Four Tips to Eliminate Negative Thinking
Most people would rather have a positive attitude than a negative one. But negative thinking can be subtle and hard to eliminate. If you are like I was during my early years, weighed down by life and a series of negative circumstances, finding a silver lining may seem like wistful thinking.
Let me assure you that it isn’t. Here are some practical first steps toward moving yourself from the negative column to a positive outlook. Put these into practice, and you really can change your outlook
- Recognize Negative Thinking
First, recognize negative thinking in yourself. This can be difficult to do because negative thinking can become the “hardwiring” in your brain. You might need to ask for outside help. Find someone that you trust and ask them, “Would you say I am an optimist or a pessimist? Where do you see negative thinking in my life?”
Be open and non-defensive. Just listen, and take what you hear to heart. If you are willing to see when and how you think negatively, you are on the road to change.
- Resolve to Take Action
When Jesus met a man who had been lame for thirty-eight years, he asked what would seem to be a ridiculous question: “Do you want to get well?” (Matthew 5:6). Jesus was probing the man’s thinking to find out how serious he was about dealing with his problem.
Negative thinking can feel like a warm blanket—safe and familiar. It seems comforting to believe that your life isn’t changing because “it can’t” or because “that’s just the way it is.”
That’s why making the resolve to change is a necessary first step toward improving your outlook. Do you want to have a positive attitude? Resolve to change.
- Practice Displacement
When you discover yourself defaulting to negative thinking, immediately replace the negative thought with a positive one. Here are some examples.
- It’ll probably rain. It might not rain.
- Nobody ever wins those things. Somebody has to win, why not me?
- She’ll probably say no. She might say yes!
- I don’t think I can. I’ll give it a try.
Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, even in small ways, is a solid first step to transforming your outlook on life.
- Get Accountability
You can’t do this alone. That’s not negative thinking; it’s just a fact. Making positive changes in our lives takes a network of support. Find at least one friend or relative who will help you change your future by changing the way you think.
What about you? What has helped you eliminate negative thought patterns and adopt a positive outlook?
I’d love to hear your answer on Facebook or Twitter.
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