“Never give a negative thought an inch or it will take a mile. ” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
“Don’t over-focus on the negatives and under-focus the positives in your life.” ― Lalah Delia
While there are a number of positive thinking exercises recommended to anyone who wants to improve the way they think, no matter how much you try to think positive, you’ll find it troublesome to truly make a change unless you learn to identify those negative thoughts running through your mind.
Why is it Important to Eliminate Negative Thoughts?
If over a long period of time a person habitually fears something, there is a tendency for that fear to become a reality.
For example, if you fear that you are going to fail and you constantly entertain thoughts of failure, you will create a mental condition that is propitious to failure. Creative, positive, success factors are repelled by your mind because your mind is filled with defeat attitudes.
On the contrary, if you hold the faith though, the positive thought, you will create about yourself an atmosphere propitious to success, health, and well-being.
Recognize and Eliminate Negative Thoughts
The most important reason you should eliminate as many negative thoughts as you can is that most of us are used to thinking of them habitually. Like any other habit, we barely notice we’re doing it, and we don’t realize just how destructive those thoughts can be on our lives by bringing negative energy, people and situations into our lives. In fact, you will even be sitting here thinking that you’re not that negative!
If you stop and believe it carefully, you’ll probably find that you’re being more negative than you realize. You would be surprised at just how many negative thoughts you have in an hour and appalled at how many you may have in one day. These negative thoughts, both big and small, will help to explain the difficulties you may be having in your life.
How Can You Recognize Negative Thoughts?
First, keep in mind that even tiny negative thoughts will be harmful. Here are a couple of samples of thoughts that show you may be observing things negatively:
- “I can’t do anything right today.”
- “Can it get any worse?”
- “Ugh! Do I have to get out of bed today?”
- “I have the worst luck!”
- “I just know that I will make a mistake on this project.”
- “Why do I continuously get all the red lights?”
- “I don’t feel good today.”
- “Now that I washed my car it is definitely going to rain.”
- “I will never be able to afford that.”
- “My boss just called me into his office; this can’t be good.”
- “I hate it when it rains.”
Although this can be an awfully tiny sample, it gives some idea of the wide range of thoughts that come into the negative thinking spectrum.
Surprising simple, the first step to eliminating negative thoughts is to become aware of your thoughts – both positive and negative. For now, don’t try and modification them or stop yourself from doing them. Simply become a lot of in tune with your thoughts so you’re aware that you’re thinking negatively.
Tip: Depending on where you live and work, driving can be stressful. The next time you are in your vehicle try to be acutely conscious of all of your thoughts on your way to work or on errands. Do you get frustrated at other drivers, red lights, or traffic in general? Is there really anything you can do about those situations? No, not really. Rather than getting upset – and giving out negative energy – why not think about something positive that you are looking forward to or something great that happened?
For many, recognizing negative thoughts is the biggest battle. As I discussed earlier, they are part of a habit, so recognizing the way you’re thinking is the first step towards breaking this habit. If it helps, you can even write down the kinds of thoughts you’re noticing – big or small. This can assist you to recognize those you tend to assume more often and can offer you a lot of material to specialize in as you progress through a lot of positive thinking exercises.
The ultimate goal is to replace negative thoughts with more realistic and positive alternatives. As soon as you notice that you are thinking negatively, immediately change the train of thought to either a more positive outlook on the situation or focus on a completely different subject.
Positive Thinking Tip: Remember, it is your choice as to what you think about – why not choose to be happier by thinking positively?