When someone tells you that you are negative about life and others – it is a red flag. That means people are watching you. This is the time to understand -“are you having negative thoughts or are you just expressing your emotions”. Many times people cannot differentiate between negative thoughts and natural emotions. You might get confused about your own behavior.
Thoughts and emotions are two different things. Thoughts can fall into two types: Negative or positive. When we have positive thoughts we feel good about it and we naturally spread happiness. When we have negative thoughts about everything around us then people start asking questions – why she/he is so negative all the time?
Negative thoughts: Don’t find fault, find remedy!
Thoughts come to mind whereas emotion is an experience which one is going through, which can be expressed in their behavior. Emotions play out in the theater of the body. Thoughts come to mind by thinking. Our ideas, opinions and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us are nothing but thoughts. While thoughts are shaped by life experiences, genetics, and education, they are generally under conscious control. And, emotion is an experience that our mind expresses for a situation in terms of happiness, sadness, anger, fear or anxious. However, emotions can be destructive too in a different way!
What are negative thoughts? – Recognize your negative thoughts
- Thinking only bad things happen to you
- Thinking and imagining bad things to happen to others
- Exaggerating the impact of an unfavorable event
- Saying something which discourages people
- Uttering harsh and meaningless words to a person who is already undergoing through difficult time.
- Discouraging people not to do something because of jealousy
- Making a negative evaluation about an ambiguous situation
- Getting angry even for small errors or things that are really beyond your control
- Feelings like: I feel unappreciated, I feel fat, I feel like a failure, I feel she doesn’t like me can result in negative thoughts
- Always finding faults and criticizing others in a destructive way
- Not appreciating others talent and putting them down with unpleasant words
Separate the negative thought and the natural emotions : Sometimes thoughts are caused because one is feeling sad, hurt, or disappointed about a certain situation and it is natural. Here you can realize that this thought comes from an emotion you have. In other words, it is important to recognize your emotions and why are you feeling this way. Then you can acknowledge your feelings and learn how to deal with them.
It is important to evaluate your thoughts to keep up good relationships. Once you realize that you are thinking negatively, stop and address it. Instead of concluding by saying “I am stupid”, think, “this action made me think I am stupid”. To overcome negative thoughts first understand that emotions are not your negative thoughts.
Similarly, do not put someone in negative thought person list while he or she trying to express themselves in the form of emotions. Having emotions is a natural thing. Understand what they are trying to say -is it negative talk or are they just expressing their emotions? When someone is “feeling unappreciated” they usually mean something like “I’m feeling sad” or “I’m feeling angry.” Those emotions are associated with thoughts, which interpret the events in our lives. So we interpret someone’s actions to mean that they don’t appreciate us. It is not a negative thought but an emotion. Talk to the person and understand what made them say that. You may come to know about a situation that they went through. If the person is negative about life or surroundings, you will understand it. If the person is open minded, tell them how you feel about their negative thoughts.
Work on improving your negative thoughts to make it positive.
- Try to understand why you are thinking that way.
- Think -does the thought make sense?
- Is it a real thought or an illusion you are creating in your head?
- Does this thought help me?
- Visualize the good things: Think about good quotes, good people whom you appreciate or think about good qualities of yours.
- Turn off negative self-talk : Instead of putting yourself down think about good qualities that you have and which you like about. Instead of saying I am not good, say “I am capable, I am good at these things and I am okay doing it”.
- Think twice before you talk and express your view on someone or something.
- It becomes a cycle where negative thoughts reinforce negative emotions, which in turn produces negative actions. Cycling and recycling the negative thoughts that were triggered for various reasons can harm a person physically and mentally. Pay attention to triggers- If a certain person is a trigger for you, set boundaries with them.
Stop shopping for negative thoughts in your mind. Take control of your negative thoughts today. It will help you to focus on your success and build a good relationship. Don’t find fault, find remedy!