Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Seven Ways to Escape Negative Thinking

by Dawn Gluskin

If you are finding yourself trapped in negative thinking patterns and want out, here are some tips to help break the cycle:

1. Embrace a willingness to change. Be open to a different way of thinking. This is a must and can only come from within. "No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." -- Buddha

2. Be able to face the truth. Nobody likes coming to terms with their own fears and negativity, but the only way to chase out darkness is to shine light on it. Free writing is a good way to get to the heart of these blocks. Be open and honest. Ask yourself: What is the negative story I've created for myself? How have I abused myself with my own thoughts? In your writing, you will find that, in our own minds, we can be downright nasty to ourselves sometimes!

3. Forgive yourself and others. Beating yourself up about past negative thoughts and behavior is a negative thought and behavior, and a counter-productive one at that. The same goes for holding grudges against others -- you are only hurting yourself by holding onto that negative energy. It's never too late to start again. Focus on letting go and being joyful in this present moment while embracing the endless possibilities of the future that lies ahead.

4. Choose an attitude of gratitude. We all have so much to be grateful for if we just take the time to look around and soak it all in. From the sun that rises each morning, to the ability to get out of bed and breathe in the air another day, and to being fortunate enough to have all of our basic needs met, we are surrounded by miracles. We, ourselves, are one. Appreciate!

5. Practice mindfulness. Become aware of your negative thoughts as they come. A meditation practice will help greatly in mindfulness training. You can also try this: Wear a special bracelet on your wrist. Each time you notice yourself having a negative thought, switch the bracelet to the other arm. At first, you might find yourself constantly switching the bracelet back and forth throughout the day. Those little negative buggers creep in constantly, from being stuck in traffic to experiencing a business deal that doesn't go as expected. But, over time, you will switch the bracelet less and less as you develop an increased awareness. By noticing these negative thoughts as they come, you can stop them from occurring as often and adopt a more positive mindset.

6. Be of service to others. Being able to help someone else in need is rewarding in itself, but it's also an incredibly humbling way to shift our own perceptions on life. We are more blessed than we know, and helping others who are struggling helps to put things into perspective.

7. Accept. There is only so much we can control in our daily lives. The act of accepting reality as it is dealt to us is completely liberating. Save your energy for what you actually have control over.
The good news: Those who are open to it and willing to put in the work can change negative thinking patterns and have a life beyond their wildest dreams! Just work on it one day at a time and you will begin to see the beautiful shift.

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