Pat Benatar would have us believe ‘Love is a Battlefield’. Though that may be true, I believe the greatest battle each of us faces every day is in our mind.
The average person has 40,000-70,000 thoughts per day, roughly 40-50 per second. Hazard to guess how many of those thoughts are negative?
Negative thoughts rear their ugly heads in our already busy ‘mindfield’ and can sometimes roam virtually unnoticed. Negativity becomes so deeply embedded that it not only infects our mind but our heart also. Much like a bacterial infection, left untreated you end up with a full-fledged infection that eats away at your core. Not a great way to live but many of us do!
There is no medication, no quick fix. However, each of us can begin by changing how we think. Take your thoughts captive. Take back control of your mind. Learn to ignore the negativity, reject the lies, forgive yourself and others and release yourself from your self-made prison. Watch what’s going on in your brain every day and realize that not every thought you have is true.
Ships do not sink because of the water around them, they sink when the water gets inside. Likewise, we must not allow what’s happening around us to get inside of us and weigh us down. Our minds would like us to believe that all of our thoughts are correct. To have negative thoughts is normal. Everyone has them. However, you are allowed to challenge your negative thoughts. You are not your mind. Your mind is a part of you; a tool you use.
Take a closer look at the thoughts that are holding you back. If you are negative most of the time, try to look for the positive side more often. If you are consumed by fear, find one way you can be brave and build on that. If you hold on to anger and resentment, try to forgive and release one small thing today, another tomorrow and each day after that.
The first step toward lessening negative thinking is to acknowledge that you are indeed being negative. Once you realize this, you can challenge your thoughts. Are they rational? Are they real? Instead of categorizing your thoughts as black or white, try to look for the grey area. Then, you can change your thoughts. Try replacing the negative with a positive and if that does not seem possible, at least challenge the thoughts…are they real?
Redirect your brain to be different. Focus on the more positive side of life. Each of us has that choice every day. Decide that you are going to think, do and live differently, more positively.
When we decide to see the positive side and start making the right choices, it feels good. The good feelings will silence the negative voices in our head. Find your own mantra (a saying you can repeat over and over) to help your mind focus. Keep it simple but effective.
Do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Life is a journey. As with all road trips, you will not arrive at your destination if you never start your engine. Take one positive step at a time. You can not fix this all at once. Lasting change does not happen overnight. Be patient with yourself. Just start.
You may not be able to stop all negative thoughts by simply flipping a switch, however making a single choice every day to keep your mind focused can make all the difference. To change your life, you must change your mind. To change your mind you must simply S.T.A.R.T-Seek Truth And Redirect Thoughts.
You may lose a battle (or twenty) but never give up because you can win the war!