Have you ever caught yourself and questioned why you were thinking so negatively? Here’s what happens when you think negative thoughts vs healthy thoughts.
My history of negative thoughts
Lately I’ve been researching how our negative thoughts affect us. I’ve read countless books that address our thoughts and what they do to us. The number one pattern in my research I see is our internal thoughts shape our external reality.
When we tell ourselves something enough times, we believe it’s true. Then, this starts to play out in real life.
In my own life, I used to believe I had to live the American dream the way society told me to. I had to drive the flashy cars, have a nice house, have the perfect family and have big jobs. Essentially, keep up with the Jones’.
On the exterior, everything looked pictured perfect. I worked hard to maintain that picture because I thought I was doing the “right” thing.
On the interior things were a mess. I was completely unhappy and unfulfilled. If you’ve been along this blogging journey with me, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this.
What I didn’t know was I was creating negative thoughts in my head without realizing it. I did this because I was living a scripted life. In turn, those negative thoughts were shaping how I lived life.
The danger of negative thoughts
Negative thoughts are dangerous because we often don’t realize we’re having them. We subconsciously aren’t even aware.
Unfortunately, these thoughts begin to hinder our motivation. They’ll catch up to you in ways you don’t even realize until you’ve made one wrong decision after another.
In my case, it was the image I created of a life that wasn’t my own. While there was nothing wrong with the actual life I was living, it wasn’t my own, it was someone else’s.
Negative thoughts become our enemy. They’ll cause you to procrastinate, ignore or avoid things altogether. In turn, this makes the problem worse.
Negativity is always working against us, by nature. It’s possible to take negative thoughts so far you convince yourself not to do something. You do this because you have already decided it won’t work out without even trying.
What negative thoughts do to our bodies
Once we have a negative experience, and the more negative it is, we try to return to it. Our minds are wired in a way that drives us to fix things. We return to the negative experience to attempt to create a different outcome.
Think about the last time you had a negative experience. How many times did you replay it over and over in your mind? Did you repeat the conversation and analyze what you could have done differently? Maybe to create a different outcome?
It’s healthy to analyze a situation to understand how we can fix it in the future. Living in it over and over again though, will draw us to make the same mistake twice. The replays then create beliefs in our mind. We will gravitate towards negativity without realizing it.
Our natural instincts tell us to avoid pain but our minds obsess over it. In response to our negative thoughts we restructure our pain to avoid feeling it again. Which in turn causes more thoughts around the topic itself.
The more often you engage in negative thoughts, the more often you will be stressed. This happens because we alter our mind’s ability to perceive the situation for what it really is.
In turn, this can negatively shape your ability to see opportunities when they arise. It is also harder to go after them because you’ve convinced yourself you’re not capable.
How to shift your negative thoughts into positive/healthy thoughts
Each morning, make it a practice to spend some quiet time alone journaling. This will help release your thoughts to start your day with a clear mind.
Writing down our thoughts also provides us a way to re-read what we’re thinking. More often than not, it’s not as bad as we were thinking once we actually read it aloud.
I spend time journaling every morning, it’s part of my morning routine. Journaling has caused me to think deeper, focus more and see whatever it is I’m worrying about on paper. By the time I’m done, I feel refreshed and renewed to start the day.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, meditating works wonders for the mind.
Meditation is something I tried for years and couldn’t quite get the hang of. This changed when someone suggesting the right environment and setup.
Find a quiet place in your home when and where you won’t be disturbed. Grab some noise cancelling headphones and sit or stand in a comfy position.
If you’re not comfortable meditating on your own, or you’re not sure how, use an app. Personally, I use Insight Timer. It’s an app with over 30,000 meditations you can choose from.
Meditating is a personal experience and what works for some won’t work for everyone. I like Insight Timer because it has guided meditations you can filter by benefit. I practice a lot of anxiety reducing and breathing exercises.
3. Catch your negative thoughts in the moment
Identifying your negative thoughts is crucial for shifting to a healthy mindset.
Make a conscious decision to examine your thoughts today. As soon as you find yourself thinking negatively, question it. Ask yourself if the thought is really worth it. Is the thought living rent free in your head? Is it robbing your of your happiness? You create your own happiness, no one else.
Remember, when you feel hurt by someone it’s not actually about you. It’s a belief that person has about themself. We all see through our own lens based on the way we grew up and what society has taught us and then we act on it.
Shifting our mindset from negative to positive is life changing. When we start believing something is an opportunity it will open many doors.
Summary – What happens when you think negative thoughts vs healthy thoughts
Negative thoughts ultimately lead to more stress and more problems. If we can shift our mindset to a healthy place, we can get anything we want out of life.
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