According to UCLA, there are approximately 7,000 thoughts that enter our brains daily.
What do you think happens if majority of those thoughts are negative? The impact of our thoughts are more critical than we may think. In fact, thoughts are the body’s commander. Just think about the last time you were angry over something. A tidal wave of negative thoughts flooding your brain, and how did your body feel? High blood pressure, high temperature, muscle aches, etc? Now think of a time that you were happy. Your body is relaxed, low blood pressure, joy, etc. Now if we know that thoughts control how we physically feel, why wouldn’t we want to train our brain to think more positive than negative thoughts? That’s where I come in and give you some tips on how to do so. I must warn you, this does not happen overnight and takes conscious actions.
Tip 1: Spring Cleaning
We need to remove negative words from our vocabulary. Some of these words include: TRY, IF, NEVER, ALWAYS, SOMEDAY, SHOULD, BUT, HOWEVER.
Remove TRY with YOU WILL. For example: I will try to get my project done by the end of the week. I will get my project done by the end of the week.
- This will ensure that you will get something done because when we use the word try things rarely get done.
Remove IF with WHEN. Example: If only I could lose 5 pounds. WHEN I lose 5 pounds.
- IF brings out self-doubt and uncertainty. We can avoid that by replacing the word with a more positive one.
Remove NEVER and ALWAYS.
- These words are absolute and should only be used in absolute situations. These thoughts turn into close-minded thinking and should be replaced with less-time constraining words.
Remove SHOULD with COULD. For example: I SHOULD go to Molly’s birthday party. I COULD go to Molly’s birthday party.
- By replacing should with could, you are giving yourself a choice. The word should relays a message to the brain of guilt. When we realize we have a CHOICE in the matter, the guilt and anxiety will dissipate.
Remove BUT and HOWEVER with AND. For example: That was a great presentation, but the audio was a little low. That was a great presentation and the audio could have been a little higher.
- These words radiate negative energy. In the example, the recipient of the compliment is only focusing on the words after but. By replacing BUT with AND the recipient hears the entire feedback without a negative connotation.
Tip 2: RED LIGHT ALERT
Even though we are consciously removing negative words from our vocabulary, from time to time negative thoughts will still creep in.
Create a cleaning image. It could be: STOP sign, red light, janitor, broom, or whatever works for you. You can even name it if that will help.
Whenever a negative thought begins to creep in, envision that image. This will help stop the negative thought in mid-sentence.
Once the thought is stopped, replace it with 3 positive thoughts about the situation.
Then MOVE ON.
For example: You are about to give your first presentation at work. You are prepared and ready to go. You deliver your presentation and it went smoothly. In passing you hear a colleague make a negative comment about your presentation. On the way home, that colleague’s comment is burning in your head and the negative thoughts creep in. You begin to think that your presentation was a failure (self-doubt, anxiety) ENVISION STOP SIGN. Say to yourself, your boss was enthusiastic and pleased about the ideas and presentation. You delivered the material as planned and you were happy with it when you were done. This was your first presentation and will improve for the next one.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GO BACK TO THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS! Train your brain to start thinking about something else or distract yourself with music, tv, etc.
Tip 3: STORE IT
This is tip may seem like common sense. Whenever you receive positive feedback store it in a filing cabinet in the back of your brain. When those negative thoughts start creeping in creating self-doubt, anxiety, and fear revisit those positive comments and this will help eliminate the negative ones.
I hope this helps train your brains to start thinking positive and feeling better. Once we can create positive thinking, we can begin influencing others.