Negative thinking is a common experience that can affect our mood, behavior, and overall quality of life. If left unchecked, negative thoughts can spiral out of control and lead to a negative mindset that can be hard to break. One of the keys to a fulfilling life is a healthy mind and healthy body. However, there are strategies that can help overcome negative thinking and promote a more positive outlook. In this blog post, we'll explore three of the most effective strategies for overcoming negative thinking.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Did you know Dr. Wegmann is a certified CBT practitioner?) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected and that changing the way we think can lead to changes in how we feel and behave. CBT can be done individually with a therapist or through self-help resources such as workbooks or online programs.
One of the key components of CBT is identifying negative thoughts and then challenging them with evidence-based reasoning. For example, if you find yourself thinking, "I'm a failure," a CBT therapist might help you identify evidence that contradicts that thought, such as past successes, positive feedback from others, or the fact that failure is a natural part of the learning process. By challenging negative thoughts with evidence-based reasoning, CBT can help individuals develop more balanced and realistic thinking patterns.
2. Prayer and/or meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention on the present moment without judgment. It has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase overall well-being. By practicing prayer and/or meditation, individuals can learn to observe their thoughts without getting caught up in them. This can help break the cycle of negative thinking by allowing individuals to step back from their thoughts and view them from a more objective perspective. To practice prayer and/or meditation, find a quiet place to sit and focus your attention on your breath. When your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to your breath. Over time, this practice can help you develop the ability to observe your thoughts without getting caught up in them.
3. Gratitude Practice: Gratitude is the practice of intentionally focusing on the good things in your life. It has been shown to improve mood, increase resilience, and promote overall well-being. By focusing on what you are grateful for, you can shift your attention away from negative thoughts and towards positive ones. To practice gratitude, take a few minutes each day to reflect on what you are grateful for. This can be as simple as thinking about the people in your life who support you, the things you enjoy doing, or the basic necessities you have such as food, shelter, and clothing. By intentionally focusing on the good things in your life, you can cultivate a more positive outlook and break the cycle of negative thinking.
You might be reading this and thinking, why am I prone to negative thinking or why does my brain create negative stories about my life experiences?
The answer is: the brain sees uncertainty as a danger or threat. A negative story feels safe to the brain. The brain is concerned with making you happy, its only concern is keeping you safe (survival).
In conclusion, negative thinking can have a profound impact on our well-being both mental and physical. However, by using strategies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, prayer and/or meditation, and gratitude practice, we can learn to overcome negative thinking and promote a more positive outlook. Whether you work with a therapist or practice on your own, these strategies can help you develop the skills needed to break the cycle of negative thinking and cultivate a more balanced and realistic perspective. #themoreyouknow #journeytowellness
Dr. MJ Wegmann,