How to Stop Negative Self Talk and Improve Your Life
Stop Being Negative
If you want to live your best life, you have to stop the negative self talk. All it takes is one negative thought to multiply into several negative thoughts. Before long, your mind quickly spirals out of control down a destructive path.
By monitoring your internal self talk and thought processes, you’ll be amazed by how much your life can change for the better.
Think of thoughts as cells. Cells rapidly divide from an originating cell, so you clearly do not want a defective cell to continue making copies of itself in your body. That's cancer.
How Do Negative Thoughts Get Out of Control?
As you think a negative or fear-based thought, the thought continues to divide into related thoughts, just like a cancer cell making copies of itself. Even if you felt fine 10 minutes ago, one thought--for example, my bank account is getting low, will rapidly multiply.
I only have $100 after paying bills. How many days until I get paid? I’ll be broke for a week. I need a new job. How can I increase my money? I don’t
have time for a second job. I can’t save money right now, so how will I ever buy a house or retire? I'll never meet anyone new if I cant afford dinner. I haven’t even started paying my student loans yet. What if my car breaks down? I’m screwed.
These thoughts come so natural for you that you don't recognize them as being problematic.
Could you imagine having a friend sitting next to you having the conversation you just had with yourself? You would be looking for new friends. You could have stopped this downward spiral by recognizing your thinking at my bank account is getting low and changed the thought pattern.
More money is coming soon. I am okay. This situation is temporary and I choose to focus on today and all the good in my life.
Even if you are having financial difficulties, there are zero benefits to adding fuel to the fire of an already bad situation. The added stress that you curse yourself with only changes your mood and distracts you from being able to live your best life.
Although this is a financial example, all negative thoughts will duplicate if not stopped. Whatever is bothering you at any moment, your brain will find supporting arguments to confirm the negative thought or belief.
Monitor Shifts in Your Energy
The mind is a trickster and all it takes is one seemingly insignificant occurrence to shift from inner calmness to a state of overthinking and negativity.
You’re sitting outside and it is a beautiful day. You’re listening to the birds and enjoying the warmth of the sun on your face and the gentle breeze in your hair. In the background, the kids are whining and arguing about something not worth fighting about.
At this moment, you have to make a choice that affects your current state of being.
Where you place your attention is ALWAYS your choice. If your attention is on the kids whining and arguing, you’ll notice both mental and physical changes within your body. A tightness develops in your muscles and your heart rate increases.
You start to closing to the calmness you were blissfully experiencing. Is this the kid’s fault? Absolutely not! The external environment does not change just because you're seeking inner peace.
It’s your internal environment that needs to change regardless of the external circumstances.
Nobody has the power to ruin your day except you. Read that again!
Nobody has the power to ruin your day except you.
And that’s just one day. Some of you are still reliving negative memories and thought patterns from 10, 25, 40+ years ago and allowing the past to impact your life now. Stop being a victim and take control of your life.
Choose to focus on the good in life and watch your circumstances change for the better. Do this everyday!
Just like there are physical exercises to keep you fit, there are also ways to keep negative thoughts from stopping your personal growth.
3 Ways to Stop Negative Thoughts
If you feel yourself getting irritated, start meditating [or deep breathing for those who are intimidated by the word meditate]. Meditation is not something that has to be done in lotus pose while going commando on a Himalayan mountain top in your 100% organic and recycled robe.
Just sit [or lay down; or even walk] and focus on your breathing [deep inhalation through the nose and slowly exhale through the mouth] until the negative emotion minimizes.
Meditation takes practice, but it is scientifically proven to benefit your mental status. The benefits are even greater when meditation is done daily, even if just for 5 minutes per day.
Focus on positive memories.
It is good to have a few of your favorite “feel good” memories in your joy arsenal to combat negative thoughts.
Maybe it’s the day your child was born, when you brought home a new puppy, you paid off a big debt, you got a promotion, or you learned a new skill. When you start to feel bad, relive those happy experiences in your mind until you notice a positive energy shift.
Keep the focus going until your mood changes. Instead of keeping a daily journal or diary about day-to-day incidences, keep a journal of all your best experiences so you can keep these memories alive while also keeping yourself in a positive mental state.
Find a hobby.
There are so many hobbies to choose from and you can try out multiple hobbies until you find one that’s enjoyable for you.
Dancing, gardening, painting, making outfits for your cat or dog, or beading. There are even crocheted penis hats (totally serious, this made me laugh and laughter increases your energy), so as you can see, the list is endless for potential.
Walk around a hobby store and find something that looks fun. Personally, I love shuffling which is a type of dance.
Just a quick hobby story.
One day, I randomly decided to learn how to moonwalk. I went to YouTube and by the end of the day, I had the basics of the moonwalk down (although it took several weeks to achieve the Michael Jackson smoothness of the dance).
It was while trying to improve my moonwalk that I found shuffling (and I've gotten pretty damn good at it over the last couple years). I feel like shuffling found me considering I'm a 40 year old mom and medical professional not going to a rave anytime soon. Dance off anyone?
Okay Melissa, get to the point.
I'm a normal person who has moments of frustration and negativity just like anyone, but if I feel these emotions arising, all I have to do is put on some EDM [electronic dance music] and start shuffling.
Within 20 minutes, I feel like a happier person. My problems don't disappear, but they definitely feel minimized which allows me to be more positive and productive. That's why an enjoyable hobby is an important step to change your thoughts and live your best life.
Wrap it Up.
All it takes is one negative thought to duplicate into multiple negative thoughts that can affect your day or even your life. By recognizing negative thoughts, it’s possible to turn these thoughts around and remain in a blissful state.
It’s up to you to recognize shifts in your energy and choose to remain in a joyous state internally.
If your thoughts are dominated by negative events from your past, let them go. You cannot have a great life while choosing to stay a victim of your past. Where you place your attention is always a choice.