Changing Negative Thoughts

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

– Henry Ford

It’s a funny thought (excuse the pun) that we seem to have so little control over our own thoughts. You’d think that since we are supposedly in control of our minds and our bodies that we’d be able to filter what goes in and out of one or both of them – yet we seem to have a problem with at least one of those, though usually both.

So then how can we combat this negative mindset that we seem to constantly have both consciously and subconsciously?

Simple: like with everything else we want to change about ourselves we break the habit.

Last week we talked a little about negative thoughts and how they affect us – this week we’ll look at some ways that we can remove those negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

Many people have found many different ways to combat negative thinking: yoga, taking action, and writing them down are just a few ways people have found help to eliminate negative thoughts.

Michelle Uy, a fellow blogger and yoga instructor, compiled a short list of ways to alleviate negative thinking.

Michelle’s list ranges from the simplistic acts of smiling regularly and singing when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, to more complicated doings such as taking responsibility for your life (a belief that UCR holds at its core) and moving forward despite an unclear path.

It can be difficult taking responsibility for our lives after we’ve spent so much time relying on others.

It can be difficult moving forward when we’re unsure of where we’re headed.

We must have faith that we are able to handle anything that’s thrown at us and no matter how many times we get knocked down (I’m sure you know what’s coming next…) we pick ourselves back up again.

As was touched on in the previous blog, Dr. Barbara Markway, a clinical psychologist and author of four psychology books, suggests that negative thoughts are a product of our evolution as a species, when she says, “We’re constantly scanning our environment (generating negative thoughts all the while) looking for problems to fix.”

In the same article, Dr. Markway lists several ways to deal with negative thoughts rather than attempt to dispel them entirely. She suggests that despite the displeasure we get from negative thoughts that it is just our minds attempting to help us. So rather than become upset at our thoughts, we do things like thank our minds for looking out for us or telling our minds that that was a silly thought.

All of these are simply suggestions and exercises that can be kept up until the mind begins thinking more positively. It’s up to you to discover which ones work for you and which don’t.

The only person that can help us evolve is us.

Stop waiting for a person or event to change your life and take the necessary steps toward happiness now.

Be happy because you are powerful and you are wonderful!