The first thought comes to mind is how to get rid of negative thinking patterns when you realize how they are holding you back. This post is about the methods, you can use to eliminate them or at least reduce their effects.
The first thing you should know that the period of negative thinking after a negative experience may last from few hours to few weeks depending upon the intensity of the experience.
If you don’t even try to remove it from your mind at all, still your mind itself will eliminate it gradually over time.
Negative thoughts aren’t actually eliminated this way, they are just removed from your conscious mind because the mind cannot stay in the same situation for long. Instead, these thoughts get settled in the subconscious mind.
So this isn’t the right way to deal with negative thinking. You have to do something on your part. If you always let the things to settle on themselves, you risk your mind to become habitual of negative thinking. In other words, you are unconsciously developing negative thinking patterns which are more harmful in the long run.
Think of a garden. If you take care of it properly, then it will flourish. If you maintain the health of beautiful flowering plants and remove the unwanted weeds in time, you will have a beautiful result. But if you let the garden to run wild, by not paying attention to it, it will lose its beauty and instead of flowering plants, there will be more weeds.
Your mind is also like a garden in which positive and empowering thoughts are flowering plants and weeds are negative thoughts. If you don’t do anything about negative thoughts, they will start dominating your mind.
People use different methods to overcome negative thinking. But most of them aren’t very successful at it. Effective methods are the ones which help you to do this very quickly. Many people use ineffective methods and the delayed results they get are because of the natural working of their mind and not because of those methods. So what are the effective methods?
Truly saying, there is nothing magical which can remove negative thinking patterns within a second. These patterns are a kind of habits developed by your mind over time. It takes the time to change them. You have to repeatedly apply these methods. Every time you get better and better at it. But the effort is worth the result. In my experience, the effort is much less than the results I get. Here are the methods you can use to get rid of negative thinking patterns.
The first step is to identify whether you have a negative thinking pattern. It is sometimes not easy to detect them. You should be able to analyze whether your reaction to a particular situation is the result of a mental habit or it is just random.
The simple way to detect these patterns is to analyze whether you start expecting negative result even at the beginning when there are no strong signs of it. If so, then see if in your past there are similar situations in which you have been reacting the same way. If yes then you may have a mental habit or pattern developed in your mind.
Identification is very important if you want to get rid of negative thinking patterns. Only then you can take significant actions in the right direction.
Here is a common mistake majority makes and I myself made for many years. People try to resist negative thoughts in order to eliminate them. They keep on trying to push them away. But this doesn’t work.
It is true that what you resist, persists. It is because by resisting, you add more power and energy to the negative thoughts and they get more strongly rooted in your mind. When your mind has got to know of some negative possibility or situation, it will react according to how it is programmed, you cannot succeed at suppressing its thoughts. Even if you do, these thoughts will emerge some other way. Pushing them away will make them come again and again. This is not the way to eliminate them.
Replace the Thoughts
What you have to do instead of resisting negative thoughts is to replace them with positive ones. Instead of trying to push negative thoughts away, just leave them and turn your focus on positive thoughts. This will add more power and energy to the positive thoughts.
Understand the difference here. To eliminate something you are focusing on its opposite. Replacing the negative thoughts with positive thoughts works because you fill your mind with one thing then there is very less space for the other.
But by resisting negative thoughts you push them away creating a kind of empty space in mind. An empty space will attract anything which is nearby it, so the mind will attract negative thoughts back again with more intensity.
Now, what should be done? When you are having your mind dominated by negative thoughts about a particular situation, how can you think positive at that time?
Actually positive and negative are dependent on your attitude and perception. There is nothing absolute.
For the same situation, you can think negatively as, “Oh God, I am going to suffer.” And the other way positively as, “This tough experience is going to make me stronger and is a learning opportunity.” It is up to you what way you think. By practice, you will develop enough control over your mind which thoughts to entertain.
If Nothing Works, Distract Yourself
It is easy to replace negative thoughts with positive ones when experience or situation isn’t very strong. But it gets difficult when things are going very hard. In that case, you may not be able to do it. So you have to distract yourself to anything else except the negativity.
You can have your own methods for distraction. It is much easier to distract yourself from the situation then to think positive about the same. Remember, neither you have to resist nor you have to keep the negative thoughts in mind.
Resolve the Negative Thoughts When your Mind comes Back to Normal
During that situation, it was necessary that your mind should not contain negative thoughts so you either replaced them or distracted yourself. But you still aren’t free of them yet. It is so because the negative thoughts are still present at the back of your mind.
When the experience has passed and your mind comes back to normal, you have to take up those thoughts again and resolve them. For doing this, think of the whole situation again and analyze it from the neutral or positive mindset. Then mentally ‘let go’ of them and determine that you won’t let negative thinking to overpower you the next time any similar experience happens.
Observe the Positivity More
It is easy to understand that if you see again and again a lot of people failing at something, then you also start to fear the possibility of failure for yourself in the same. On the other hand, if you see them succeeding then you think of the same for yourself.
The situation you are having negative thinking pattern associated to is also faced by other people. But the results they get are different. Some people get good results, some bad. It is up to you to which group you give your attention. You have to observe the positivity more and ignore the negativity. This will make your mind to expect better results and it becomes easy to get rid of negative thinking patterns.