Do you feel like you suffer from recurring negative thoughts?
Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to succumb to negative thinking patterns than to embrace optimism. Doing so takes less effort and doesn’t require you to change your poor habits. But making a conscious choice to reframe your negative mindset can make all the difference in how you feel about yourself and your life.
The way you frame your thinking is the difference between feeling bummed about a rainy day and feeling excited to have some relaxing time indoors. How you view the world around you affects everything you do and say, and essentially becomes who you are. So you can imagine how important it is to consistently produce positive thoughts that motivate you and make you a better person.
If you want to reframe your negative thoughts, here are 3 ways to get started.
Set Your Intentions
The first thing you need to do is set your intentions for changing your current situation. Without being mindful of how you think, it’s impossible to improve your habits and choose more positive thoughts.
When setting your intentions, don’t worry about being perfect. What’s important is that you know what you want and you’re willing to put in the work to achieve your goals. If you’re serious about reframing your mindset, it’s an excellent way to start your journey and improve your wellbeing.
It helps to write down your intentions and place them somewhere you can see them everyday. List what you want to accomplish and remind yourself of regularly so these thoughts can eventually become normal and recurring.
Most of the time, the negative thoughts that intrude your mind are assumptions and not facts. Cognitive distortions allow you to believe things without any proof or evidence. This type of thinking is dangerous and leads to miscommunication with others.
If you find yourself creating anxiety by letting your thoughts overwhelm you, remind yourself that your thoughts are only thoughts. Just because they entered your mind doesn’t mean they’re true or that they hold weight. Fact-checking your thoughts is a quick and easy way to put them in place and shift your focus onto something else.
For example, let’s say your boss wants to set up a one-on-one meeting with you. Instead of understanding that there could be many reasons why, you assume you’re in trouble and possibly getting fired. You don’t know why you’d experience this, but something tells you the worst-case scenario is true.
Instead of giving into those anxious thoughts, use facts to combat your assumptions. Have a conversation with yourself and ask what proof do you have that your negative thoughts are true. If the answer is none, then it’s time to shift your focus and accept that your thoughts are getting the best of you.
Write Down Your Thoughts
When you feel negative thoughts creeping in, you need a healthy outlet to release them. If you’re new to reframing your thoughts, it helps to have different ways to cope with them.
Keeping a journal of your thinking patterns helps you communicate clearly to yourself about yourself. Feeling several emotions at once, especially when negative, clouds your judgment and prevents you from making good decisions.
When writing down your feelings and thoughts, ask yourself:
- What’s the cause of these thoughts? Where do they stem from?
- Is there truth to the thoughts I’m experiencing?
- Am I using the feedback I’ve received from others to improve habits and behaviors?
Writing down your thoughts also helps you revisit them and see what you can do better next time. Without an account of your experience, you only have your memories to aid you. But writing down yoru feelings right away will help you remember the events clearly to overcome them.
Back to You
If you struggle to reconstruct your negative thoughts, it’ll be difficult to turn those feelings into learning experiences. Setting your intentions, keeping a written account of your feelings, and constant fact-checking are excellent ways to reframe your negative mindset. What tactics will you use to reconstruct your thoughts?