Do you know what you are thinking?
Have you ever stopped to listen to what you are saying to yourself?
You may be surprised at the script that is running through your mind, especially if you think you are a positive person and the things you are thinking are mostly negative!
Our thoughts are so powerful they can affect our mood and our feelings (e.g. feeling angry, frightened or sad).
Our emotions can then affect our body and our physical responses (e.g. feeling tired, tense and with a stomach ache).
The way we physically feel may then affect our behaviour and what we do (e.g. you don’t attend the dinner with friends; you are constantly on the verge of tears, or yell in anger at a loved one).
Stopping and listening to your thoughts can help you have a better understanding of what is happening in your life and how you are really feeling.
If you find your thinking is negative, test your thoughts. Is what you are thinking REALLY true? What is the evidence for it? What is the evidence against that thought?
We all think negatively from time to time, but negative thinking can really bring us down and drag us into feeling depressed.
Look for the positives and for the evidence against negative thoughts. They are there.
Developing healthy and realistic cognitions or thinking will help support us emotionally, make us feel better physically, and then affect our actions and behaviour.
‘Many distressing emotion such as anger, anxiety, depression, guilt and low self-esteem are caused by cognitions that are negative or self-defeating’ (Edelman , 2006, p. 15).
This is the basis of cognitive behavioural theory, and has been known to be very effective in helping in the areas of anxiety and depression.
You don’t have to put up with negative thoughts ruling your life. It’s time to put them in their place.
Edelman, S. (2006), Change your thinking, 2nd Ed, Harper Collins Publishers, Sydney
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