Hard times can be tough.
In these down moments there are opportunities to grow, but we’ll need all the support from ourselves we can get.
Negative thinking patterns can tie us down and diminish our needed self support.
Here are some thoughts on how to overcome negative thinking during tough times:
There are two types of mindsets: Set and Growth
In a set mindset, there is a belief that the way things are is the way it’s always going to be, that the way we are is the way we’re always going to be.
This is the type of thinking that can paralyze someone’s growth because they’re not going to attempt to make changes.
With a growth mindset, we’ll understand that change is inevitable.
It’s okay to feel down as we are going through trials because we know circumstances and emotions pass.
This mindset helps us embrace change and grow.
Not letting negative thinking (our inner commentary of criticism and doubt) get to us has to do with our focus.
It’s not about control, it’s about focus.
It means talking back to that negative voice if we have to.
Rather than being a victim of our thoughts, we can be an observer.
If we recognize where our thoughts are leading us, our newfound awareness can allow us to take the steps needed to better the situation.
It’s true that we don’t have much control of emotions that arise in the moment, as well as circumstances that ensue, but we do have control of our thoughts. We can make good use of this realm of influence.
Negativity and Fear
If we were to take a step back from our thoughts and monitor our thinking, some of us would be surprised of how negative it is.
The dialogue of self criticism in our heads can be stuff we would never say aloud to about anybody else. So why say these things about ourselves?
This negative inner dialogue also gets us in a state of fear.
When this happens, our imagination is working against us in construing future scenarios in which we are fearful, failing, and worried.
A great way of changing the negative self-talk is to visualize a future that is positive.
Whether the imagining is one hour from now or one year from now, the power of hope is something that will reprogram our negative thinking.
Neuroplasticity is a word used to describe the process in which our brain’s neural synapses and pathways are altered.
When these neural bridges are formed or altered, our habits (even our thinking habits) are formed and altered as well.
Because of the power of habit, we can sometimes feel powerless when trying to change ourselves to break out of negative ones.
If we remember neuroplasticity though, it changes things.
When we feel that resistance when trying to make a positive change, it’s good.
It means that neuroplasticity is telling us that we’re going out of the realm of habit into a place of discomfort where new pathways are being formed.
We can trust that the feeling of resistance to change is actually showing us the way we’ve got to go.
Doing What is Necessary
After all this talk about changing thinking, what will really be of most help to us in overcoming negative thinking is if we prove that we deserve positivity in our lives by taking action in attainment of our ideal.
There needs to be a game plan to get us working our system.
Without a plan, we can fall into unproductive activities that make us feel progress is being made, but our stuff won’t be getting done.
The take away here is that we can change.
We’re always changing, so let’s make the change a good change.
If we’re not making progress, we may think that we’re good for the time being, but the truth is that life is an escalator, and if we’re not taking effort to walk up, it’ll bring us down. That is entropy.
Same with the mind .. If we’re not making an effort to have a positive mental attitude, the default is the negative patterns that external forces can instill in us.
Let’s fight the good fight.