Countless sayings and quotes have been written on thoughts, particularly positive thoughts. Have you heard the one ‘thoughts are things?’
Thinking about this statement provides plenty of food for thought.
If you have read anything about thoughts you may be familiar with the notion of people having some 70,000 thoughts a day. This number is disputed by many and the point here is not so much to discuss the number of thoughts we have, but merely to highlight we do have a lot of thoughts during the day, be it 70,000, 60,000 or 50,000.
Imagine if most of these thoughts are negative, or if even fifty percent or sixty percent are negative, then you are filling yourself with a lot of negativity. And if thoughts are things, you may be doing a lot of negative things.
To add to the burden it may be that you are going through a separation. If so, chances are the monkey of the mind is going wild.
Do not fear, your reaction is not unusual, particularly if you have been left by your long term (or even short term) partner. As the person left you will just be coming to terms with the dreadful reality life, as you knew it has ended. A long, sometimes lonely road is ahead of you.
This is the time your negative thoughts will be working overtime, no doubt assisted by things your ex is saying to you either in person, through sms, email, facebook or any other form of social media or even a lawyer.
What do you do?
Curl up in a cocoon and hope it will all go away?
You are going to start feeling better about yourself and future by starting to think more positive and maybe not eliminate, but definitely reduce negative thoughts.
If you have ever dieted you may be familiar with keeping track of what you eat before you start the diet.
To start using positive though you should first of all keep track of your negative thoughts. Work out what areas you are particularly negative about as well as things that trigger your negative thought pattern. Some things, places, people or actions may result in an avalanche of negative thought.
Once you have identified the type of negative thoughts you have and their triggers, you can start beating them with positive thought and action.
Find things to do that make you feel good. This may involve starting a course, reading a book, treating yourself to a massage, or a visit to the hairdresser. Nothing beats negative thoughts better than doing things to make you feel better.
Start taking care of yourself.
When you look good you will feel good.
If your spouse has left you, you may feel particularly vulnerable about your looks. You may need to do something about your weight, a smoking habit or an alcohol problem. What ever it is, start doing something about it.
You have identified your negative thoughts, their triggers and you have started to do things to make yourself feel better. Now it’s time to address your thoughts.
Start by simply stopping a negative thought as soon as it starts to creep in with the intention of drawing you down into a spiral of never ending negativity.
If the thought is something like ‘what a terrible day why would I get dressed, no one cares,’ push them aside and tell yourself ‘the sun may not be shining but it is still is a great day. When I get dressed in something nice I feel good about myself. I deserve to feel good and look.’ And so on.
Think how you would treat a friend in a situation like yours. You would not beat them up and berate them would you? Similarly you should not do the same to yourself.
If you find yourself dwelling on things you can’t do, or haven’t been able to do, try changing your thought pattern from ‘I won’t be able to’, to ‘I will be able to’, or from ‘I can’t’, to ‘I can…’ It is easy to do. Repeat the positive words like a mantra over and over until the negative ones leave you.
There may be times when you simply cannot stop or change your negative thoughts. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn from mistakes and remind yourself of all the times you have been successful in thinking positive or stopping negative thoughts. We praise others for their achievements and efforts and you should do the same.
You may find it useful to have a journal handy with positive affirmations to use at times when you need to be reminded to stay positive. Nothing beats having negative thoughts better than reading those positive little sayings.
Similarly, if you find it difficult to stay motivated using positive thoughts, write them down and keep them handy so you can refer to them when those negative thoughts creep up on you.
Separations are emotional charged times and you will need to use all your effort to stay positive and not let those negative thoughts get you down.
Persistence pays off, so stick with it.
Rome was not built in a day, and it is still standing.
I am originally from the USA and currently live in Germany where I work as an English teacher and writer. My BA is in psychology and I'm always reading about self-help, motivation and other topics related to psychology. My goal with my writing is to help others reach their greatest potential. I work best when writing personal stories or writing about motivation.