Put on spin on your thinking. Image source:freedigitalphotos.com
So in Part 1 of Your Thoughts Could Be Making You Unhappy, we looked at common thinking errors that could be holding us back. Did you relate to such thoughts? Our thoughts think they are so powerful as if they control us. However there is hope we can learn to change and control our thinking to live happier lives.
Here are some tips on how we can challenge our negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones.
Ask yourself these questions:
1) What are the real facts, the things you know for sure?
2) How often does the worst thing that we imagine really occur?
3) Rather than stress what can you do right now to keep yourself busy or to find out more information?
4) Who can you speak to for assistance or support?
5)What other possibilities are there that could explain the situation? If it will help list them. You might surprise yourself with how many explanations there are.
Ask yourself these questions to challenge your 'thinking the worst' thoughts:
1) Think about a time when something awful did happen. How did you cope? You must have coped as you are still here today aren't you? See how strong you are?
2) What is the likelihood of the worst happening on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most likely)?
3) What are some positive steps you could take to improve the situation or stop it escalating? Don't hang around waiting for something bad to happen, take action.
4) Ask yourself if your worrying will help the situation? Will worrying about it and stressing yourself out make the worst not happen?
Stop those pesky 'Making things personal' thoughts:
1) Is the situation really about me or could there be other factors at play here?
2) Do I know for sure that it is about me? If you don't know all the facts then you cannot be sure.
3) Think carefully and decide, whose situation is it to deal with, really? We each have enough stress of our own to deal with to take on other people's.
4) Clarify the message that you believed you received with the others involved. They may be seeing it in a completely different way. Your worrying could be for no reason.
Ask yourself these questions to banish those 'Mind reading' thoughts:
1) Do you really have evidence that the person did what you believe they did?
2) Could there be another explanation?
3) Do you really care what this person thinks? If so why? If you don't then let it go. If this person is close to you then communicate to them what you feel happened. If they really did or said something about you then what kind of a friend are they really? This is a reflection of them as a person not of you.
4) Ask yourself who is your mind reading really hurting? If he answer is yourself - is it worth it? Probably not.
Stop 'Blaming yourself':
1) Does blaming yourself help you? Does it effect the outcome of the situation?
2) Whether you are really to blame or not just take action. Blaming yourself is not productive. Be productive.
3) You may have made a slip up or a mistake so what? You are human. We are allowed to make mistakes. It's how we learn and grow. Instead of beating yourself up about it, think about what you can do to make things improve?
4) Try to laugh at yourself. Putting yourself down will just make you feel worse. Remember if people don't like you for who you are then they don't deserve to be in your life.
Stop 'Doubting and judging ourselves':
1) What you focus on becomes stronger. So if you focus on putting yourself down then you will become excellent at believing you can't do things.
2) If you don't believe in you then how can you expect others to?
3) Remind yourself that you are strong and powerful until you believe it.
4) Accept that you are different and unique and enjoy it. How boring would life be if we were all the same?
5) So there is something that you aren't great at, who cares? What things are you great at? Focus on those.
Stop those 'Panicking' thoughts:
1) Will panicking help or fix the situation? Does panicking make you feel better?
2) How many times have you panicked unnecessarily? Life is short why waste it panicking?
3) Keep yourself busy it will stop you panicking.
4) Remind yourself that it is rare for the very worst to happen.
Be flexible with your thinking by asking yourself these:
1) Could you view it in a different way? Try to practice thinking outside the box.
2) Remember everyone has good days and not so good days. Don't judge a book by its cover.
3) Don't have such a 'set in stone' view. Things change, people change. Just flow with it.
4) Sometimes we have to do or be around things we don't like to in order to free up time for things we want to do.
5) Actively search for the positives in everything and choose to not focus on the negatives.
Its all about thinking outside the box. It won't happen overnight - it takes time and practice. However keep switching your focus and it will happen. Good luck!