How To Handle Negative Thoughts
Last week, I was so overcome by the day, I started crying. A slew of unfortunate events had begun to pile up and I just started wailing. I recognized I was under stress and noticed the negative thoughts swimming in my head. I cried it out and you know what? Two things happened. The release made me feel better almost immediately and afterwards I drank a cup of tea and put on some music and that made me feel even better! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to be more aware of my negative self-talk. We all do it. Even the best of us are susceptible to it but it can just begin and end as a thought.
Don’t give it power. When that nasty negative Nancy rears her ugly head, understand and realize that those thoughts are just in your head and you have the choice and freedom to allow it to end there. After all, can she breathe or talk? Can you touch her? Where is she but just in your thoughts. She only has power if you give it to her.
Be aware. Don’t believe her. This too shall pass. Thought distortions can be unbelievably compelling and persistent. Things to consider: more things exist in the grey areas, not black and white. Don’t take things personally and remember the good and positive sides to the situation too. When you’re deep in the negative well, it’s easy to imagine all that can go wrong but stop and consider what could go right!
Turn towards gratitude. This always puts me in a completely different element and that alone can be powerful. If you’re often plagued by negative thoughts, journaling can be immensely helpful. Start small. Scribble down just a few things a day that are good. Build upon that.
Practice mindfulness and slooooow it down. If you find your thoughts are beginning to race, consider some grounding techniques. Pet your pup. Look around in the room you’re in and notice the details, breathe in deeply, hold it in for a few seconds then exhale slowly, listen to music and dance! Be here in the now. Love what is.
Get outside. Be active. Swim naked, wiggle your bare feet in the sand or dirt, park your butt on the grass and read, hike to the top of a mountain and scream it out, run to a beautiful scenic spot and just breathe- just get outside, even if it’s just to spend a couple hours by the pool or swing in a hammock. Literally stop and smell the flowers and sometimes, allow yourself a good cry. You’re ok.