One day we might be feeling on top of the world only to discover that the next day we are back to our deck of worries. Tagging the worry comes our fear and helplessness.
One negative thought will lead to other, and that will lead to few more. This negative thought pattern will continue to hit us like never ending waves till we drown into the sea of sadness.
Have you been in this situation? I am sure every one of us had gone through these stages. If you feel you are often suffocated by negative thoughts, then you need to understand that unless you do something to control this habit, life is going to get tougher and bitter.
What will happen if negative thought patterns continue?
If you keep thinking about all the bad things, then it will cause mental and emotional strain. If these thoughts continue for a prolonged period, the excessive thinking will lead you to a stressful life.
Once you are stressed out, you will find helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness creeping inside you leading to a depressive state of mind.
A depressed mind and body will begin to worry more leading to an anxious and paranoid life. A state of uneasiness will prevail in all your actions. This will increase the anxiety.
As you start to feel concerned about life, you will tend to fear everything. It will impact all of your other activities in life.
Loss of sleep:
If you caught on the whirl of negative emotions and keep rethinking about the questions for which you can never find answers, you will begin to lose your sleep. This will cause more health issues.
When the mind is put to brutal negative thoughts, it is pretty obvious that our head will begin to throb.
Loss of energy/interest:
Loss of sleep, and constant headache will make you lose interest on everything. Also, you will feel drained most of the time.
Above are few symptoms you will face when you are on the clutch of negative thoughts. Hence it is very crucial to prevent any negative thoughts in the budding stage itself.
How to Combat Negative Thoughts?
Below are the steps you need to take to find a solution for your problem. For example, let’s say you have lost a job and you are constantly thinking that you will never get a job again. This is making you go through negativity in life. Then…
- Take a notebook and draw four columns
- In the first column write down the first thought that triggers the negative emotions. For example, one of your friends gets a well-paying job and this triggers a negative thought that you have lost the job and you won’t get such a job again. Write this in the first column.
- In the second column write down your first reaction to that emotion. For example, once you begin to think about lost job, you feel angry and frustrated. Soon you fear that when will you get your next job. You are showing this anger and frustration on the people at your home.
- Write down all of the these in the next column.
- In the third column write down the logical response for that emotion. Take a minute, think and write this down. In our example scenario, the ideal response would be, there is no point in fearing that I won’t get a job There are plenty of people who have lost a job and came back to their career successfully. So there is no point in getting angry and frustrated.
- In the fourth column, write down all the benefits you will attain if you apply your logical response for that negative emotion.
- Repeat the above steps for every negative thought that occur to you each day.
What is the advantage of analysing your negative thoughts?
- You will find out the root cause: Often you will wonder why you keep thinking the same thought over and over again. You wouldn’t know how to stop them. By analysing the thought patterns as mentioned in the steps above, you will clearly understand your triggers and what you can do to prevent it.
- You will find your hidden problems: Clearly jotting down the sequence of emotions/reactions you go through while having negative thoughts will help you to understand whether you have any hidden problems which you simply fail to acknowledge.
- You will avoid the circumstances in the first place: By reasoning out the ideal responses you will understand either to avoid those circumstances or you will learn how to handle it better.
- You will learn how to come out of those thoughts by your logical thinking: Not only will you learn to understand the circumstances that trigger your bad thoughts; you will also learn to come out of it by your logical reasoning.
Everything takes time. For the first few days, you won’t see any improvement. Don’t let it bother. Keep jotting down your thoughts and analyse your thoughts in a notebook or excel sheet. Slowly your subconscious mind will learn to tackle the situation using your logical reasoning.
In a few days, you will note down how your thoughts are triggered. By the first negative thoughts, your mind will alarm you of the possible consequences and what you should ideally do in the situation based on the points you jotted down on your notebook.
Still, you will struggle to follow your logical talks. That’s okay. Let it go. Try it again on the next time. Soon you will feel the difference.
Once you find out the situations that are triggering your emotions, you will learn to respond with the logical solution for that situation.
It is impossible for anyone to not face a tough time in life. Instead of fearing the hardship of life and getting caught on the negative thoughts, if you learn to handle it, you will see plenty of difference in yourself. If you cope up one situation, then you will gain the strength to overcome anything life throws at you.