Steps to Re-Wire Your Brain . . .
. . . and Change Your Age-Old Thought Pattern
Negative thinking is associated with numerous health consequences such as stress, anxiety, depression, hypertension, and even heart disease.
This is perhaps why people are often encouraged to practice positive thinking, as this is linked to a better, healthier lifestyle and more positive outcomes.
However, re-wiring your brain to stop negative thoughts and adopt positive ones is a process. It is a lifestyle and can be learned over time. Even therapies for anxiety often involve a commitment to changing your thinking style from negative to positive to start looking at situations from a positive perspective no matter how bad they might seem.
Below is a step-by-step guide to help re-wire your brain to drop the negative thought patterns and adopt positive ones for a healthier lifestyle.
1. Understand Your Thinking Patterns and Styles
To change your negative thought patterns, you first have to understand how they come about.
“Black-and-white” thinking, where the individual views himself or herself as a complete failure or success, can be problematic.
It is better to avoid both extremes and instead consider the middle ground. Once you understand what you are thinking at any moment, you can then begin to shape your thoughts by having control over them.
2. Stop Negative Thinking
The basic treatment plan for negative thinking often involves cognitive restructuring.
Once you identify your negative thoughts you can then begin to change them.
IMPORTANT!! Don’t spend too long with the identification move through the emotions until hope is on your radar.
You can also develop more adaptive responses to help you cope with situations.
In cognitive restructuring, you identify negative thoughts and evaluate them for accuracy before replacing them. If you practice this often, you will be able to do this more naturally.
3. Learn to Cope with Criticism
Sometimes, people will criticise and judge you and you are put in a position to move forward with it.
You also have to learn to cope with rejection which is great because its leads you to the next logical step.
Nurturing your assertiveness skills can help you to respond to these criticism speed bumps in a very positive way and you will love who you become at the end of it.
4. Meditate or Practice Yoga
Meditation can help you to clear your mind and relax your body.
You may also practice mindfulness, which involves detaching from personal thoughts and emotions or viewing them as an independent observer.
When you practice mindfulness, you will be able to view your feelings, emotions, and thoughts as floating objects going past you.
You will have the choice to stop and observe or allow them to pass.
The main aim is to get in the receptive mode which allows you to receive impulses and ideas that take you in the direction that brings you what you want.
5. Have a Thought Diary
This tool can be considered a critical part of your change process and can help you to stay in alignment.
In fact, thought diaries can provide the fastest way to identify your thoughts and understand how they are affecting your emotional reactions.
Once you have your thought records with you, you can learn to abandon your unhelpful thoughts and develop the habit of having control over your thoughts and changing them where deemed appropriate.