Challenge your negative mindset by changing your thoughts, actions, and environment.
- Some people assume a “negative Nancy” attitude, in which they always expect the worst and have a hard time identifying the good.
- Fortunately, these individuals can challenge their negative mindset by essentially changing their thoughts, actions, and environment.
- One can accomplish this mission by first acknowledging that they have a negative mindset and why they jump to negative conclusions.
- Second, the individual should explore and understand any hidden benefits of thinking this way that might be attracting them to the negative mindset.
- Finally, one should work on choosing more positive thoughts and consistently knock down the old, negative way of thinking.
Negative Nancy: We all know one. In fact, some of us are guilty of becoming a negative Nancy ourselves. Anytime something goes remotely wrong, these individuals curse their bad luck and wait for the rest of the world to come tumbling down. They expect the worst and view the glass as half empty—long story short, you certainly won’t find these people making lemonade out of lemons.
Does this sound all-too familiar? If this depiction is making you say, “Man, that sounds a whole lot like me,” it’s probably time to challenge your negative mindset. Doing so will require you to change your thoughts, actions, and environment. You can accomplish this mission by…
- Acknowledging your negative mindset
- Understanding why you think negative thoughts
- Choosing new thoughts that benefit you
Now that you have an idea of what we’re doing and where we’re headed, we’ll delve into these three steps for challenging your negative mindset. Matthew Solomon—a Love and Happiness Coach who specializes in relationships and communication—takes the lead:
1. Acknowledge your negative mindset exists. As with most things, you must first acknowledge what you’re doing wrong before you can make it right. “Notice your thoughts, notice the patterns that play out in your life, and notice the impact of these thoughts and patterns playing out,” Solomon says. “In other words, what are the results you have in your life by having this particular mindset? And not just the tangible results, like how much money is in your bank account, but also the emotional results, like how you feel emotionally.”
2. Understand what your pay-off is for having this negative mindset. Now it’s time to explore why we are assuming this negative mindset: are we benefiting in some way from being a negative Nancy that isn’t obvious at first glance? Say, for example, we enjoy the sympathy we receive from others. Solomon explains: “Of course, most of us say and believe that we want things to be better; we want more money, a better relationship, etc. However, not having those things has hidden benefits for us; we get to stay stuck, we aren’t expected to do more if we are dealing with some sort of struggle, or it may be as simple as we receive sympathy and attention from not having enough money, or from being in a horrible relationship, or being alone and not in a relationship at all.”
3. Choose new thoughts and be consistent in replacing the old ones. Finally, we need to continuously work on bringing positive thoughts to the forefront as opposed to the negative. You can accomplish this mission by focusing on what you want out of your life: “Once you know what you want and are fed up with having what you don’t want, you can begin to affirm your new desires. Affirmations, visualizations, and activities that support your new and positive mindset are how you re-program yourself,” Solomon explains. “Consider that it will take time and attention to do this. You didn’t get to where you are now by simply making one choice; you made that choice over and over again for however many years you have been struggling. So, make your choice, create affirmations for yourself, and repeat them out loud seven times per day. Visualize your desired outcome first thing when you wake up and last thing before you go to sleep. And lastly, find the people, groups and environments that support what you are up to in your life. You are not going to achieve new results by having the same thoughts, taking the same actions, and being in the same environment.”
If you want to find out more about managing depressive thoughts and mindfulness consider meeting with a skilled member of the Thriveworks Bethlehem Counseling team.