How I Deal With Negative Thoughts

Happiness

Hi my dear friends,

In this week’s blog, I wish to share my insights on negativity, negative thoughts, and how we can start to counteract all of it to find a sense of balance, equilibrium, confidence, and inner peace. Sound good? Great!

First of all, I want to say that I use the words “negativity” and “negative thoughts” carefully and mindfully. These days, we tend to be very quick to label something as negative, especially if it’s something that makes us feel uncomfortable or anxious or unsure. To be clear, I don’t believe that to be negativity. Sometimes, it’s necessary to feel those feelings, to be present to the uncomfortable moments, and to notice when this all arises, so that we can learn what we can from it, pivot if needed, and move forward. This isn’t negativity, it’s just life.

Sometimes, especially these days, we label uncomfortable interactions with other people as negative. Again, I don’t believe that to be true. Having a difference of opinion with someone isn’t negative, setting a boundary isn’t negative, feeling stressed by someone’s actions isn’t negative, and having stern but important conversations isn’t negative.

In my opinion, and in my definition, the negativity stems from our reactions to all of what I described above. Uncomfortable moments become negative when we allow ourselves to fester without resolve, unprocessed feelings become negative when we don’t fully feel them to completion, relationships become negative when we don’t communicate and speak out when we feel stressed, flustered, or unseen and unheard. Negativity, and the resulting negative thoughts, come from our own unchecked energy and thought processes.

This year, for me, has been very challenging. On top of everything happening globally, I’ve been presented with a handful of issues that have been arduous to untangle and sort through. There have been many, many times when feelings about an unsettled situation have come into my mind, I’ve allowed it to fester, my thoughts spiraled into very unproductive and doomsday undertones, and I could witness myself experiencing heightened anxiety, stress, and depressive moments.

For me, one of the best ways to start to come out of those negative holes is to simply change the script of the thoughts in my mind. I do not allow my mind to run away with story telling and worst case scenario thinking, I know that it will make me feel infinitely worse. Instead, I fill that void with the opposite, the affirmation of the things I’d like to see, what I’d wish to create, the energy I’d like to feel. I heavily rely on the repetition of positive affirmations.

Affirmation repetition isn’t new for me here in this blog, but I felt it was important to share this aspect of the practice, as I know many of us are really feeling the challenge of these times.

I know there’s much that we cannot control, but let’s focus on what we can. We can be mindful of the information and content that we take in every day (news, social media, books/literature). We can set boundaries with people and circumstances that deplete us of our energy and make us feel worse. And, we can cultivate an awareness of the patterns of the mind, and be quick to stop those unhealthy thought processes that lead to negative and unproductive thinking.

These are some of my favorite go-to affirmations to quell my negative thinking:

When I feel down and dejected and like nothing is going right, I pivot my mind to: “Life excites me.

When faced with uncertainty and confusion, I love leaning on “I trust the timing of my life.

And when I feel scared and lonely, “I feel safe and supported.

As I’ve said in the past, affirmations aren’t meant to bypass reality and the feelings that you may be feeling, but rather, to intercept that rabbit-hole thinking. I encourage you to come up with a few back-pocket affirmations that resonate with you that you can rely on, instantly, when needed.

I’d love to hear which affirmations have been working for you these days, let me know in the comments below!

xo, Michelle

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The Practice by Barb Schmidt

Barb offers readers life-changing spiritual guidance in an easy to follow format, and what makes this book so magnificent is that she has infused her own stories and struggles to help readers connect and learn.
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