
The reason negative thoughts have so much power is because they are extreme, and often turn a challenging situation into a complete catastrophe that is the worst-case scenario. In reality, most situations are not the end of the world. Asking yourself these questions can help make sure that your thoughts match the situation.
- Choose positivity
Our mindset is made up of what we focus on. When we focus our attention on the negatives, then that’s all we’re able to see. If we can shift our mind toward the positives, then our brain will start allowing attention for what is good. This requires the conscious choice to focus on the positives over the negatives. It’s okay if this doesn’t come easily. It may take re-training your brain.
Start with something small:
- Notice at least one good thing around you.
- Focus on what you have over what you don’t have.
- Instead of replaying what’s going wrong, ask yourself, what is going right?
- Look for the opportunity in each day.
- Create enjoyment
Happiness isn’t always something that just comes to us. Sometimes, we have to create it for ourselves. This is done by intentionally seeking out the things we know bring us joy.
Types of enjoyment:
- Daily fun – make time each day for something you enjoy, even if it’s small.
- Future fun – schedule things to look forward to.
It’s easier to think positively when we’re able to engage in the activities that make us happy and have things to look forward to.
If you would like to create more positivity in your life, or are struggling with a lot of negative thoughts, call Owens & Associates at (847)-854-4333 for a free 15-minute consultation.