Stress is considered one of the most critical contributors to various diseases in the world. According to experts, a person must do their best to combat stress using healthy coping skills. Learning how to overcome negative thinking can turn any situation from doom and gloom to something positive by changing your outlook.
Don’t get me wrong, some cases it is easy to think the worst automatically. But you can train your mind to shift your thinking from negative to positive. A positive mindset is more productive and helps you accomplish things. Negative thinking can quickly generate a truckload of stress and cause you to stew over the situation. As a matter of fact, pessimism, or the tendency to think negatively is considered the number one cause of stress in adults.
Stress is considered a regular part of daily life, and you can’t escape it. However, stress has proven to have a useful purpose when paired with a positive mindset. Stress can help you become motivated to get a promotion, run more miles, lose weight, and much more. However, when you are unable to handle stress, it can have drastic effects on your job, family, and health.
Some scientists believe that humans have a natural tendency to think negatively because of evolution. In the past, having a negative mindset helped hunter and gatherer ancestors survive the hostile and scarce environment. Pessimism, however, became an evolutionary trait and to this day, the majority of adults suffer from this problem. This article will help you end negative think and improve your life exponentially.
Common Negative Thought Patterns
Due to our natural negative tendencies, our minds seem to be preoccupied with generating unhappy thoughts. You have to spot these negative thought patterns and shift your thinking before it causes more stress in your life.
a.) Unreasonable Generalizing – Whenever you generalize a lot, you may end up thinking that the world is unfair most of the time. You are making irrational generalizations when you think or say things like “nobody in the office is helping out” or “I’m always the exhausted one in this house.”
b.) Poor Conclusions – You create unwise conclusions when you think of an adverse outcome before examining all the details of a situation. For example, you may believe that you are going to get fired and replaced within a month because you made a small mistake. Try to analyze the situation first and talk to your boss immediately to correct the problem instead of stressing in an outcome that may not happen at all.
c.) Unfair Self-Evaluation – this happens when you take a tiny detail of a given situation and use this little piece to create an awful conclusion. This type of rationale is not only adapting a negative side, but it’s also primarily causing you unneeded stress because it’s not based on facts but more on emotional thinking.
d.) Fearing the Future – Worrying about what will happen in the future is a common pattern with those who have a negative mindset. Always having a “worse-case scenario” thinking most of the time will not aid your stress management.much
Common Causes of Stress
Each one of us has different stress triggers. According to studies, work stress tops the list. More than 40% of US workers admit to experiencing stress at their workplace.
Other common causes of stress include:
• Unhappy with the job that you have
• Having a heavy workload or being assigned to much responsibility
• Poor time management and unclear work expectations
• Long working hours
• Working in dangerous conditions
Life stress is also common these include:
• Emotional problems
• The death of a loved one
• Sickness or illness of a family member
• Loss of a job
• Moving to a new home
• Chronic illness or injury
• Getting married
• Increase in financial obligations
By improving your optimism, you also improve your outlook on the future. Stress is a common problem, but with the proper mindset, you will be able to conquer this invisible force.
How to Break-Up with Your Negative Thought Patterns
Next time those negative thoughts start to take over, you can use these steps to help turn your mind around and start thinking positive about the things that are likely to stress you out.
1.) Identify Negative Thoughts – Our thoughts tend to control us from the way we feel about things to the way we behave. Next time you are faced with a stressful situation, take the time to write down the negative thoughts that are running through your head. As you are writing them down, chances are you will notice a pattern. Writing down your negative thought patterns help you be able to quickly identify negative thoughts as they are happening and you are more likely to change your mindset.
2.) Remove Negative Words from your Vocabulary – Changing your negative mindset will take a bit of practice and self-awareness but it is something that you can do. Eliminate the words “can’t”, “won’t”, “I don’t want to”, and probably a variety of other word combinations that tend to spur negative thoughts in your mind. Next time that you hear these words playing on repeat, try replacing the negative words with these instead “I can”, I will”, “Let me try this”.
For example, I don’t want to file my taxes. We all know that our taxes have to be done at some point, but there is no reason to let getting the taxes done stress you out. Instead, try saying I will work on the taxes for 10 minutes or I will gather up all of the documents that I need to get them done. Then focus on the task at hand and continue this process until the taxes are finished.
3.) Find the Connection – To successfully change your negative mindset, you will need to determine the emotional connection to the negative thought. You will likely see that there is an emotional connection and it is linked to something that happened in the past that you viewed as unsuccessful or a failure. Once you can identify the emotional connection, you can work towards changing your thought process around it. Remember just because you weren’t successful or it hurt in the past, doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to do it now.
4.) Practice Turning Around those Negative Thoughts – Continue to practice turning those negative thoughts around. Over time, you will notice that your mindset is changing and you are becoming more optimistic about the things going on around you. When you have an optimistic outlook on life, your stress levels decrease, and you are in general a happier person.
A negative mindset will often leave you feeling stressed out, depressed, anxious, or fearful. However, just by changing your way of thinking you can quickly turn those pessimistic thoughts around. Start using the steps above to change your negative thinking and help reduce your stress.