This is a guest article contributed from Harrish Sairaman.
“You have thousands of thoughts a day, don’t waste most of them on negative things.”
The thought process where people consider the worst case scenario and believe that the negative outcome is more likely to happen in anything and everything, it is referred to as negative thinking.
For example, you want to switch your job, but you are reluctant to do it because you think the new boss would be the worst person you will ever meet, your colleagues will pull you down all the time, and you start believing that all other constraints will choke your life.
It is good to consider the worst case scenario, but negative thinking is giving priority to the worst case scenario to such an extent that you start believing that the worst case scenario will be the only outcome.
How Negative Thoughts Affect Your Life?
We all know that going for a trip during your holidays is a good idea because they create some of the best memories of your life to cherish forever.
But your negative thoughts will pull you down by providing you all the possible cases to make you cancel the plan.
If you are more of a pessimistic person, you are likely to give in to your negative thoughts easily, and you deprive yourself of the joys of life.
Negative thoughts never let you progress and explore new things.
They are the ones responsible for your stress, regrets, missed opportunities, sadness, and bad health. Here are some points to ponder on how negative thoughts affect you.
Frustration – Due to negative thoughts, you missed certain opportunities of your life, and by the time you realize what you have missed and how others have used the same opportunities to progress, you will be frustrated with yourself.
When you become frustrated, nothing works in your favor. You cannot concentrate on your work, you find no joy in living, and you can’t even appreciate what you already have.
The mental condition is always on the limits, and you are angry all the time. You shout at people and ruin relationships. You are always irritated and depressed from within.
Health Effects – Several studies have shown that negative thoughts bring down your immune system significantly and you become prone to several diseases easily and eventually.
Eating disorder is a very common thing as the person starts lacking appetite and cannot even get the proper taste of the food due to mental distraction.
Furthermore, negative thoughts drive people crazy and keep them awake at night as their minds get busy doing permutation and combination of different negative outcomes.
Short to long-term depression is also very common. Negative thoughts also have the power to make you age faster and make you lose your past memory.
Changes – Negative thoughts are a perfect waste of time. Once you start giving importance to your negative thoughts, there is no stopping them.
Positive thoughts have a limitation unless you are too imaginative, but there is no limit for negative thoughts.
Hence, your mind will always be busy and distracted projecting you all the possible negative outcomes.
Once negativity makes you frustrated, you will become jealous of others as your own progress is hindered by your own thought process.
Your relationship with your progressive colleagues and friends will take a bitter turn. Your character and personality will change as your approaches to different happenings of life will change completely.
You would be very skeptical, criticizing people a lot and take your frustration out on good people. You will never progress in life, and hence, you will be unhappy with what you have. Your intelligence and understanding of new concepts will also take a toll.
Basically, there is nothing positive about negative thoughts.
Sometimes, even if you know that negative thoughts are no good, you just cannot stop thinking about the negative outcomes.
It happens automatically, and you seem to have no control over it.
Fortunately, there are a few ways by which you can stop negative thoughts from entering your mind.
Ways To Stop Negative Thoughts From Entering Your Mind
1. Avoid Negativity
No one is born with a mind that always thinks negatively. But there is always a dormant trait in us that makes us aware of the negative outcome which is healthy because it makes you practice and plans accordingly.
But when you turn that dormant trait as the only active trait, you become a negative person.
The process of activating it needs external help which happens to be the environment you are in and the people you surround yourself with.
For example, if you are a negative person, you will always give negative advice and talk negatively about everything in front of your friends and colleagues.
Similarly, if you are an optimistic person but your friends and surrounding people always give you negative vibes and thoughts, you are eventually going to become one of them.
Furthermore, if your supervisor is a negative person and helps to create a negative environment, negative thoughts will burst forth in you.
Therefore, you have to be really conscious about the people whom you are going to give priority and consider as friends and surround yourself with.
Run away from negative people by any excuse and encourage others to create a positive environment around you.
As a matter of fact, be in the company of optimistic people and see yourself grow like never before both personally and professionally.
2. Understand The Cause Of Negativity
People grow negative thoughts out of bad experiences and events and eventually, powerful imagination will do the rest.
A few negative experiences do not mean all the experiences you are going to have will be negative.
For example, our current and previous boss happened to be rude persons. That does not mean the next one would be the same and hence, you should never give up finding another job.
Sometimes, it is the fear in our mind that gives birth to negative thoughts.
Fear could be due to your failure in the past, your imagination, and negative inputs and advice you received from your surrounding friends.
Unless you try, you can never know the reality. Always make it a point to learn from your mistakes and improve upon them so that you do not make the same the next time.
Make it a point to prove your negative thoughts wrong by any means. Eventually, your negative thoughts will cease to exist.
Meditation is a powerful weapon to open up the positive centers on your mind and eliminate the negative thoughts.
Through meditation, your goal is to reach a state on thoughtlessness.
With daily meditation, your mind will reach a stage where it would stop reacting to outside events, and you will have complete control over your thought process.
It talks time and initially, you should start meditating with the objective to think all the positive thoughts and training it to be positive in all situations.
You can even try it when you get too stressed, and your mind is filled with negativity.
4. Consciousness And Activities
One of the easiest ways to train your mind to stop the generation of negative thoughts is by distracting your mind when negative thoughts that come to your mind.
Most of the people stay unconscious of their thought process and willingly get trapped in negative thoughts, and it keeps on expanding infinity.
Instead, you have to be conscious of every thought that comes to your mind and segregate them as positive and negative.
When you become aware of the negative thoughts, you can distract your mind in some activities like listening to songs, counting 100 to 1 or saying Z to A in your mind or even spin a fidget spinner by which your mind gets distracted, and the negative thoughts get buried.
Another way to stop negative thoughts is by bringing your consciousness to your breathing. Concentrate on your breaths all the time whenever your mind is idle.
Observe the rhythm, speed, and you can even count. Your mind will stay distracted, and no negative thought will generate or enter the mind.
5. Write Out It And Scratch It
One of the most useful ways to stop negative negativity from entering your mind is by writing down all the negative things that can happen and scratch them off.
Negative thoughts enter our mind based on the speculation of the uncertain future. But if you have considered all the possible thoughts, it won’t get generated in your mind as you have gone through them already.
Similarly, if a negative thought has hit your mind, write it down and scratch it and it will get eliminated and will not stretch further.
6. Focus On Planning And Not On Outcome
Negative thoughts start from the speculation of the outcomes.
Therefore, keep your mind concentrated on the present moment and plan your future without getting influenced by the outcome.
For example, you are going to shift to another company. Plan to take all the necessary steps you should do for making the shift process smooth instead of thinking how the colleagues and boss will be. Decide, plan and deliver.
Do not ponder over your decision and the outcomes of your action. Naturally, speculation will stop along with negative thoughts of possible poor outcomes.
Focus on stopping the negative thoughts from entering your mind rather than eliminating them after they crowd your mind.
About The Author
Harrish Sairaman is a well-known motivational teacher in India, helping many to achieve which once seemed unachievable like increase motivation, leadership, Corporate Performance, decrease stress etc. through Motivational Training Program, Leadership training program, Corporate training programs, Entrepreneur Coaching and Individual Coaching to name a few. His ability to deliver life-changing, scientifically sound, relevant and metaphysical messages in a powerful, humorous and insightful manner integrated with high energy has earned him a reputation of bringing about a difference with a difference!