How to avoid negative thoughts?
With all the negative events and the hardship of our daily activities, you might be thinking that it is normal to have negative thoughts.
But negative thoughts are not the by-product of bad situations. They are the direct results of our personal assessment of our experiences.
However, our thinking pattern affects our brain in many ways.
Our brain is plastic. It means that it is capable of change and environmental adaptation. Also, our brain is a rich and nutritious soil that whatever you put in it will grow.
Both negative and positive thoughts have a direct impact on the brain. If you negatively interpret your experiences, then you are cultivating negative thoughts.
Unfortunately, negative thoughts can negatively affect your overall being. It does not only impair you psychologically but also physically.
Can we develop positive thoughts?
Dr. Richard J. Davidson, a neuroscientist says yes. Both he and his colleagues found in their study that with ample training, positivity can be achieved.
In his report in the National Institute of Health in 2015, Dr. Davidson said:
“The results suggest that taking time to learn skills to self-generate positive emotions can help us become healthier, more social, more resilient versions of ourselves.”
Thus learning how to be positive is a skill. It can be learned by anybody. But how can we train our mind and fill it with positive thoughts?
Most of the experts suggest seven common things to do to be happy. Here are the quick tips:
1. Do good things to others.
Doing good things to others have two benefits. First, you help others to overcome something. Second, it makes you happier. Doing good thing can be as simple as helping an old man crossing the street. Or, offering your seat to a pregnant woman on the bus. The thing is, a simple act of help makes you feel better.
2. Appreciate simple things.
Most people find it hard to stay happy because they focus on the negative side of their experience. They forget that their world does not only revolve around few negative things.
If you want to be happy, spend time appreciating simple things around you. It could be a beautiful sunrise, a bird, or a pet. These things have a significant impact on your well-being.
3. Develop a strong social relationship.
Your social interaction can do so much for your happiness. Widen your world by making new acquaintances. The better your social connection, the happier you’ll become. And happiness, not negative thoughts, makes you healthier and allows you to enjoy a longer life.
4. Have an attainable goal.
Be realistic in your goals. People who have impossible goals often end up in frustration and stress. Furthermore, forget about perfection. The more you strive to be perfect, the more you drag yourself from the reality. Because there’s no perfection. It only exists in the mind, not in reality.
5. Develop new skill.
Don’t be stagnant. Learn something new. Even simple things. It could be a sport, a hobby, or something that can boost your self-confidence. Anything that improves yourself, will be helpful to make you feel better.
You are not perfect. And there’s nothing to feel ashamed about it. In fact, it is healthy. Imperfection is the very essence of being human. Instead of hating your own mistakes, strive to accept them. Accept the reality that you have flaws. People who don’t accept who they are, accumulate negative thoughts and hatred inside. Ultimately, they lose the opportunity to appreciate the real meaning of their life.
7. Develop resilience.
Negative thoughts cannot do any good to you. Resilience does. Do not complain about life. Instead, find ways to turn negative events into positive ones. Champions have this habit. They always make their failures a motivation to pursue their dreams. You can do it too by being resilient. Do not retreat. Always get back up when you fall.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.