From negative to positive thinking
Méabh shares her tips on how to overcome negative thinking
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact email@example.com.
Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give into your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. One small negative thought can turn into a negative mind frame (if you let it). A negative mind frame has a much worse affect than you realize. For example, your happiness suffers because you constantly see the world through a dirty window. However, one small positive thought can have almost the opposite effect and can completely transform your frame of mind and in turn, your life.
Personally, I have been an awfully negative person in the past. Events, people or things would make me feel happy and positive for a short period of time but between these highlights in my life I never felt optimally happy. I didn't even realize how negative my mind had really become. I couldn't single out negative thoughts because I was so used to thinking this way.
Now I'm older and I am trying to better myself and become more self-aware. I listen to people who have a positive mindset and are grateful for all that they have and are always trying to better themselves. People such as Aaron Smith and Rob Lipsett are fitness folk who use mediums like Instagram (@mrfly, @roblipsett), YouTube and Snapchat to spread their messages. Their positivity is literally infectious! Daily exposure to these amazing people through social media has really helped me to rewire my brain. The tips Aaron shares on his Snapchat have been particularly useful.
For those of you who find yourselves in a similar struggle with terrible thoughts, here are some other tips that I have been finding helpful in transforming my frame of mind:
- Being Grateful. I have downloaded an app called 'Bliss' which allows you to complete different exercises which have been proven to increase happiness, positivity and other desirable mental traits. The exercise in the app which I use most often is the 'gratitude journal'. I typically list three things every day that I am grateful for (major or minor) and why I am grateful for them. For example, "I am grateful to have a roof over my head because many are not as privileged."
You will really start to perceive your life differently after just a few days.
- Not Letting the Snowball Roll. Negative thoughts tend to have a snowball effect. One just leads to another and suddenly there is a large snowball of negativity rolling all by itself! The trick is to stop the negativity before the snowball starts to roll. Stop yourself in the moment and re-evaluate what is going on rather than just thinking negatively which will not solve any problems.
- Putting a Positive Spin on it. Okay, we all go through really unpleasant crap in our lives and it's hard to be 'positive Polly' all the time. However, almost every circumstance has some positive aspect that you can bring focus to when it feels like everything is falling apart. For example, maybe you got sick and can't go to that amazing party your friend is having. It really sucks but you will be feeling better in a week and just think of all the Netflix you can watch in the mean time!
I am so grateful to people like Aaron and Rob who make such a positive impact on myself and hundreds of others daily, purely fuelled by the desire to help others.
I won't tell you that I think staying positive is easy, because I would be lying. I find it challenging and sometimes I go off on a negative tangent. But I give myself a reality check and pick myself back up. If I don't take charge of my happiness no one else will.
Overall it is totally worth it and I am all the better for the effort I put into practising positivity.