Yesterday I published Part One of my blog about depression. As promised, here is Part Two.
I said yesterday that I am a fitness professional, I do not pretend or try to be an expert in everything I write. But I do mean everything I write.
I want today to talk about staying positive. We live in troubled times. How can we stay positive and deal with negative thoughts? Here are some ideas that you can try.
1) The first thing to realize is that negative feelings and emotions can’t be stopped, they arrive without invitation and that’s natural. Everyone feels down sometimes as it’s the normal ebb and flow of our physiology.
2) While you can’t control what type of negative emotions show up, you can control your reaction. You have a choice.
3) A negative emotion loves a negative thought, the more negative and dark the better. The two can then conjure up negative images, creating an unholy trinity. This barrage of negativity can trigger hopelessness.
4) We start to believe our circumstances can’t change, that we will never find happiness, and everything looks bleak. Hopeless individuals can’t see the opportunities, only the failure and disappointments of yesterday. A vicious circle begins, with negative emotions causing negative actions, which cause more negative emotions. We start to act and talk negatively.
So, how do we stop it? At Number 2. A negative emotion is normal and can be connected to an event such as a relationship breakdown or loss of a job. You can’t and shouldn’t run from it. But, you should take charge of your thoughts and prevent yourself from thinking and seeing negative images.
First acknowledge if something negative happened. You can’t delude yourself. If you lost your job you’ll feel terrible, but if you begin to think that you are a loser and see yourself as becoming homeless, you are going way too far. The emotions can’t be stopped, but this is how you stop and take charge of a negative thought before it goes further:
1. Stop or interrupt the negative thought (it’s your mind, you can change it) even if you have to say “Stop” out loud. You might get some strange glances but who cares?!
2. Challenge the thought. Ask yourself, “is this really true, is it realistic to think like this?” Most of the time you will realise what you are thinking is not the truth or not realistic.
3. Change the thought by choosing a more realistic one. If you lose your job and think, “Oh no, my life is over,” change it to “This is a big setback for my life” or “I’m faced with a significant challenge.” If you feel rejected after a breakup, don’t think “my life is over; I will never find someone again.” Stop it, challenge it, and change it to “I’ve had a loss and it hurts, but I will get through this.”
4. Change the image connected with the negative thought. We think in images; for every thought we create images. If you fall prey to hopeless and despondent thoughts you will begin to see yourself in that position. Instead, choose another image of hope, the most powerful of all emotions. Everything that’s accomplished is based on hope. Give yourself hope, then you have the ability to accomplish any goal as long as you follow through.
5. Choose your behaviour, and act positively and proactively. Instead of isolating or mixing with other hopeless people, decide upon at least three positive and proactive things you can do every day, and then do them.
6. Be thankful for all the good things you have in your life. Stop worrying about things you don’t have. Write down things you have to be thankful for. You may be surprised. The key is to stop the vicious cycle of hopelessness before it becomes a pattern and forms a stronghold in your life. You have the power to stop and change your mind. That is the wonderful thing about your mind.
Now, think about this. The only moment in which we can truly be happy is the present moment. The only moment that we have control of is the present moment. So let go of negative thoughts, and be happy now!
Because if not now, then when?