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5 steps to change your negative thoughts and feelings

Develop a winning mindset

What do you do when you start feeling down or when you start having negative thoughts?

Do you just want to hide under your duvet from the whole world and watch movies hoping you might feel better tomorrow?

Or

Does one negative thought lead to another and before you know it you cannot get out of negative thinking and you feel anxious, fearful and down?

Do you think your current ways of dealing with negative thoughts and feelings serve you?

As much as it might feel that sometimes we have no control over our thoughts and feelings, we do have control!

I would like to share with you some techniques to use when you feel down and when you feel you have no control over your negative thinking. These techniques work wonders with me and I am sure they will help you.

1. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t have

It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and feel like a victim as there are so many things we want in life that we don’t currently have. BUT thinking this way will only make you more upset. Where focus goes, energy flows. The more you focus on something the more it grows so don’t focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you want to achieve instead.

Focus on things you want to achieve and your brain will automatically go into a problem-solving mode. It will think “How can I achieve this?”. Identify ways in which you can achieve your goals and you will see that your goals are within your reach. This will fuel your optimism and motivation and encourage you to take action. Before you know it, you will have achieved it!

2. Visualise and get your vision board up

Sometimes we feel negative and down because we are not getting what we want. Take the time to re-connect with your vision.

Close your eyes and visualise what you wish to achieve. For example, “I want to feel happy, motivated and optimistic.” Picture yourself experiencing these emotions, feel them. Visualise what life would look like once you felt this way? Don’t worry if you can’t picture the scenario clearly – just feel. Visualise in as much detail as possible. Where are you? What can you see? Who is with you? What can you smell? What can you hear?

Now visualise what type of person you need to become (your ideal self) to achieve your goal. How do you think? How do you act? What are your beliefs?

Create a vision board with photos/pictures that represent your ideal life or anything you want to achieve, including how you wish to feel. Put it in a visible place and visualise the achievement of your goals every time you see your vision board.

3. Gratitude

Gratitude is such a powerful tool. Did you know that you cannot feel negative emotions and feel grateful at the same time? Choose to feel grateful.

Every time you feel down, think about all the things you are grateful for. Learn to find beauty and gratitude in small things. You can be grateful for your family, friends, house, for having an income, food on a table or you can simply be grateful for the sunshine.

Find gratitude in your challenges. For example instead of thinking “I hate my job, I want to quit as soon as possible but I can’t” think “I am so grateful for the opportunity to create my business whilst I am receiving a monthly salary”. It is not all as bad as we think it is.

4. Keep a worry list

The minute you start to worry, write it down and keep the list for 2 weeks. This not only helps release the heavy energy that weighs us down, but at the end of 2 weeks you will notice that none of these worries were warranted. Your brain will have a proof that worry is a waste of time.

5. Negative self-talk

Start watching the way you talk to yourself. Self-talk is important because it has a big impact on how you feel and what you do. What is your self-talk like? Is it positive and empowering or is it negative and disempowering? What type of self-talk would serve you more? What can you do to develop this self-talk? Below are some ideas to get you started.

Tip: Turn negative self-talk to a positive one. For example, every time you hear yourself say “I can’t do this”, change it to “What can I do to be able to do it? Who can I ask for help? What can I learn that will enable me to do it?”

Tip: What sort of self-talk would your ideal-self have? Commit to developing the same self-talk as your ideal-self would have.

Tip: Affirmations are positive mental repetitions that can reprogram your thinking patterns so that, over time, you begin to think and act differently, with accordance to your affirmations. Affirmations are successful at managing your negative self-talk. An example of an affirmation could be “My business is growing and thriving” or “I am successful and never give up”.

Write down your affirmations and repeat them every day. You will be amazed how quickly they lift your spirits.

Tip: Say ‘STOP’ straight after a negative thought appears in your mind. You may not be able to control the first thing that pops into your head, but you can control the second.

Remember, as much as we want to believe that we have no control over how we feel and what happens to us, we do have control over our lives. What we think directly impacts how we feel and how we act. So if you think you are a failure, you will feel like a failure and you will act like one which will only reinforce your belief that you are a failure. We don’t need to feel like a victim and take whatever our mind throws at us. We can choose to take back control, work on training our mind so we can create the life we want.  

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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