Just like in the picture above, our minds like to get into a cycle of negative thinking. The question is why? Why are we all prone to get stuck on negative thoughts than onto positive ones? The answer lies in the power of our emotions. Studies have shown that it is much easier to receive a compliment about ourselves in which the matter reflects our pattern of thinking. For most of us, we have a low self esteem. This means that we spend more of the day thinking about ourselves in a negative light, rather than a positive one. So it is difficult if someone compliments you positively, because it goes against how you really feel about yourself.
This helps to explain things, but it for sure still does not make sense. Why are we so willing to positively compliment others and mean it, but spend all day shooting ourselves down? Chemical balances, genetics, and disorders aside, it is a habit. Our brains have gotten into a habit of degrading ourselves. Would you do this to your friend? No. We hold ourselves to an impossible standard that ensures the continuation of our negative habit.
Is it possible to break this habit? Yes, it is. However it is a daily battle. Here are a few tricks I have found that have helped me. First, personify that negative voice and separate it from yourself. I call mine Annie. When Annie is yelling at me, pushing me, fighting me, I find that I can push back. It is easier to push back against another “person” than to fight against yourself. You can scream at this personification to shut up and to stop bullying you.
Once you have a separation, I like to remember to be a friend to myself. If I am thinking negative thoughts about myself, I stop and ponder. Would a friend say this to me? Would I say this to a friend? If the answer is a no, then I tell my Annie to shut up, because that is not a friendly thing to do. Allow yourself some compassion. Do something nice for yourself. Be “friendly” to you.
I will not lie, this is a daily process, some being better than others. For me though, just the freedom of knowing that I have the power to fight back is amazing. The more often that you do this, the easier it becomes. You are training your brain in a new habit, one that will become stronger than the old. I would love to hear your tips/tricks that you use for negative thinking and also what you thought of this post. Please subscribe for more great upcoming content!