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Change Your Perspective by Identifying and Changing Your Negative Thoughts

When a person's mind is full of negativity, they may not see the world accurately. They might have a negative view of themselves, others, and life in general. However, th peerson comes to recognize that those negative thoughts and beliefs are not true and learns to change them, they can simultaneously learn to change their perspective. Their view of the world might get a little rosier, lighter, and happier.

Yet, there are two things that are required in order to change negative thoughts:

First, you must become aware of your thinking. You must develop the awareness to recognize your negative thinking in the first place. This requires paying attention to your thoughts. It requires noticing what your mind is doing from time to time. You might develop your awareness through meditation and other inward-focused practices. The right form of yoga can also help develop awareness. Another way to increase the level of awareness of your thoughts is to journal. When you journal, you're writing out your inner experiences and become more intimate with the world inside.

Second, you must be able to identify your negative thoughts. Obviously, not all of your thinking is going to be negative. You may spend some of the day thinking about your responsibilities, relationships, and your role in life. Yet, when you're not thinking about those things, you might find yourself thinking negatively about your life and about the lives of others. Once you develop the awareness, you'll have a greater ability to identify those specific thoughts that are negative.

Once you are beginning to identify your negative thoughts, you might start writing them down. It's one thing to know that you're thinking negatively and even be able to point out a negative thought, but it's another thing to really pinpoint a thought and investigate the circumstances from which it came - by writing it down. Many people who are working with their negative thoughts use a Thought Diary to track them. Once you're working with a negative thought, you can also decide what positive thought you'd like to replace it with.

Here's an example:

You have a thought as you're getting up in the morning about how busy your day is. You have another thought about how you're never going to get it all done. This creates anxiety and resentment towards your boss. You decide to stay in bed because it all feels too overwhelming. You arrive late to work and get very little done that day.

When you break this down, you identify this is all-or-nothing thinking about having too much to do, so why even bother? You identify the negative thought as well as the negative feelings of anxiety, resentment toward your boss, and the feeling of overwhelm.

As you write this out, you realize a new way to think about all this. You realize that instead of the negative thinking about not being able to get it all done, you would feel better if you had the thought - Yes, today will be busy, but I will do the best I can and save the rest for the next day. With this thought, you know that you would be able to get out of bed and try your best to accomplish your tasks.

Changing your thoughts can change your perspective as well as your behavior. However, if you need assistance with changing negative thinking or if some thoughts are too distressing, contact a mental health therapist today. 



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