How to Turn your Negative Thinking Around

Do you allow negativity to dominate your thoughts? You are doing your self a disservice if you allow negative thoughts to dominate your thinking about other people and situations, as well as yourself . Scott Bea, PsyD is here to answer questions about negative thinking. Also, he explains what it means to be more optimistic.

Q: Which problems can negative thinking cause?

Negative thinking can make you feel down about yourself and the future. Low self-worth is a result of negative thinking. This makes it feel like you aren't effective in the real world.

Psychologists link negative thinking to depression , anxiety , chronic worry and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is a common problem for almost everyone, even people with positive outlooks.

This is due to the structure of our brains. The limbic and amygdala are designed to detect threats to our survival. It may have seemed like a perfect day on the Savannah in prehistoric times. However, when we were threatened by predators, our brains were trained to detect that danger.

The same brain parts are always active, even though there is no threat to our physical health. Today's threats are more cognitive. They involve finances, love, and whether or not we succeed at work. They can make our hearts race. It's easy to panic on Sunday nights just by thinking about work.

Q: Does negative thinking turn into a habit?

Absolutely. It is something we do. We get better with it. What we refer to as ritualized reassurance keeps worry at bay. To calm down, we think about all possible negative outcomes and the best ways to survive them.

However, reassurance has a very short half-life. The longer you drink caffeine, the more fatigued your body will be. If people tell you that "the older I get the more I worry," they have been practicing.

Even though we can think of thousands of possible scenarios, our story will only unfold one way. The majority of what we worry about does not happen. Most of what does occur is something that we have never been worried about.

Because the media portrays mainly negative events, we are constantly exposed to negative thoughts. They are aware that we tend to be more attracted to the bad than to the good.

Q: Could it be possible to alter the way that you think?

I would recommend that you change your thinking habits and not just your way of thinking. Every day, we have around 50,000 thoughts, ideas and images. They are either positive or negative and they invade our awareness. Negative people are more likely than positive ones to grab our attention or "sticky".

Learning to be mindful of your thoughts is better than engaging in them. The practice of mindfulness can make it easier to think more clearly. You can take this example as an example

For five to ten seconds, notice your breathing and your steps. Be aware of anything that draws your attention from them. Next, focus on your breathing and your steps. Notice what you can do in the moment to distract yourself from a negative thought. How are you feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting and smelling?

Mindfulness can also help us build a belief system of what's right. It's possible to notice the positive things in our present. Each person can be positive. Words of admiration are a way to see the good in others.

You can also keep a gratitude diary, listing the positive events. It is especially beneficial to do this before you go to sleep.

Q. Does your mind change when you think positively?

We are learning that changing our habits can change the brain's circuitry. Bad habits are hard to replace with good ones, as they live deep in the brain.

However, once new habits form they are more likely to stay and become automatic. Although we may initially resist an exercise routine, it soon becomes second nature. The same goes for our mental habits.

That's why, more and more, mindfulness is being used as a tool to treat problems like social anxiety, OCD and depression. Mindfulness allows us to accept the world as it is, instead of trying to fix them.

Question: How do you feel when you are more positive?

How you view your life is influenced by what thoughts you think. Positive thinking encourages self acceptance and self confidence.

You might have a gift that can make someone's life better. Praise others can make a huge difference. It creates delight. It improves our lives and helps us function more efficiently.

Positivity can help you find a new way to work in your field. For example, a lawyer might want to move from an adversarial to an advocacy position.

Positivity can influence how we behave and lead to better results in life.