Our mind is a battlefield, and every day is a battle that needs to be won. We make decisions whether for our family, for our job, relationship, and ourselves. Sometimes, we struggle, experience anxiety, and our stress level increases, affecting our healthy decision-making and thinking. Is it normal that people feel unhealthy thoughts? If not, then how can one prevent it and deal with it?
WHAT EXACTLY IS A NEGATIVE THOUGHT?
It was a happy day for you, and you were excited to go to your office. When you arrive there, your boss just suddenly full of sarcasm and gave you a mean look. You were there on time, and you can’t think of any reason behind her being upset. You wondered why and thought how you would react. Would you just let it slide off you? Or would you take it personally and feel bad about yourself, or even get angry about it?
This bothers you for days, weeks, or even longer, you’re having negative thoughts that affect your mood, and you’re dealing with other people. Whenever you feel sad for an extended time, like for several days, or weeks, they can take a toll on your physical health. Therefore, it’s so important to learn how to deal with them.
HOW CAN YOU DEAL WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS?
One way to deal with negative thoughts is to replace them with good, happy, and positive thoughts. It’s an effective way to combat more negative thoughts to enter your head. For example, despite doing your best, your boss fires you from the office. Your initial reaction would be to question your worth, capabilities, and even your self-value. But, instead of feeling and asking yourself of those negative things, you might tell yourself, “This is going to be a challenge for a while, but if I’m patient I can learn to adapt and still enjoy my life and look for a new job” or “This is a setback for me, but I can recover from it if I give myself time.” This kind of thought can make you feel better and more hopeful. And it will help your body too.
Don’t you know that your mind is very powerful and it affects your body? Yes, it’s through the mind-body connection that your thoughts can affect your health. That’s why mental health is as important as physiological health.
The more positive you are, by telling yourself motivating things, the more capable your brain produces chemicals to:
- Normalize or lower your blood pressure.
- It reduces anxiety and stress levels.
- Reduce your risk for heart disease.
- It keeps you away from overfatigue due to overthinking.
- Strengthen your immunity and keeping you away from diseases.
- Help you avoid stomach problems, sleep problems (insomnia), and back pain.
- Make you feel good about yourself, about other people, and about your life.
- Feel optimistic about the future.
Negative thoughts are sometimes caused by your environment, especially when you are surrounded by fault-finding people, unforgiving, no satisfaction and contentment, and ungrateful.
Here are a few but effective ways to fight against negative thoughts:
Feel what you have to feel but don’t dwell on it longer
We are humans, we have hormonal issues, and it’s normal to feel sad, upset, irritated, etc. Whenever you feel sad because you are bombarded by cognitive negativities and because of your situation, just let yourself feel what it wants to feel, but be mindful (yes, you are in control) of the length of time you feel down or sad. The longer you feel sad, the longer your body is experiencing trouble and stress. You can help yourself in diverting your emotions and letting go of the negative thoughts.
Look at the brighter side
It may sound cliche, but yes, you need to look at the positive end of a negative situation because when they meet, something good will happen. To counteract negative thoughts, ask yourself better questions.
- Do you think there is a solution to the situation? (It’s always a yes! And you need to find out and work on that “Yes.”
- What’s one good thing about this situation?
- How can I better the situation?
- What’s can I learn from this?
- Who do I have with me to help me get through? (You have your family, friends, relatives, coworker, a brother, a mentor, etc.)
Express your thoughts positively by doing something
Journaling, gardening, cleaning the house to make you busy and no time to entertain negative thoughts, or perhaps, do something nice for yourself. Maybe you could work less and spend a little more time playing with your kids. Jog or exercise, play your favorite sports like Aikido, find something that makes you laugh, watch a feel-good movie, eat at your favorite restaurant, buy new shoes, etc.
Listen to feel-good music or an inspirational podcast
Never listen to sad music when you’re feeling down because it will intensify the sadness. Music communicates with our soul by sending messages to our brain. That’s why whenever you hear upbeat, happy music, you also want to dance.
Listen to happy and good music that can uplift your spirit or listen to a podcast of an inspirational speaker. It really helps.
Find a support system
Humans are social beings. We need other people to make us feel that we are not alone carrying a burden or finding solutions to the problem. You know who is in your inner circle. Look for someone who can give you pieces of positive advice and would make you feel better. It’s always good and healthy that someone listens to us and someone is there for us.