If you think sad, bad, or negative thoughts, you are going to feel bad. If youíre unhappy, you may not realize the relationship between your thought processes and your mood. Need convincing? Try this little exercise:
Think of a time in your life when you enjoyed yourself. It might have been a holiday or a trip to the park. As you think about that time you may feel a bit happier. Now think of a time when you were sad, like at a funeral, and you will probably feel quite down.
Your thoughts can be your best friends or your worst enemies. They can lift you up, and they can pull you down. If you want to feel happier and calmer, you need to become aware of the way thoughts affect you and to start questioning negative thoughts. You may argue that this isnít realistic. Youíd like to be more positive, but life is tough and chances are things wonít work out the way you want. Youíre right. It is unrealistic to expect positive outcomes to everything; when you do, you set yourself up for disappointment. But the next time you are negative about something or tell yourself that you are useless or you canít cope, ask yourself instead, ďAm I being realistic? Are my thoughts misleading me? Am I taking into account other possibilities?Ē
Donít believe everything you think! Question it. You donít always believe what other people tell you or what you read in the papers, so why accept everything your thoughts tell you? You donít need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, but you do need to start replacing them with more realistic ones.
What is your biggest challenge in extricating old negative thoughts?