Negative thinking happens to all of us, but you don’t have to stay stuck there. Here are practices to bring more positivity and joy to your life
My mind is racing all day. I spend so much of my day talking to myself… do you as well?
Our minds work non-stop. Besides some meditation now and then, there is not much we can do about the volume of thoughts we have. But we can change what we think about.
I am a drug addict who has been clean for 4 years now. But I was a total slave to my mind for years.
I spent day and night while in active addiction completely dismantling myself in every way possible. Anything my mind told me at the time I accepted as the truth. It was a crippling cycle.
Miraculously, I found a way out of my addiction. While in early recovery, I worked hard on changing what my mind tells me by implementing new practices and new ideas. One particularly helpful practice is when I have a really ugly thought screaming something negative at me, I write it down and then examine it. There is something about writing the thought down that lets you see how ridiculous our thoughts can actually be.
I still catch myself while driving or sitting at my desk at work completely assassinating my own character. Putting myself down, telling myself: “I’m a failure, I can’t achieve something.” The things I say to myself I would never say to my worst enemy. Sure, there are times I really do feel like a failure, but is that the truth? NO. Not a chance.
Recently, when a negative rant starts in my head, I try to counteract it by showeringmyself with positive affirmations:
- “You’re doing great”
- “You are doing your best and that’s good enough”
- “You’re a good friend”
- “I won’t give up”
- “I love my life”
- “I accept and love who I am”
Some people may scoff at the idea that telling yourself nice things will solve anything. But I’m telling you, positive affirmations can have a tangible effect. Even just typing out those examples above felt good! It feels good to look at the good in life because there is plenty; it’s just that the negative stuff tends to be louder.
I had a friend recently tell me to start my day by writing five things for which I’m grateful. I laughed in his face, but then I tried it – and it helps.
So now I start my mornings with a short, but effective, meditation and reflect on what I am grateful for and try my best to be present with the moment. These types of practices are like going to the gym; at first you won’t see many results, but stay committed and consistent and you will feel better in no time.
Some simple practices you can add to your life include:
- Meditation — Find a time that is suitable for you to get quiet, relax, and identify what is bothering you and where you are tense. Just a few minutes a day can work wonders.
- Writing — Write a list, write what you enjoy about your life, write out the negativity that has been spreading throughout you recently. Just write. There is amazing power putting pen to paper.
- Practicing Gratitude — Gratitude is an action word. Do something nice for someone else, tell someone else that you appreciate them. Just try to get in the mindset of actually being grateful for life.
- Visualizing — Think of what you want in your life then picture yourself doing it successfully. If you have as lifestyle you want to obtain, keep that mental picture in your head. There is amazing and mysterious power behind doing this.
Since I’ve added positive affirmations and thinking into my life, I have noticed a dramatic change. I now take constructive criticism much better. I know that I am not perfect, but I do know what I like about myself and I strive to be humble enough to still be teachable.
The best thing we can do to our very intricate minds is to filter good stuff through it.
So, give yourself a break and stop beating yourself up. Instead, radiate positivity as best you can and I guarantee you will notice a big change in your life for the better.
You may also enjoy reading The Importance of Intention to Create Freedom and Aliveness by Carter Miles