Are you more of a ’glass half empty’ kind of person? Do you beat yourself up about the little things? Do you find it really difficult to believe your good enough, no matter how much those close to you tell you that you’re a bloody brilliant human being?
When this kind of thinking becomes habitual it can be dangerous, there are no two ways about it. You could stop yourself from doing the things you want to do, the things you aspire to, simply because you don’t think you’re good enough. Or even worse, you could find yourself sinking into a debilitating depression.
Well that stops today! Because you can indeed change your manner of thinking if you really try.
1. Recite positive affirmations every day
A positive affirmation is a statement that you declare to be true. It works by reinforcing the idea of what you’re saying in your mind more each time you say it. In particular, affirmations speak to the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which is essentially your brain’s information filter. And if you keep telling your RAS something it will notice it and see that it’s important.
The key thing to remember when it comes to affirmations is that they need to relate to you, your life and your problems. It may be difficult, but you’ll need to dig deep and assess what you need to say to transform your way of being.
Keep it simple. Look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am fabulous!” every day. When you start believing it, you’ll notice a difference in the way you hold yourself, the way you speak to people, the way you feel about yourself.
Here are some positive affirmations that might just change your life.
2. Write down the things you're grateful for
This is an exercise that will force you to stop and think about all the positive things you have in life. Do it right now and you’ll boost your mood in an instant. There are a few ways you can do this and you should try each, maybe alternate each day.
The first is to write down the positive things that have happened during the day. This might be things such as ’my boss praised me for my hard work’ or ’spending my lunch hour laughing with Jean was lovely.’
The second is to write down the great qualities you have going for you. Include things like ’I’m a good listener’, ’I have nice eyes’ or ’I’m good at football.’
Finally, make a list of all the things that you’re grateful for in life such as your stable income, your health, your family etc.
After these exercises, you’ll appreciate the little things in life. Happy people think in this way - they don’t think negatively, concentrating on the things they don’t have; they appreciate what they do have in life and what they have to offer.
3. Practise the CBT model of thinking
CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and comprises a programme in which psychologists help individuals to become more of a glass half full kind of person. By changing the way that you think, you change your actions and thus change how you feel.
To explain CBT in practice, a similar example is usually given:
Scenario 1: You walk down the street and see an old friend but they ignore you. You think, “they must not like me anymore.” You go home and feel sad and rejected which results in you getting a headache and feeling sick.
Scenario 2: You walk down the street and see an old friend but they ignore you. You think, “she must have a lot on her mind at the moment.” You go home and give that friend a call later in the day and end up having a nice long chat. You feel happy.
You see how looking at things in a different light sometimes can change your actions and feelings?
For more information on CBT, have a look here.
Remember that everyone has something to offer to the world, despite what you’re thinking. Those negative thoughts are just opinions and not necessarily the truth. You deserve to feel great. Because the better you feel, the more you can contribute to the world and those around you.