It’s happened to all of us, even the most positive of thinkers. Negative thoughts slip into our frame of mind and before we know it our outlook has changed from sunshine to rain, saturating everything that flows from us.
Being in control of your mind can be a challenging task.
Challenging, but not impossible.
If you want to get ahead in life, a positive mindset is vital.
“OPTIMISM IS A HAPPINESS MAGNET.
IF YOU STAY POSITIVE, GOOD THINGS AND GOOD PEOPLE WILL BE DRAWN TO YOU.”
~ MARY LOU RETTON
By taking control of your thoughts and making the choice to turn a negative into a positive you will encourage good things to happen in your life. Why? Because good things are drawn to a positive mindset.
What is the cycle of thoughts?
The cycle of thoughts is a 5 stage process that you will encounter multiple times throughout every day of your life.
Stage 1: It begins with a thought – let’s say it’s a negative thought.
Stage 2 & 3: This gives rise to negative emotions (hate anger, jealousy, sadness), followed by negative feelings (shame, guilt, frustration).
Stage 4 & 5: As a result, you will demonstrate a negative response (anger, shouting, lashing out) and the outcome will be negative.
If you allow this negativity to prevail, it will give rise to greater negative thoughts and the cycle will repeat itself, running the risk of spiralling you out of control.
Who is in charge – do your thoughts control you, or do you control your thoughts?
How do you break the cycle of negative thoughts?
There is a vital point in the cycle of thoughts where you have the power to choose how you deal with a situation.
Stage 1, 2 & 3: Let’s begin again with a negative thought, leading to negative emotions, followed by negative feelings.
Before hastily moving onto stage 4, consider instead that at this point you can make a choice or decision which will allow you to take control of the cycle.
By consciously making a positive choice / decision at this point, you have the power to change your physical response and ultimately the outcome of the situation to a positive one (stage 4 & 5).
To do this, you must remain present and have a heightened sense of self. Remember, your actions will impact not only you, but everyone around you.
When you feel overwhelmed by negative emotions and feelings, stop and breathe. Take a deep breath and centre yourself. Create a moment of stillness to allow your mind the opportunity to think before you act; to choose a positive physical response and outcome.
The silver lining
Although it is often easier to allow yourself to wallow in negative thoughts, they will ultimately sabotage you.
While positive thinking takes more effort, it encourages us to be healthier, less stressed, have greater well-being and attract even more positivity into our lives.
It is important to remember that life doesn’t just happen to you. Life presents you with many opportunities to make choices, to choose the path you wish to take and pursue the life you want to live. It is up to you to seize these opportunities and make the most of what you have.
Don’t let negative thoughts cloud your judgement – look for the silver lining and good things will happen.