Happiness often comes from within. Learn how to tame negative thoughts and approach every day with optimism. All humans have a tendency to . . . ruminate more on bad experiences than positive ones. It’s an evolutionary adaptation — over-learning from the dangerous or hurtful situations we encounter through life (bullying, trauma, betrayal) helps us avoid them in the future and react quickly in a crisis. But that means you have to work a little harder to train your brain to conquer negative thoughts. Here’s how:
Don’t try to stop negative thoughts. Telling yourself “I have to stop thinking about this,” only makes you think about it more. Instead, own your worries. When you are in a negative cycle, acknowledge it. “I’m worrying about money.” “I’m obsessing about problems at work.”
Treat yourself like a friend. When you are feeling negative about yourself, ask yourself what advice would you give a friend who was down on herself. Now try to apply that advice to you.
NOTE: If we want to stop the flow of negative thoughts the first step is to become AWARE of what you are thinking. If you’re like me, your thoughts can take hold of you and run off at a 100 miles an hour. Once we become aware of what we are thinking, we can apply the brakes to our thinking and substitute a new thought process. It’s not easy, it is possible. An optimistic thought always feels much better than a negative thought.