“Change your thoughts, and you’ll change your world” – Norman Vincent Peale
Negative thoughts can easily overwhelm all of us. How many times do we catch ourselves saying things like:
“I am NOT a good parent”
“My kids are just terrible”
“I can’t do this, life is just so hard”
“I’m fat and ugly”
“I have the worst life”
When we have these negative thoughts, all we can see are the negative things. It’s like we put on glasses that only let the bad things through and we can’t see all the good that is in our lives.
We end up in this downward spiral of negativity.
We turn into an unhappy person that sees life as being difficult, hard, and full of bad things.
But, it’s within our power to change that. We can turn it all around and change our lives. It is possible.
It’s not hard, but it does take a lot of effort.
First step? Being aware.
Notice the thought
When you have a negative thought. Pay attention to it, recognize it.
These negative thoughts can sneak up on us when we aren’t even paying attention to it. So, when you start feeling down or have really bad thoughts about things, pay attention to it. You might be surprised at how often they happen.
Hint: A lot of negative thoughts include the words “always and never”.
“My kids NEVER do what I tell them to”
“I ALWAYS mess things up”
Most of the time these generalizations are not true…even when they feel that way.
Recognize that it’s not true.
Sometimes when we are feeling down and not very happy, it’s easy to get stuck in the negative thought and not even realize how detrimental it can be.
After you recognize the negative thought, tell yourself that “It’s not true!”
At the beginning, you may feel like you’re lying to yourself here, but that’s just more of that negative self-talk coming through. Even if you may ot believe it, say it anyway.
Turn it around
Find the positive.
“My kids are wonderful, they’re just having a hard time right now”
“I mess up sometimes, but most of the time I’m a great mom”
“This is hard, but I will get through it”
“I have a great life”
Sometimes it’s hard to do, but just noticing the negative and replace it with a positive can be huge in your attitude about life.
Have a journal
I love having a gratitude journal. Every morning I wake up before my kids and take a few moments to write down what I’m thankful for that day. It helps me set the intention for the day and to remind me that I do have wonderful things in my life.
Some days it’s harder to do this than others. Some days it’s hard to find the good in all the bad.
But even on the hard days, I can be thankful that I have a roof over my head and food in my belly. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
The truth is, that your thoughts dictate your world. Negative thoughts mean that you will think negatively about the world. So, change your thoughts to positive and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.
Dear Amanda, what a wonderful and inspiring post. Great read to start your day… I agree to it 100%. There is no point in digging your past, or thinking/ talking about it over and over. If we start looking, we will find tons of reasons. Better to forget them(which is not that easy but at least one can try) and do what your heart says right….
This is great, be that it came from our creator!! 2 Cor 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Amen!! Life changing for sure!
Wonderful post! Thank u!
I completely agree…I add gratitudes to my journal writing every morning. Have you read Anne Lamott’s “Help, Thanks, Wow”? I’ve also found it powerful to ask for help for the things that worry me…the Universe always responds.
I have to do this with my husband…sometimes I focus on his negative traits (stubborn, works to much, etc) but then I remind myself that those negatives are just the back side of his positives (ambitious, hard working, etc). However, I never thought to do this with the rest of my thoughts. Thank you! You have made this negative mommy think twice!
Elizabeth @ Family Good Things
It’s so easy to get caught up in negative thinking! Learning about cognitive behavioral therapy has really helped me. Thanks for explaining this in such a simple and applicable way!