One of the biggest struggles of many young adults is having negative thinking patterns. People have different reasons why they can’t escape these unhealthy thoughts and emotions. For some, it can be financial instability, over-thinking, unrealistic expectations, unhealthy body, and self-blame. As for others, it can be due to a lack of self-esteem or feelings of inferiority from a certain group.
Negative thinking patterns cannot only impact your mental wellness, but also everything around you. Not only you’ll find it hard to express your emotions and feelings, but you’ll also have a limited perspective of the world – from the wonders to the creativity. You’ll have struggles in making relationships with other people, engaging in your interests and hobbies, and feeling a sense of total happiness. To help you ensure that won’t happen, here are some tips to help you overcome your negativity bias:
1. Determining your patterns
First, you need to understand the patterns that are causing your anxiety and stress. There are several negative thinking patterns and one of the common ones is overgeneralization. This is when you conclude an unpleasant experience inaccurately. There’s catastrophizing or magnification wherein a person exaggerates an event’s negative details.
You’re also making things bigger than they are when you overemphasize your own fears and imperfections. Other common negative thinking patterns include overthinking, negative rumination, all-or-nothing thinking, should statement, and emotional reasoning.
2. Use positive affirmations
Affirming yourself is another way to help you stop the negative thoughts and emotions from circling in your mind. Positive affirmations work the same way as thought-stopping techniques. Using these statements can shift your focus away from inadequacies or perceived failures to positive feelings and emotions. Some positive affirmations you can say to yourself are: “I’ve got what it takes”, “I believe in myself”, or “I am valuable”.
Choose the statements that best suit your situations, experiences, or thinking patterns. Using this powerful tool on a daily basis cannot only reshape your thinking but also change your mood. Say your affirmations twice a day for three to five minutes and stay consistent with this routine.
3. Write and destroy
Strong emotions like jealousy, anger, and fear are often linked to negative thinking patterns. When they become too much to hold in, release them through writing. Express all the negativity using a pen and paper. You can use a journal or notebook and keep it. Or better yet, symbolize your dedication to move on by destroying the paper. You can scribble over it, burn it, or tear it up.
Artistic endeavors can be great alternatives if you’re not keen on utilizing words to pour out your thoughts. You can paint it, draw it, or sculpt the negativity you have. Whether you choose to use works or some kind of physical representation, this technique can help you vent out the negativity and destroy it symbolically.
4. Silence your inner critic
Believe it or not, there are two voices inside us. The first one empowers and uplifts us. It uses a language of possibility, confidence, and compassion. The second one is our inner critic, which weighs us down and discourages us from doing what we love and enjoy. Its role is to hold us back from making the change we want to have in our lives. If you listen more to that second voice, you tend to have feelings and thoughts of self-criticism and shame. It can negatively impact your overall well-being.
What you need to do is tame your inner critic and set its voice to a low volume. To make this happen, stop comparing yourself to others and focus on doing what you want and love. If you want to have a leaner or slimmer body, do it because you want to and not because you’re jealous of others. Do it in the way you want. You can hit the gym several times a week or opt for a modern and faster option like getting an effective, non-invasive lipo treatment. Going down the medical path isn’t something to be ashamed of.
Only your inner critic can say otherwise. Other ways to silence the discouraging voice include practicing self-compassion, starting a daily gratitude habit, and meditating for mindfulness.
5. Change your environment
Changing your physical surroundings is the best thing you can do when the negative thoughts become so loud. Meet up with a close friend or family member, go for a fresh-air run, or take a walk in nature. These simple things can clear out your headspace allowing your brain to slowly break the negative cycle.
Choose a location or activity that makes you feel better or happy. You can do it alone or in the company of others. If you have a toxic work environment, it’s advisable to have a mental health day. Turn off your work email notifications or chat messages. Focus on getting some fresh air and relaxing.
By following these tips, you can slowly get rid of your mental frustrations and struggles. You can then focus more on the gratitude, awe, and wonder of every day. Negative thinking patterns can only have bad effects on your health, performance, and creativity. Start instilling more positive thoughts and emotions today with this guide.