Are your thoughts constantly negative? Do you notice that you feel more down than you usually do? Is it difficult for you to think of anything positive? These are all signs that you’ve let negativity take over your life.
But all is not lost. You can learn to expel negative thoughts and invite positive ones by changing certain habits and behaviors.
LOOK FOR GOOD THINGS
Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Yes, it’s a bit of an old cliché, but that doesn’t make it less true. When negative thoughts come, look for something positive in it. You can do this by asking yourself questions such as:
What’s the positive side of this situation?
How would a trusted family member or best friend help me through this?
Is there anything I can learn from the situation?
What’s the silver lining here?
Once this is done, shift your thoughts even further and look for more positive things in your everyday life. For every negative thought, find one good thing to love about the world. It can be as small or as big as you want.
SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
Negative thoughts will never define you. No matter how strong or powerful they feel, their grip over you is temporary and has no bearing on your actual abilities.
Still, it’s easy to be taken aback by negative thoughts, especially when they feel like they’re coming right out of nowhere. You attach additional bad thoughts to them, and they grow and grow with only your mind as their foundation.
At the moment, those thoughts feel very much like a part of you. You can hardly separate yourself from them because of how overwhelming they are. But instead of letting them rule you, do the following.
Step 1: Acknowledge these thoughts. Recognize them for what they are, don’t just ignore them.
Step 2: Look at your thoughts as though it’s from an outsider’s perspective. Do not interact with them. As funny as it sounds, just say, “Oh look, bad thoughts.”
Step 3: Treat the thoughts as a guest. You have the right to request that they leave.
1 Timothy 4:8
For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers
“It’s like a lightning storm on a warm summer night; though the lightning itself may be scary it helps to clean the air. Negatively charged ions produced by the storm attach themselves to pollutants, which fall to the ground. That’s why the air smells so clean at times. The same is true when you deal with disagreements in an appropriate way.”
“There is a psychological law that says: Appreciate and you prosper; belittle and you lose.Unless we learn to apply this law, as psychological as it is spiritual, we’re doomed to an existence of mediocrity, frustration, and defeat. Appreciation is no simple, vague theme. Appreciation is a real force. It is governed by a principle almost as direct as a law of physics: We draw to ourselves the good of everything we appreciate.”
“To make life more bearable and pleasant for everybody, choose the issues that are significant enough to fight over, and ignore or use distraction for those you can let slide that day. Picking your battles will eliminate a number of conflicts, and yet will still leave you feeling in control.”
Leaders Leading Leaders
Characteristics of A Sad Clown
Put material things above experiences:
Material things afford only a short burst of happiness, but this quickly fades. Experiences, however, provide a richer level of satisfaction that lingers through connections and memories.
Hold a grudge:
We all get angry or frustrated with other people, but staying angry and holding a grudge is like dropping a cold, wet blanket over our joy. As we dwell on our anger or how we’ve been wronged, we allow no room for happy feelings.
Forget to be grateful:
Expressing gratitude is one of the top happiness-producing habits we can form. When you forget to be grateful for all that you have right now, you’re denying yourself a well-spring of joyful feelings. Happy people make a point of counting their blessings.
Expect others to make them happy:
So often we believe happiness comes from having others behave the way we want them to behave. We think they can make us happy by saying certain things, meeting all of our needs, or giving us what we want. But of course other people can’t make us happy, and thinking they can only contributes to our unhappiness.
Stop growing and learning:
When we stop expanding ourselves through personal growth and learning, we remain stuck in the status quo. We paralyze ourselves so we aren’t able to experience new adventures, ideas, people, and self-awareness. This leads to stagnation and depression
Avoid serving others:
Helping our family, friends, and even strangers we never see is a huge key to happiness. Service to others gives us a feeling of deeper purpose and meaning in life. It boosts our feelings of connection and self-esteem. When you avoid serving, you cut yourself off from a deep longing of the soul.
Being overweight drags down your self-esteem and confidence. It makes you feel unattractive and unlovable. And of course it’s bad for your health, which is a huge contributor to happiness.
Let life get out-of-balance:
When your life is out-of-balance, you suffer because important parts of who you are and what you value aren’t getting the attention they need or deserve. Your work, relationships, and lifestyle all need to work in harmony so you can feel whole and emotionally and mentally healthy.
Talking bad about other people is an insidious habit that is hurtful to others and to yourself. You demean and diminish yourself when you take pleasure in the pain, difficulties, or bad behavior of others. When you are happy and confident, you don’t need to gossip.
Focus on physical flaws:
We all have imperfect faces and bodies. Some people have more than others. Happy people do what they can to improve their appearance, but after that they let it go. If you focus on your physical flaws, you diminish your self-esteem and undermine the real person you are on the inside.