I like to think of thoughts as plants.
Thoughts can be changed an altered. Just like a weed can be removed from the garden – A negative thought can be destroyed as well. All you have to do is plant a seed *positive thought* in its place. seems easy enough, right? wrong.
Changing how your mind works and subconsciously thinks is not easy at all. If you were raised thinking that cheese is delicious, it’s going to take a lot of convincing and positive reinforcement to cut cheese out of your diet. You feel like cheese is a staple in your diet, it’s delicious on everything, so of course you don’t want to remove it. Just like when your mind is clustered with negativity, you get used to that feeling and it’s going to take a lot of work to train your brain to be positive.
Now don’t think this is a cure all because its not. You will have to work at this for the rest of your life. However, when you get used to it it will become habit to redirect your thoughts. I still have negative thoughts and get upset, that’s human nature.. but I know how to not dwell in my sadness and redirect my thoughts to make myself feel better.
Here are a few steps you can take!
First off – Visualization.
Visualization has been a huge help for me. When I start to have negative thoughts, I picture myself plucking that thought out of my mind garden and throwing it into the garbage can. Then I visualize myself getting a positive thought, and planting it where the negative thought was. I start to think about my child, my accomplishments, things that have brought me joy. Then I water the positive thought plant so that it can grow and blossom into more beautiful thoughts and I move on and I visualize this as many times as I need too.
Another thing I visualize if I’m feeling more anxious than upset is that I picture myself in an elevator. A very long elevator. I see all the numbers above the door and there is an arrow underneath them. Depending on how much I need to calm down, I will imagine as many numbers as I need or add more if I’m still not calmed down yet. Every time I hit a new floor, the arrow moves to the new number and I take a deep breath in and out, and continue to do so until I feel calm.
2. Ask yourself questions
When I am feeling particularly upset and down in the dumps, I write out a bunch of positive questions and answer them, which helps me focus on positive thoughts. instead of “why me?”, “Why am I not good enough?” etc etc. Try these instead:
- “What am I grateful for right now?”
- “What are 5 things that make me happy?”
- “What is one problem that we don’t have?”
- “How could this situation actually be worse?”
- “Look at how far we’ve come, What are some of the things I’ve overcome since then?”
- “Who needs forgiving? Am I still holding on to grief?”
- “What’s something nice that I could do for someone else right now?”
- “What gets me excited about life?”
- “What excuses do I need to drop to make a better life for myself?
- “What would I tell my younger self if I could go back in time?”
3. Try and stay busy!
when the mind is idle it has more time to dwell on negativity. I’m not saying don’t deal with your problems cause you definitely should but refocus your energy on activities. You could write, draw, workout, cook, take a class… anything that you enjoy that makes you focus on something else that is more positive and productive!
4. Make sure you are in a comfortable environment
many times in my life I have blamed my depression on myself and it had to do with what I was surrounding myself with and not what I was doing to myself. If you find that your environment doesn’t match your soul, you will have issues. If the people around you don’t match your current vibration or where you are in life, you will have issues.. and last but not least, if even your surroundings don’t match your lifestyle or current vibes then you will have issues. So make sure that the things that are in your life are not toxic!