I’ve always been a worrier. I tend to expect the worst and can be very paranoid and down on myself. Recently I’ve been trying to change my outlook and approach to life, in order to be happier. I’ve discovered that it is possible to train your brain to be more positive. This leads to better mental and physical health and will make everything a little bit easier.
Challenge your negative thoughts:
Negative thinking pervades every aspect of a persons life. I know this because I struggle not to sink into negative thought patterns and I’ve battled with poor mental and physical health. So I’ve decided I’ve had enough of this way of living and want to change my approach.
I’ll give you an example. Lets say I’ve met a new potential friend, they’ve been friendly, and I thought things were going well. Only the next few times I see them they seem less interested in talking to me. I try to arrange to hang out and they’re constantly busy. My instinct is to assume that this behaviour is something to do with me. Negative experiences in the past and my autism cloud my view. I assume they don’t like me, I’ve displeased them or worse they’re being deliberately mean to me.
This thought pattern could then spiral out of control. I start thinking that perhaps I’m unlikable, that nobody wants to be around me. I’m a horrible person who doesn’t get it right and cannot maintain friendships. I feel distressed.
Alternatively I could choose a different thought pattern. Perhaps that person is genuinely busy and preoccupied with some aspect of their own life, perhaps it has nothing to do with me. Give them time and perhaps things will change. Alternatively that person doesn’t feel a connection to me, and doesn’t want to pursue a friendship. That doesn’t mean I’m unlikable, it’s just one person so I can choose to let that go, continue to be polite and move on happy with the friends that I do have.
Changing the perspective on this situation makes it less powerful. It leaves me free to move on with my day without upset.
Changing thought patterns takes time;
It’s not easy to change thoughts in this way. It takes effort and determination. You have to stop your thoughts, and choose to analyse things differently. I can promise that it’s worth the effort. When I successfully redirect my thoughts I’m less stressed and feel generally more positive.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a positive angle. Something is wrong, whether that’s personally or professionally, and action needs to be taken. Simply changing your viewpoint won’t work. In that situation I think that trying to find the positives is still helpful. Find the positives in the situation and find the most positive way to handle it.
For example you’re struggling with an issue, financial, friendship, whatever. Find the positives, the learning experiences within the situation. Decide what you can control and take action, then try to let go of the negative thoughts. Try not to carry them with you, do what you can do and then move on.
Positivity is self fulfilling;
Positivity breeds positivity. Since working on this area my life has been better. People have been friendlier. Situations have been more easily resolved and problems are less overwhelming.
I won’t always be able to use this practise, sometimes I will be overwhelmed, and I will panic. However even if I can reduce my negative thinking some of the time I’m confident my life will be happier.
I hope this information was helpful, and that you can find the positive in your life too.