Negative thoughts are a sure way to distract you from happiness and the great things that life has to offer. Here’s how to eliminate them this year
American televangelist, Joel Osteen once said, “You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. Nothing happens to you, it happens for you. See the positive in negative events,”. Life is a seasonal rollercoaster that always presents great times and bad events. We often go through a rut or times where we feel the heavy weight of challenges that make giving up seem to be the best option. Negative thoughts usually creep in when things don’t go our way or when we start believing other people’s opinions-often negative- about us. It’s no secret that negative thoughts can be very loud in our heads, especially when we don’t achieve what we had set our minds to, but this voice can and should always be challenged because we are all here to fulfil a purpose bigger than our challenges or negative thoughts.
I have learned that how we think and feel about ourselves determines how we view life. It’s important to sift through and challenge negative thoughts before they nestle in the deep roots of your subconscious mind because that is where your emotions and reactions are triggered when you face certain situations. Since thoughts (whether good or bad) are accompanied by emotions, how we think determines how we eventually feel and as Joyce Meyer says, you cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. I believe that we often accept thoughts that we feel mirror us. If you have a low self-esteem, you are prone to continually accept and internalise negative thoughts. I am not saying you are not allowed to have a bad day, but it’s important to protect your wellbeing by choosing to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Over the years I have battled with a low self-esteem, mainly because of the negative opinion I had of myself and it was easier to allow negative thoughts to make my subconscious mind their home. Believe me it’s a draining place to be in but fortunately we do have control over our thoughts. What we choose to internalise in our subconscious minds will be translated into our belief system, which will stay real as long as we allow it to. In essence, it’s your responsibility to be aware of and continue to challenge negative thoughts. Here are four ways to do that:
Argue with your thoughts: While it’s easier to blame external factors for how we feel it’s important to listen to our internal voices and trace what triggers them. Are there certain situations or people that trigger a negative thought? How far back do you remember where it all started? Confront your thoughts by saying the opposite of what you think. If, for instance, a voice creeps in your mind and says you are not good enough, ask, ‘according to who? I am good enough’.
Protect your surrounding: While we don’t choose our family and even our colleagues we can avoid those who drain our energy and sense of worth. Do all you can to avoid people and places that try to pull you down with their negative energy.
Let it go: Let go of thoughts that don’t serve you, people who hurt and disappoint you and the past that you cannot change. Letting go is not a sign of weakness, it means you value yourself enough to allow what’s meant for to be in your life.
Don’t quit: Negative thoughts will convince you that there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel, they will convince you that you cannot overcome your situation and that quitting is the best option. Don’t give up on who you are meant to be or what you want to do, regardless of how impossible it seems to be. What you desire to do should be backed up with positive and affirmative thoughts because that fuels your energy.
Your voice and thoughts matter and this is why it’s important to make sure they are positive and affirming. You only have one life, make the most of it, starting with how you feel about yourself.