Mindfulness Coach~Certified in Mindfulness by Center of Excellence/ Psychology, Mindfulness, Positivism, Self-Worth, Self-Acceptance, Compassion, and Support are key to a good life. Online course available: living-mindfully1.teachable.com
Thoughts are just thoughts. They are stories of the mind. Be it retelling stories of the past, or pondering stories for the future. Our thoughts are not based on reality. They are bias, and they tend to be negative. Thoughts are our mind’s way of trying to understand the complex world around us. It is there to try to understand the difficult emotions and situations we face. It tries to provide comfort, but usually ends up making us feel worse.
We must remember thoughts are stories of the mind. They tend to focus on the past, or future. The reality is in the moment. You can have thoughts about the future, but it isn’t reality, until you are in the future moment, experiencing the situation. You can have thoughts of the past, but it isn’t reality, it has already happened, and usually your thoughts of the past are distorted.
Thoughts about ourselves and others are also distorted. Talking down to ourselves. Judging others. These thoughts are not based on reality. They can be negativively biased. They make us feel worse about ourselves and others, than we really should. Our mind’s want to protect us from getting hurt by painting this brush of negative thoughts and worse case scenarios, but it doesn’t work. It doesn’t help. It tends to make us feel worse.
We have negative thoughts about others, because we want to feel better about ourselves, but it doesn’t help us fix our own struggles. We have negative thoughts about ourselves, because we have high standards for ourselves and want to be perfect, but that is impossible, because all humans have flaws and make mistakes. It is important to be aware that thoughts are just thoughts, thoughts are stories, thoughts are bias, thoughts are distorted to fit your perception. They do not reflect reality. They do not define you.
It is easy to fall into the trap of negativity these days, so much is going on that can cultivate negative feelings, emotions and behaviors. We must remember that we have to take care of our minds and bodies. A stressed or negative mind and body can’t solve anything or make a change. Taking care of your mental health is important. So being aware of what cultivates negativity and how it can be avoided is a good step towards a more content and peaceful life.
Negative thoughts, feelings and emotions are ubiquitous, but there are ways you can avoid having them rule your life. There are triggers that can cultivate a negative mindset and lifestyle. I wanted to list a couple of things that promote a negative mindset/lifestyle. The best thing for your well-being is to steer clear of these things as much as possible. I just want you to be aware of the things that create a negative world, so that you can figure out ways to avoid falling into this trap. You may not be able to control negativity all the time, but you can learn to alleviate these negative thoughts/behaviors/habits most of the time if one becomes more aware of these habits.
Ways that createnegativity:
Judging looking down on others, talking about others, questioning others lifestyle. This mindset is not helpful for you at all. Focusing on oneself is most important.
Complaining Leads to no solution, and cultivates negative emotions. No reason in practicing this habit. This is not the same as venting.
Reactivebehavior Being cut off in traffic, arguments, angry outburst ,annoyance, someone saying things you don’t like, or does things you don’t like. This can all make one react in a negative manner. It is best at times like these to step back and take breaths. These reactions can cause stress to the mind and body and raise one’s blood pressure, so it is best to avoid these reactions as much as you can.
Gossiping Wasting energy on others does nothing fulfilling or satisfying for oneself. This just promotes a judgmental mentality. Using your time to promote self-growth, learn, talk about insightful, in-depth topics.
Comparisons Looking at the positive of others and focusing on the negative of ourselves. People tend to focus on what we don’t have that others do. Try focusing on what you have that others may not have. No one is perfect. Comparisons can be problematic.
Victim mentality leads to no solution, one can’t improve or change with this mindset. Blaming others, circumstances, and the world takes the power away from you. I am not saying blame yourself, but one must remember that we have control of certain things in life. This mentality reduces that power. People with this mentality tend to feel helpless and the reality is that they are not.
Criticism This is towards oneself and others. It can lead or be a result of low confidence, or self-acceptance/love.
Controllingmindset The need to control others and the world around you is impossible and unrealistic. This can lead to a very stressed and angry individual. You can only control your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Let the rest be.
News/SNS We all know these things can be triggers, especially these days.
Pessimistic mindset Ah yes, the half glass full mindset. Focusing on the bad, negative and wrongs of the world.
It is easy for humans to focus on the negatives. From an evolutionary standpoint it makes sense. It was needed to ward off any foreign dangers, predators, other tribes, dangerous foods/plants. It makes sense that our brains are wired to focus on the negatives, but these days most of our negative thoughts are not cultivated from dangerous situations. They are just perceived that way. This is why it is so much harder to be positive.
Negative thinking is hard to avoid, but we do have control of how we perceive things in life. There are ways to promote a healthier, more positive mindset. I know this is repetitive, as I mentioned these a lot before, but it is important to keep mentioning it, so that these habits become habitual to live life with a more peaceful and positive mindset.
Ways to avoid negativity:
Take breaths Just stop and take deep breaths. This can help calm your negative thoughts and emotions. I always feel a sense of calmness doing this.
Take mindful breaks This is always helpful for me when I am consumed with so much information and negativity from the online world. Just getting back to yourself can create such peace and happiness.
Write down negative thoughts I saw this somewhere online, during my research. I thought this approach was interesting. Visually seeing your negative thoughts can be powerful. Letting it out on paper and to the world. Can put the negativity away from you and to these words on paper.It helps release the negative energy within you. Seeing your thoughts on paper may motivate oneself to change your perspective. I may try this one in the future.
Meditate Always a helpful tool when stressed, feeling down, or when negative thoughts consume oneself.
Exercise Known to reduce stress and depression. Gives one a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Go outside/walk in nature Something that is very helpful for myself. I always get a sense of peace coming back from a walk.
Change your language Avoid can’t,won’t, never, always, life is bad, people are bad. Push away negative words and put more emphasis on positive ones.
Practice gratitude Appreciate what you have, what is good, the beauty of yourself, others and life.
Practice compassion Show love for oneself, others and the world can help promote a positive and healthier mindset.
Practice forgiveness This can release a lot of tension and weigh on your shoulders. It will be much easier to move on and find peace if one does this.
Do things that spark joy Taking walk in nature, reading, listening to music are all things that bring me joy and happiness. Find things that do that for you. Feeling of happiness and content will exceed the negative feelings and emotions.
Be creative/productive Gives one a lovely sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and peace of mind. Doing something for your self-growth is always satisfying and rewarding. It can also help boost your confidence and give oneself a sense of appreciation.
Helping others There is nothing more rewarding, than helping others in need. We all can do our part in helping others in any way we can. It doesn’t have to be big, any small gesture helps.
Take action These negative thoughts will consume your life if one does not decide to make a change. What exactly is creating this negative mindset? What can I do to change this and live a more positive lifestyle? It is important to take steps away from the negativity.
I will end this with some quotes on this topic. I hope you all learn to live each day more happily, positively and peacefully. I hope you all have a lovely week.
Masking has evolved and is now defined as concealing one’s emotion by portraying another emotion. It is mostly used to conceal a negative emotion (usually sadness, frustration, and anger) with a positive emotion. This is the definition I found online. What I mean by this concept in this post is avoiding, hiding, concealing, or suppressing thoughts and emotions with external means, like food, alcohol and drugs.
Best bet is to confront/acknowledge the problem, or struggle to manage and cope. This will help you find solutions and help ease your mind. The thing is it isn’t an easy concept for most. People tend to prefer to use coping strategies as food, alcohol, and drugs to seek comfort, instead of facing the problem, they do it without realizing it. These strategies are not healthy, but for the individual it is a short-term fix. That is why a mindful approach is very important, so awareness can stop these habits.
Avoiding is easier. It is easier to pick up the drink, take the drugs, and eat the food, than to try to make changes, maybe it isn’t easier, it could be the fact that people don’t have the knowledge to a more mindful approach to get them out of this cycle of habits. The dopamine release from using these strategies for comfort is rewarding for the individual. You feel good for the moment. The problem is it doesn’t last long. It feels nice for a couple minutes, maybe hours, than reality sets in again. Everything is back to where it was when you started. You may even feel worse for doing what you did, feelings of guilt, shame, or anger may arise.
Using these strategies to push away your problems, or hide them away just perpetuates the problem. This allows the problem to linger, which than allows one to continue to act on the bad habit. It is an endless cycle of negativity and bad habits. These habits cloud your mind, especially alcohol and drug use. It impairs the frontal lobe. The area of the brain needed to fix the problem you are dealing with. By clouded the mind, you are allowing the problem to remain and grow.
Nothing can be fixed with external things. It can only alleviate the underlying issues. You will continue to eat, drink, and consume drugs when dealing with negative emotions/thoughts, until one is able to face the problem straight on with a clear mind to find solutions.
I know it is tempting to pick up the drink, eat the food, or take the drugs. But one must learn to take control of their lives, and not allow things around us to control us. These mindless habits can just lead to more problems for one mentally and physically. There is just nothing good long-term that comes out of suppressing your thoughts and feelings.
Taking the mindful road can allow you to become aware of one’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. This can then allow you to become aware of these bad habits. Which then can allow you to put a stop to these habits. You will learn to face the problems in your life, then learn to concur them with a calm and clear mind. This process will provide peace of mind, strength, and recovery. The thing you must always remember is that you have control of your habits. Give yourself back that power. Take the power back into your hands.
Waking up to negative thoughts is never a way one wants to start their day. There are two choices. Let the negative thoughts consume the body and mind, and have it ruin the rest of your day, or reframe, accept, and release the thoughts, and have a more joyful day.
Being mindful can help you become aware of these type of thoughts, and find ways to release them, so the negative thoughts will not get out of control. You can tell yourself that you will not let these thoughts get the best of you. The day will be a good day. Accept what is, and if you can not accept it, than a change must happen. In the end, you control your happiness.
You can also try a meditation practice where you take a breath in(inhale), think about the negative thought. Immerse yourself in the thoughts, along with the feelings, and reactions it creates. Then release(exhale) the negative thoughts out of the body. This can be a helpful practice in releasing negative energy from the mind and body.
In the end, try not to let negative thoughts win. It is about having the best day possible, no matter the circumstances. Your happiness, and peace of mind depends on it.