I've had days where the thoughts coming in and out of my mind were all fear-based, all about future worries, and how and when things will work out. I do not like waking up like this, I guess no one does, to be honest. Having your morning start like this has a huge effect on your whole day, your mental health, your self–esteem, your productivity, and on everything basically. Things can get worse and worse if you are not conscious or aware of what your mind is actually doing to you.
Because this is what spiraling negative thinking is, simply your mind’s game. Your mind is constantly creating thoughts. Some of them are better ones that you like hearing, feeling, and thinking and there are some of them that you are less likely to feel so nice about. That is why your mind can be your biggest friend and your worst enemy. This is also why being mindful and having the right mindset is so important. Because when you are awakened, when you notice immediately what is happening in your head, you have the power and the ability to transform these unwanted, fear-based, negative, and untrue thoughts into positive ones that are going to help you to turn your day around and have a positive influence on your mental health and mindset.
There are so many reasons why spiraling into negative thinking can happen to anyone. It can be due to not having a good night sleep, being hormonal, certain moon and planetary alignment changes, certain ongoing experiences in your life and so on. It does not matter why these thoughts were created. The important thing is to notice and overcome them before bigger damage is done. So, let me give you a few sustainable tools to apply from the moment of realization of negative thoughts that can be so helpful that within a couple of hours, you can transcend these unwanted lies in your head.
First, it is important to be aware. By being unaware and not seeing or realizing what is happening actually within you, no change in your day, your feelings, or your mind can occur. To become conscious, you're able to see that there are simply negative thoughts generating within your mind without your permission, and you can start paying attention to yourself more without becoming overwhelmed by them. Be in the present, right now, as there is nowhere else you can be anyway. Be mindful of what is happening around you and within you and realize how you are thinking and feeling. Your mood and your emotions are big tellers, as well. If you are not catching these thoughts right away, you will at least notice the way you are feeling. Lethargy, sadness, anger, or anxiety are strong enough feelings, unfortunately, that are easier to spot although they can be tough to break through
Then, do a little reflection. Ask yourself, are these thoughts real? Is there any truth behind them? Is it any good for my brain and mental health? Most often the answer will be no. If the thoughts are connected to the past, there is nothing you can do about them. You cannot go back to your history and alter anything that has already happened There is no point dwelling on should, could, or would. Let it go. Learn the lesson that is meant to be learned from the experience, they happened for you, for a reason. See it, understand it, grow with the help of it and move on. No joy and peace can come from living in the past. It is behind you for a reason. “What happened, happened and could not have happened any other way, because it did not!” – Peter Crone.
If those thoughts are connected to the future and they are creating anxiety, and fear within, again, there is no point in spending time over something that has not happened yet and might not happen at all. Remember, fear is not real, fear is a choice. It is a product of the thoughts your mind creates. You do not know the future, you do not know what will happen and how it will happen. With future thoughts, your mind is just creating a perception of a future that has not happened yet and it is listening to fear, worry, and anxiety. It is listening to these feelings because you are speculating towards the worst-case scenario. A perfect, beautiful future that I could propose to think of instead is just as real as the one that you created in your head as the worst-case scenario. None of these have happened though! Realize this. Why have not they happened? Because you are still sitting and reading this blog right now, and that is all that is real.
The last step is applying affirmations, where you start to generate the opposite of negative thoughts. You transform these thoughts that are full of lies into real, true, and helpful thoughts. Affirmations are powerful tools that can help you to change your mind and feelings, and they are also helpful ways to manifest the growth and transformation you seek in your life. By repeating positive, short sentences and phrases frequently to yourself, you can imprint those ideas into your subconscious. Your subconscious learns through repetition. You may struggle with believing your affirmations at first. It is because they have not been integrated yet into the subconscious mind but as long as you continue repeating them, they feel true after a while. Slowly but surely, you gain the power to triumph over negative thinking. Whenever a harmful thought raises up in your mind, question it and immediately turn it around. Tell yourself the completely different version of it through a positive affirmation and see what happens.
I was applying these tools while I was doing my usual morning routine during a few days when I was feeling low and within a couple of hours, I noticed the change within me. I did not feel so down anymore nor had I been such a victim to those unhealthy thoughts in my head. Thanks to these steps, the second half of my day turned out really well. Just imagine, how much worse things could have been if I were to believe everything my mind was telling me. By not using some of these tools, my whole days could have been ruined, my mental health would have been affected badly, my feelings would have been down and who knows what a deep hole I could have created for myself, my self-esteem, and my self-worth.
So, the steps are awareness, seeing the truth behind these thoughts, and using positive affirmations. I know these things are easier said than done and sometimes are darkness is real. But, as always, be patient with yourself, do not be judgemental, be consistent, and practice, practice, practice. By repeating and applying tools for your mind, your subconscious can be rewired, and rather sooner or later you will see the wanted changes in your life.
By Lara Toth
Lara is a blogger and yogi and her writing can be found at www.bealignedblog.com.
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