Why does negative thinking work for me
6 tips to end negative thinking
- Stop negative thoughts!
Say “stop” quickly, as loudly as possible or loudly and energetically inside. It works best if you not only say it, but also visualize the stop, e.g. as a large, red traffic stop sign. Be creative, let your imagination run wild. Because the more intense, more distant from everyday life, exaggerated or funnier the picture, the stronger it is, especially with persistent negative thoughts. Let yourself be inspired, for example, by comics, in which everything is shown in a totally exaggerated way. Take the stop sign and use it to beat your thoughts away, shoot them to the moon or hammer them into the ground. Because that's what gets stuck in the head the most.
Tip: it can be especially at the beginning that the negative thoughts are very persistent and you have to stop again and again, maybe even every few seconds. Don't give up, it gets easier quickly!
- As quickly as possible!
It is crucial to stop negative thoughts as soon as possible. Once you have stepped further into the negative spiral of thought, it becomes more and more difficult to come out again. Why is that? To do this, you have to be clear about how our brain works. The brain and memory work associatively. This means that the nerve cells that have stored something have many connections to one another, especially the cells that have stored something similar. If one of these cells is now activated, many others are activated at the same time, all of which have to do with the same topic. If you think of an apple, for example, you will have all the information you have ever experienced on "apple" ready at the same time: color, shape, smell, taste, cake, situations where you ate apples, ... The same thing happens with negative thoughts. If you have one and respond to it, draw attention to it, it spreads. You can think of more and more situations where you were just as bad, stupid, ... as you were just now. Hence, it is critically important to stop negative thoughts as soon as possible before allowing them to spread, get bigger and drag you down into the downward spiral!
- Draw attention!
I know it's so easy to say, but in spite of all automatisms, you have a choice of what you focus on. Is your glass half empty or half full? It's not that easy, but we can consciously train ourselves to regain control of our attention. We are unconsciously directed from the outside every day, through advertising, things that we often see, hear, taste,…. And it works great. If we hear or see something often enough, or if many people say or do something often, we end up believing it. So why shouldn't we consciously use this mechanism for ourselves? Just as you have learned the negative thoughts and beliefs, you can unlearn them again or acquire more targeted, positive thought patterns. Practice drawing your attention consciously away from negative patterns and towards positive ones.
- "What are my profits?"
... is the crucial question. What does negative thinking bring you? Nothing. No, worse, it brings you negative feelings, even more negative thoughts, you feel bad and small, your self-esteem drops, and you keep dragging yourself down.
Does it take you further, to your goal, to any goal? No. So make yourself aware of this: negative thinking doesn't get me any further! It only brings me more negatives and removes me from what I actually want! Repeat this to yourself over and over again, counter the negative thoughts.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive ones!
Step 4 inevitably leads to the next question: “What will bring me further?”, “Which thoughts help me to feel better / achieve my goal?”, Or “What do I have to think instead?”. Take some time to deal with these questions and answer them in writing if possible. You can also write down all of your negative thoughts on a sheet of paper on the left side and on the right side write the positive thoughts with which you replace the negative ones.
- Practice, practice, practice!
Unfortunately, it is the same here as with everything else, practice makes perfect. As in sport, only constant and consistent action leads to success. Why? Exactly, you only learned negative thinking by hearing negative statements over and over or saying to yourself. Unfortunately, negative thoughts get stuck more easily and quickly than positive ones, since our system is primarily designed to avoid harm. Therefore, negative experiences are saved as more important than positive ones in order to avoid potential new dangers. In order to master a negative conviction, it is important to counter it with as many positive counterexamples as possible. So don't give up right away, it will take some effort and time to begin with, but it's worth it if you keep your goal in mind:
Finally be free from negative thoughts!
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