I am asked frequently, what is the first thing that needs to be done to manage negative thinking and negative self-talk?
The biggest problem is that by the time you catch the negative thinking or negative self-talk, you're already caught up in feeling bad, feeling depressed, feeling angry, feeling upset or frustrated in some way.
Research has shown that your thinking patterns, create up to 75% of your emotions. The self talk and images that you create inside of your brain are the primary reason that those negative emotions erupt. So what do you do?
The first thing is not to worry so much about the negative thinking itself, but instead focus on catching the feeling. The reason to attend to the feeling first, is that you're always aware of how you feel. Moment to moment, day to day, you're always aware of all the feelings going on inside of you. You may not at times notice your self-talk. But if you catch the upset feeling, know that at that moment you have negative thinking or negative self-talk going on in your head, even if you are unaware of it.
Changing the negative to a positive thinking pattern just takes a little bit of work. So first, you catch the feeling. When the feeling comes up and you're thinking, "I don't feel so good. What's going on?"
Or you find yourself angry, frustrated, irritated, feeling down, or sad, notice the feeling and then just ask yourself the simple question, "What's going on? Where's this coming from?" Immediately, your mind will pop up whatever that's been going through your mind.
It may be someone you had a disagreement with, a problem at work, something you have to do that's frustrating or hard, or maybe something that's overwhelming. When you find what that is, you then look at it and decide what you can do about it. You then switch your thinking to a path where you have more control.
You're thinking pattern, has what are called A.N.T.s. Ants are automatic negative thoughts. Ants crop up rapidly. Just like at a picnic, ants get into things where they ought not be. These automatically triggered negative thoughts cause arguments, fear of taking a risk, loss of effective relationships, and career difficulties.
Ants are a habit. When you were small ants were a protection mechanism to keep you out of trouble. If you were going to take an action that mama disapproved of, these would pop up and say "don't do that!" They kept you out of trouble. But now as an adult today just block you and get in your way of achievement. Ants now stop you from doing those things that are beneficial for you.
Do yourself a favor. Get ant bait. You've got to begin catching those negative little ants when they begin to roam around inside your mind. You must become aware of them first, then set the trap and catch them, so you can then consciously choose a more positive thought pattern.
Negative thinking, negative self-talk, will lead you down the road that makes your success go in the garbage can. You need to get control over what you can get control over, which is your thinking pattern. So that your positive attitude, your positive thinking, the positive thought process is moved forward step by step through making a conscious choice to do that.
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