Cutting down on your negative thoughts might seem like a daunting task to some readers but the benefits make it well worth the time and the effort. This article will look at only 5 methods of changing your thoughts and making and turning them into a thought virus whereby your positive thoughts spread to affect all of your thoughts.
Our days are filled with thousands of thoughts and a lot of these thoughts are negative or self critical in nature. These are the thoughts we are looking to target. I have read somewhere that 40% of our thoughts are negative (I don’t know where so take that statistic with a pinch of salt). So if we have 60,000 thoughts each day, 24,000 are, on average, negative thoughts or self critical thoughts. These thoughts can stem from what we hear on the news, the radio, read in the newspapers, etc so I believe that the figure of negative thoughts is much higher than 40%, but we’ll stick with 40% just now.
5 Methods to Cut Down Negative Thinking
This method looks at introducing new, positive, thoughts at a conscious level. This means that they are not naturally occurring thoughts, rather thoughts that you have pre planned and introduced to your conscience by way of thinking about them at planned times throughout the day.
For example, if I want to lose weight I tell myself my target weight throughout the day and any time I feel like a biscuit or a cake. So as soon as I get up in the morning I repeat to myself “I am 13 stones” (182 pounds), this immediately wakes my mind up to the fact that I am watching what I eat and it starts working to lessen the urges and cravings I get. Then throughout the day I simply state to myself “I am 13 stones”. Whenever I see a cake - “I am 13 stones”, when I see a biscuit “I am 13 Stones”, when I see a dog – taken that too far! You get the picture. You are infusing positive thoughts and positive images which will spread to some other thoughts and change the way you think, over time, about your life. You can try this with any are of your life.
A lot of the times we act on our negative thoughts which leads to more negative thoughts which leads to more etc. Diffusion is a process of acknowledging your negative thoughts. This is changing the relationship with the negative thoughts that arise during the day.
For example, you are going about your business and suddenly the thought comes up:
“I hate this job”, you then acknowledge that that and say “I hate this part of the job, but there are other aspects I like, such as doing the accounts.”
This is similar to the infusion method described above except that you are repeating phrases in your mind over and over again, much like Émile Coué’s autosuggestion techniques such as “Every day, In every way, I am getting better and better”. This was one of the first self help methods I used when I first started out and still use it today, although nowhere near as much as I used to, and this is because I am now naturally a positive person because of the techniques I am describing here.
This is a method which lets you accept all your incoming thoughts. Whilst you are accepting of the thoughts you do not necessarily react to them.
For example you might have the incoming thought of “I’m hopeless at writing new posts.” You acknowledge this thought, keep on writing and say something like “That is how I feel right now, but not necessarily all the time.” You accept the thought and move on with what you are doing. Pretty soon as you catch a lot of your negative thoughts you will develop a habit of thinking more positively in a natural way.
Reversal and association
This is a method used to reverse the incoming negative thought using recalled emotions and feelings. It is particularly powerful as you are actively engaging more of your senses and feelings. An example of using this would be:
Incoming thought: “I Can’t do a presentation, they will all laugh at me.” You then remember an event when you stood up and spoke about a topic you knew well, you remember feeling great and everyone congratulating you at the end of your talk, you felt fantastic after it. Then you replace the original “I can’t do that…” thought with a new image, of standing up in front of everyone and it going great and you see everyone congratulating you and you feeling great.
There are many more methods for cutting down on your negative thinking habits and turning into a more positive thinking person naturally. We can’t eliminate negative thinking, and nor would we want to as it can serve us well in some situations, however we do want to cut down on a lot of negative thinking.