How to Bring Yourself Out of a Negative Mindset
You might not realize it within yourself but you are probably holding on to more negativity that you care enough to admit to yourself. Think back to those days when you had some time for yourself and you just sat back to relax. Notice how quickly your mind fills up with negative thoughts and energy? Past hurts, feelings and issues do not go away when you “forget” about them, they stay locked away in your unconscious mind and resurface in subtle ways: sudden bouts of depression, fits of anger and waves of resentment.
A negative mindset prevents you from living a completely fulfilling life and saps away at time you could use to be more productive. Those who can say they’ve been through a lot usually have a tendency to cherish their hurts, holding on to them like a knife they would someday use for seeking justice from real and imagined oppressors. However, it never works in their favor as they just end up getting increasingly bitter and resentful. They’re gripping the knife by the blade if only to never forget their need to be compensated.
If you feel like negativity has pervaded your mind and daily living, you can consider the following tips to bring yourself out of a negative mindset:
Stop holding on to destructive thoughts. You can never forget the people who have done you wrong and how much you’ve suffered. Year in and year out, you replay scenes from incidents just like horror movies you’re afraid to watch yet can’t stop watching. You wish that things happened differently, you hope for revenge, you imagine hurting people back and the thoughts never seem to cease by themselves. Holding on to these thinking patterns only assures your own self-destruction and the demise of your life goals. Make a habit of cherishing the important and valuable things in your life. Count your blessings. Picture the progressive future rather than being chained to the habits of the past where you were merely young and naïve. If it helps, employ the services of a professional who can guide you through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques and change your thought patterns.
Don’t stay in one place and keep yourself busy. Just like a pool of stagnant water, negative thoughts can fill your mind if you don’t keep it flowing and preoccupied. Find work that you’re passionate about, immerse yourself in a hobby or simply go out and get some fresh air. You just need to be reminded that the world is an awesome and expansive place, greater than all the anxiety and problems that you feel at the present moment. You have so much to look forward to and you’re just getting started with a happy and fulfilling life.
Be kind, especially to strangers. If you’re suffering from guilt because of bad decisions or if you just want to feel good about the world in general, it can be very affirming to offer something of yourself to people with no expectation of reward. Give a little money to a random beggar on the sidewalk. Teach kids at the orphanage. Talk to the elderly at the nursing home. Join a team of disaster volunteers. You’ll reaffirm three things: you’re still a good person, the world still holds kindness, and faith in humanity still persists despite all the problems in the world.
Find positive people to share your life with. People assimilate the qualities of the peers they surround themselves with. This does not happen by conscious choice. Check your manner of speaking, moving and making decisions. How much of your behavior can be traced to your family, friends or significant other? If you keep negative people around you for a while, your outlook in life inevitably becomes negative. Choose positive people you can spend time with, preferably on a daily basis. You don’t even need to be clingy, you just have to develop a routine in which there are enough vibrant and kind people who care enough about you and the world to enjoy activities with. In time, you’ll grow into the kind of positive person who can be a shining light to people who have made negativity the centerpiece of their lives