We all deal with negativity at times, but if pessimism feels like a constant companion, it can start seeping into every area of your life. Most of us have a harsh inner critic who whispers intrusive, poisonous thoughts like “You’ll never be able to achieve your goals” or “Nobody likes being around you.” At the dawn of this brand-new year, many people are considering ways to improve their lives. With that in mind, here are some tips for banishing unhealthy thoughts.
1. Write Them Down
Often, we accept negativity as truth without believing we have the power to change it. Tune into your mental monologue and write down any repetitive thoughts you notice. This practice can clarify your understanding of what you’re saying to yourself and how it makes you feel. Then, for every self-defeating thought, identify a correspondingly positive one to replace it.
2. Reframe Your Circumstances
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our nation, “pandemic fatigue” has settled in for many people. While you’re eagerly awaiting a return to normalcy and the ability to visit with friends and family again, it can be easy for negativity to set in. Do you frequently dwell on the opportunities this public health crisis has forced you to miss? Instead of getting caught up in pessimism, think about any upsides the past year’s events have brought to your life. For example, maybe more time at home with your spouse has drawn you closer together, or you’ve gotten the opportunity to work from home.
3. Use Mindfulness Techniques
When your thoughts are racing, it can be useful to know how to quiet your mind and look inward. You can think of meditation and deep breathing techniques as ways to hit your internal reset button. With so many different meditative practices to choose from, keep trying until you find one that resonates with you.
4. Take a Walk
Another technique for getting rid of unhealthy thoughts is to do physical exercise, especially outside. Sometimes, your environment might engender negativity. When that happens, shaking up your surroundings can help considerably. Even a short walk around the block can elevate your heart rate, boost your mood and expose you to fresh air and sunshine.
5. Count Your Blessings
When was the last time you took stock of everything you have to be grateful for? Sometimes, when fulfilling your personal and professional responsibilities, you might lose sight of all the positivity surrounding you. Write a list of each thing you have to be grateful for, no matter how small it seems to be, and don’t take anything for granted. Keeping a gratitude journal can be a useful daily habit to cultivate.
Unhealthy Thoughts Can Contribute to Addiction and Mental Health Issues
If negativity has characterized your life, you may be more vulnerable to developing wellness threats like depression and anxiety, which can go hand in hand with substance use disorders. At Vista Taos Renewal Center, we have helped hundreds of adult men and women with accredited, holistic substance abuse treatment. When you’re ready to learn more about breaking the cycle of addiction for yourself or a loved one, contact us.