How to End Addiction to Negative Thoughts
“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” – Chinese Proverb
Everyone’s life is filled with negatives and positives. We deal with them every day. The best way I have found to deal with negatives is to convert them to positives. In other words, take the glass half empty and see it as half full. Some people have this tendency at birth, but for some it has to be cultivated.
Practicing positive thinking is easy for some, but it’s difficult for someone with chronic negative thoughts, someone close to losing hope. Sometimes, life is filled with so many challenges that we feel hopeless, and negativity rules. For at least 10 years after my motorcycle crash, negativity was fully in charge of my life.
Our mind is like a tape which repeats the events of our past. Positive thinking does not work for some because our tapes (our minds) keep repeating our failures. If we’re unskilled at something, and we want to improve, we may not be able to improve until we erase our tape. We have to make up our minds to believe we can succeed (for example, Edit your tape with new info – out with the old, in with the new) for your positive thinking to work.
Where do negative thoughts come from?
Before we can tackle a problem we must know its roots. Where does negative thinking come from? The list of places to be influenced with negative thoughts can start with the media, and include our workplace, our family, our significant-other, our government, our religion, any social institution and ourselves. We each have unique experiences in these categories. For me, my family and my faith have always been a positive influence. My most negative influence has been myself.
The effect of negative thoughts…
Having negative thoughts plays out like a movie that can only bring you pain, something that I have experienced many times throughout my life. Negative thoughts drain us of energy and keep us from being in the present moment. The more we give in to our negative thoughts, the stronger they become. I like the imagery of a small ball rolling along the ground, and as it rolls, it becomes larger and faster.
That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of ugliness. On the contrary, a small positive thought can have the same effect blossoming into a beautiful outcome.
Have you ever thought about the power of your thoughts? One thing I’ve learned since my injury is this: not only are negative thoughts destructive, they’re also addictive. Luckily the addiction to negative thinking can be treated like any other addiction.
To chase away the dark clouds of negativity, to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones, to change limits to possibilities, I have pinpointed 10 ideas that have worked for me:
- Commit yourself to positive goals.
- Say only positive things.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Hang out with positive people.
- Forgive yourself when you backslide.
- Eat healthy meals.
- Get physical exercise regularly.
- Keep track of your progress.
- Trust the God of your understanding.
- Remember that Winners Don’t Quit!
In my next article, I’ll talk more about changing our limitations to possibilities…
Al Foxx is an Inspirational Humorist and Keynote Speaker.
Contact him for your next event, he will bring humor and inspiration or diversity training to your audience.