Managing Your Mental Diet
Are you bombarded by thoughts of negativity? Have feelings of insecurity, stress or worry? This is normal… just watch the news and notice how many stories are negative and dramatic! You are what you mentally and spiritually eat.
This is the time to go on a diet– a diet of “positive attitude”. You have to literally stop feeding your mind negative things. Ask yourself, is this thought positive or negative? What do negative thoughts look like? Well, they start with “can’t” rather than “can”, “no” as opposed to “yes”, or focus on “won’t” instead of “will”. We tend to let our thoughts control us. Let’s flip this around.
Identifying the Subject of Negative Thoughts
A great way to know what we are negative about is to ask those people who are closest to us. Ask your spouse or a close friend how they would rate your attitude on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being super positive and 1 super negative. Ask this person to be totally honest with you. You will benefit from their honesty.
Ask this person what it is that you specifically say that they perceive as negative. What do you complain about? Write down what they say and look at the actual words. Now is the time to be honest with yourself. Those words are a reflection of what is inside you. They reflect who you are. Consider patterns that emerge. Are you sometimes negative about your health? Work? Relationships? Are you afraid of things which could happen but often never do?
Flip the Switch
The great thing is that you can change these thoughts. Complaining is just a bad habit! It is as simple as making a choice to do so. It’s like flipping a switch. You must decide to replace the thoughts of negativity with thoughts of positivity. Decide to change the negative words on your paper to positive ones.
Once you have done this, make an effort to insert these new positive thoughts in your mind. You will begin to notice a positive change taking place in your life. Your family, friends and co-workers will all notice it as well. They may not know what is different about you. But they will know that you are not the same person that you were.
The items which are causing negativity in your life could very well be the news, negative people, replaying conflicts or stressful situations in your mind and the list could go on. Consider eliminating some negative sources if you want your new mental health regimen to be a success.
You can do it. You can and will have a positive attitude, if you simply take the steps outlined above. You do not have to be what you were in the past. You can be different in the future. The choice is yours. I know you will make a positive one.
You can find more on embracing a positive attitude and improving your happiness in my book, 21 Days to Happiness in Day 12 on dealing with worry or Day 21 on optimism.
Business Psychologist/Happiness Expert