Negative thinking can negatively impact your workplace productivity and personal and professional development. We will all experience negative thoughts. However, the way we process them and deal with the ramifications of those thoughts will determine how successful we can be in life. There are several strategies that you can implement in your life in order to successfully remove those negative thoughts from your mind.
1. Stay in Motion
If negative thoughts threaten to overpower your mind, take time out to go for a walk or get into motion. If you can go exercise, that is the best option. However, if you’re at work, simply getting up to move around can stimulate blood flow in your body. The increased blood flow means that more oxygen is getting to your brain, which will increase your mental capacity and performance. Exercising also releases endorphins which increases your energy and mood. So, if negative thoughts are causing havoc in your brain, stand up to stretch or take a break to get some coffee. Just getting up to move will help to physically lighten your mood and help you to see beyond the negativity.
2. Change Your Environment
Many times our thoughts are a product of the environment we’re in or the circumstances that surround us. Sometimes something as simple as changing the environment can positively affect your thought process. For example, if you work from home as a freelancer, negative thoughts can set in if you begin to get cabin fever from not leaving the house and seeing other people. A simple change like opening the shades to let light in and allow you to see outside can positively impact your mood and perspective. When those negative thoughts come to your mind, change your environment by going to the break room at work or walk to the lobby and go outside to get some fresh air. The environment you find yourself in each day can influence your mood. It is vital to ensure that you change your environment in order to protect your positive thought process and relieve daily stressors.
3. Focus on Positive Thinking
Candice Pert is a neuroscientist who said, “What you are thinking at any moment is changing your biochemistry”. Those are powerful words because she is saying that your thoughts have physical power over your body. Just imagine how much stress negative thoughts can impart to your body and thus negatively impact your overall health. That is why it is vital to focus on positive thinking and changing your perspective when you are overcome by negative thoughts. Don’t pull up a lawn chair and park in the depths of despair when these negative thoughts come. Work hard to change your perspective. Start thinking about the positive aspects of your life and write them down. We all have problems. Some people have more than others. However, if we think hard enough, we can find some positive things that have happened to us and are in the process of happening. Focus on those positive things and the negative thoughts will soon dissipate.
4. Share Your Feelings
According to Mental Health America, “how you think about a problem affects both how much it upsets you and how well you tackle it”. Basically, your thoughts rule your behavior and whether or not you will be successful in life. It is important that you learn how to shift your tendency from focusing on negative thoughts toward focusing on positive thoughts. One way to do this is to talk to a trusted friend or coworker (or even to a professional counselor if needed). The way you handle this issue depends on the severity of your negativity level. Make sure that you pick your confidant carefully and find someone that you can bare your soul to without fear of condemnation or other professional repercussions—from sharing too much information.
5. Journal Your Thoughts
James Pennebaker, a psychologist and researcher at the University of Texas. Mr. Pennebaker advised that consistent journaling strengthens the body’s immune system, particularly the cells called T-lymphocytes. Taking the time to journal your thoughts can help you to refocus negativity into positivity. Set aside time to journal when those negative thoughts become overpowering. While you are jotting down your negative thoughts, don’t focus too long on them. Quickly try to shift your perspective to three things in your life that you are thankful for.
Negative thoughts can be extremely overpowering in your life and can hinder any chances of success that you might hope for. However, if you follow the five steps as outlined in this article, you will increase your chances of succeeding in both your personal and professional life.