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How to break out of negative thinking

Positive Thinking

Hey hoopers! After a great weekend filled with leisure and fun, ending with a great little hoop dance session at the Shelly Beach Sunday Social Burn hosted by the wonderful Northern Beaches Fire Twirlers Group – It’s the regular case of the Monday’s today. Back to the routine, not much time for play leaves me counting down for the weekend again. Ok, so enough of my first world problem winge!

Speaking of problems, we all know that there will always be many things in life that will overpower us and make us feel a little down or create problems into our existence, its all a part of being human and living in a society where expectations are high most of the time. Hence, today, I want to share with you some pointers on how to stop being so pessimistic about what is going on our lives.

Negative thinking can poison what – from the outside – looks like a pretty good life with opportunities. Pessimism can create ceilings and walls made out of glass where there really are none.

Negative thinking makes us all feel as though we are standing still and not going anywhere – this in turn can have a great effect on our self-esteem. Let’s tap into a more optimistic outlook.

1. Focus on what you want.

What do you think about most of the time? Your troubles and worries? If that is the case, if you spend your attention on focusing on what you don’t want then it’s easy to feed the negativity monster in your mind with more energy and to get stuck in analysis paralysis.

But if you instead spend most of your time thinking about what you want out of life in various areas then you become more focused. Your mind starts to create solutions to your obstacles. You feel like taking action to start moving step by step towards your goals.

So focus on what you want. Post reminders on post-its and whiteboards in your surroundings to keep your attention where it needs to be. Write down your goal and focus single-mindedly to taking yourself towards it.

This also helps when learning hoop dance and trying out new tricks. Write yourself a list of the moves / tricks that you would like to master, having it down in writing clearly reminds us, avoiding the mind merry-go-round of thinking of the next thing to learn.

2. Avoid negative generalizations.

This is a big one, both for optimism and for healthy self-esteem. Negative generalizations about life can really wreck your outlook.

If you for example run into an obstacle or problem then the negative thinker may generalize this as something that is just there and will continue to stay there.

While the optimistic thinker views the obstacle as something temporary that can be overcome by taking action (even if that also means failing and learning a few things along the way).

If the negative thinker runs in criticism then he or she may generalize this as something personal, like the other person is out to get him or her and that he or she is somehow a bad or generally an incompetent person just because this piece of criticism.

The optimistic thinker on the other hand will keep some distance to the criticism. She or he thinks that the piece of criticism may be valid for this area of life rather than saying something about everything (if the criticism is about not being on time for meetings at work then that is the issue that needs to be corrected, it does not mean a bad performance in all areas of that job).

The optimistic thinker also keeps in mind that criticism may sometimes not be valid but will arise because the other person has had a bad day, is irritated about something else or hates some part of his or her own life.

3. Take note of what you consume

If you let pessimistic and negative thinking into your mind then it will be pretty much impossible to stay optimistic about life.

Take a closer look at what movies, TV, news, books and music you consume and how they affect you. Look at how the people closer to you too such as friends and family affect your thoughts.

Then take small steps to change that. Take action to over time reduce or cut out the most negative sources as best you can and replace that void in your life with more time with the positive influences.

Have a fun-filled and optimistic week! 🙂