By Dr. Paula Fellingham
This is the eighth blog in series of twelve called “How To Create Positive Change in Your Life”.
In my previous two blogs I discussed the ten ways we can create our own happiness. I’d like to review the eighth principle and give two examples, then provide principles nine and ten in this blog.
#8: Ignore Your Negative Thoughts
We all have thousands of thoughts each day. Some are going to be positive and productive, and others will be worrisome, fearful, covetous, etc. The question isn’t whether or not you’re going to have negative thoughts – we all do – it’s what you choose to do with the ones you have.
You really only have two choices. You can either worry about them, analyze them, think more and more about them, or you can dismiss them; let them go! When you have a thought – that’s all it is…just a thought. It can’t hurt you without your permission.
Think of your negative thought as a match which has just been lit. You can either blow it out immediately and stay healthy, or you can let it burn, hurt and scar you. The choice is yours.
Let’s look at two examples:
Karen, painfully shy, was completely convinced that her introversion and her low self-esteem were her parent’s fault. Karen bitterly explained, “My parents didn’t do a very good job, and that’s why I’m a social failure.”
Karen let the negative thoughts fester and wound her; convincing herself that she should indeed be unhappy. Instead, she should realize that although her childhood was difficult, IN THIS PRESENT MOMENT SHE HAS A CHOICE and can direct her thoughts. Another example:
Darrel and Katie had a quarrel just minutes before Darrel left for work. Darrel “blew out the match” and let the negative thoughts go soon after he left the house. Katie, on the other hand, was still stewing and angry about the issue when Darrel came home at 6:00 o’clock that night.
While Darrel was able to have a productive day, Katie didn’t get anything accomplished because she spent hours calling family and friends to complain and get advice. What she didn’t understand is that an argument that happens in the morning is no longer an actual argument, it’s a thought in your mind.
I’d also like to suggest we make an effort to
- Eliminate all negative expressions, no matter how benign they may seem because our subconscious minds take it all in – and anything negative becomes part of who we are. So get rid of little negatives that weaken you.
- “I’ll never get through this – there’s so much to do!”
- “If I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all!”
- Yep – I knew it! Just when things were starting to go well, this had to happen.”
- Stop asking yourself bad questions and start asking good ones. Instead of:
“Why does this always happen to me?”
“Why can’t I ever remember names?”
“Why don’t they like me?”
“What could I do to make myself feel happier right now?”
“What can I learn from this that will make me a better person?”
“Who can I help today?”
By improving the words you consistently use you can immediately improve the quality of your thoughts, your emotions and your life.