How we think is a gateway to how we feel. We may not have control over our emotions once they are present, but we do have control over what we think and what we think often times manifests into how we feel. What we think about and how we feel most certainly affects our emotional and physical well-being. If you are consumed with toxic thinking, your mental state and health could falter as a result.
Have you ever done research on how fear affects your physical state? Fear causes extreme stress and anxiety and sometimes will trigger a fight or flight response. It can wreak havoc on your nervous system among many other physical ailments and so does toxic thinking of any kind. Here are some examples of how toxic thinking might show up in your life.
- Fear and or worry
- Feelings of severe envy
- “Should have” thoughts
- Low self-esteem/ self-worth
- Criticism of you and or others
An article published by Success Consciousness expresses the fact that humans have around 70,000 thoughts per day. That’s a lot of thinking. Here’s a question: what are you thinking about? How many of your 70,000 thoughts per day fall into the above category of toxic thinking? Probably more than most of us would care to admit.
So how do you control and change these thoughts?
Be mindful of what you are thinking about – out of all this thinking it is doubtful that most people can recite back to you the exact thoughts they had that day. Very often we allow our thoughts to wander unconsciously. While this may be okay in some situations, (such as daydreaming) controlling toxic thoughts means we must first control our thinking patterns and for that, we must be present in the mind’s activities. Be conscious in the now in order to be conscious of what you’re thinking.
When you have a toxic thought, redirect your thinking- when you catch yourself self-thinking something negative, make the conscious choice to change the outcome. For example, if you are disappointed in yourself, instead of telling yourself you are horrible at everything you do, try to be constructive with yourself and say I did this the wrong way this time, but I’ve learned from the experience and won’t do it again. If you were being destructive without a point then it’s not helpful, it’s just negative and it will pull you down. Make the choice to turn your bad thoughts into good or at the very least constructive thoughts.
Watch for patterns of toxic thinking. When you think a certain way enough, it becomes a pattern of thinking. When we think negative thoughts, we essentially are training our brains to inherit a certain way of thinking. The same goes with positive thinking. So when you discover a pattern of toxic thinking, be a step ahead of pattern, and change your thoughts before they happen so your mind will be trained to go to the positive first.
In order to achieve a more positive outlook you must put in a little bit of work, but over time it will become easier and more natural. Most importantly, in the end, you will not just be better off, but you will be better too. A better, happier person.
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