Question yourself out of negative thinking
I used to find myself mildly annoyed with the consistently positive thinkers, feeling as if they were up in the clouds. I considered my, often negative, thinking as pragmatic, and grounded in reality. I thought I was well adjusted to the hardships of life, and that suffering was necessary. And of course, complaining was a “healthy” release. I used to believe I needed to endure massive amounts of suffering before I was deserved any goodness. Somewhere along the line I had become under the impression that I had to “pay my dues”. When I was thinking negatively, I was reacting out of fear, which we all know is False Evidence Appearing Real. Check out this post on steps to overcoming fear to live the life of your dreams.
Its taken me years, and I admit I still work towards this, to reach the other end of the spectrum, to react not out of fear, but from love. I now have an understanding that I am always deserving of goodness, and that things are positive. I tried everything over the years, and yet still found myself caught up in negative thought patterns, which by the law of attraction, bring you negative events, and you end up with a negative life. Understanding the law of attraction is simple; putting it into practice is easier said than done. I have, over time, come up with a series of questions I can ask myself when I catch myself with a negative thought, which can easily spiral into deep negativity if gone unchecked. Negative thoughts have a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.
These questions help me re-frame my perspective on the situation that brought on the negative thought. By questioning my thought pattern, I can quickly turn it around into a positive thought. The first step is to recognize when you are thinking negatively. The quicker you do this, the sooner you’ll be able to start focusing on stopping it. Practice, practice, practice until its natural. Try asking yourself these questions next time you catch yourself thinking negatively.
1. Am I catastrophizing? Is this an irrational thought? Do I believe things are far worse than they actually are? This can be about a current situation or a hypothetical future event. Am I overestimating the chances of disaster?
2. Does what I am thinking really fit the facts? Is this capital T true? Think of all the facts as objectively as possible, does your negative reaction fit the facts? There are very few facts in the world we live in. Our world is mostly comprised of our opinions. Our reality is largely made up of our perceptions and beliefs. Deconstruct the truth, and find out what is fact. A fact is something that is measurable or that is ALWAYS true.
3. What are alternate possibilities? Am I jumping to conclusions?
4. Am I using an ultimatum or extreme words (always, never)? Is this thought surrounded by all or nothing energy, or black and white thinking?
5. Am I being negatively biased?
6. What is the effect of these thoughts on my life and body?
7. Am I asking questions to which there are no answers or nothing that can be done? Am I asking “why me?” Or how to undo the past?
8. Am I exaggerating the importance of this thing? Or these events?
9. Do I have a pessimistic, fearful, or “give up” attitude? Am I assuming nothing can be done to change the situation?
10. Am I predicting the future? Rather than living and accepting what comes? We don’t know what the future holds, why negatively project onto it?
11. Am I stressed about the way things “ought to be” instead of being OK with the way things are.
12. Am I only paying attention to the negative?
13. Am I taking things personally that have nothing to do with me?
14. Am I blaming myself for something not my fault? Or am I blaming somebody else for where I have found myself? Blaming somebody else for what you’re experiencing means you have to wait for him or her to change before you can be happy. This can be a lifetime. To be free of the pain that accompanies blame, we have to be the source of our feelings. Everything that comes into our lives, we have brought there.
15. Am I concentrating on my weaknesses and not my strengths?
16. Am I making a blanket judgment? Am I condemning myself or someone else for one single event/thing that was done?
17. Am I expecting myself to be perfect?
18. Am I using a double standard? Am I expecting more from myself than from another, or vice versa?
19. Am I attached to the problem? What you resist persists. You will never be able to see the lesson or the solution if you dwell on all the little details about what seems wrong. Letting go could come in many forms: seeing the good in the person who seems difficult, accepting the situation for what it is, or seeing the other side of the story. Any time we let go of our attachment to what went wrong or what should have happened, we create the possibility of growth, and we pave the path for more positive results.
These questions have helped me turn around many negative thought patterns, and over time, my life has become much more positive. In fact, I have become what I once was annoyed by, always positive. One thought turns into another. A positive thought turns into a positive day, turns into a positive week, turns into a positive year, turns into a positive life. For other ways to bring positivity into your life connect with me. I am a wealth of that sort of thing, lets chat!