“Change your thoughts, and you’ll change your world” – Norman Vincent Peale
That quote, those eight words changed everything about my life. It changed the way I saw my husband, my kids, my mother, my friends, my world.
Those eight words are everything to me.
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 lets 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.
Once you do it a few times and turn it into a habit, it will get easier.
Read more about this:
Words Hurt: What We Say About Our Children
If you feel like your negative thoughts are taking over and that it might be depression, please contact a mental health professional.
Call the National Parent Hotline if you ever need support in your parenting journey.