Take a moment to think of how you behave in stressful or upsetting situations. What is the first emotion that comes to mind? How long do these emotions last? Do you have the ability to control them, or do they end up controlling you? According to Psychology Today, those who fail to control their own emotions and reactions in stressful situations are often caught in a loop of negative thought. These cynical thinking patterns can often hinder your quality of life, resulting in strained relationships with peers, exacerbated anxiety or stress, and lower academic performance. Here are a few tips that can set you on the path towards attaining positive thought.
Negative thoughts are something that can become instilled in us. It might be little more than a passing thought that lingers for a half-second, but such modes of thinking can instill a sense of insecurity in us over time. It’s important to figure out how these cynical thoughts work in detail. If you ever find yourself in a depressive loop, record those thoughts on paper just as you would rant to a very close friend. Then, analyze it. Pinpoint certain words or phrases that may instill a negative atmosphere in your words. If you can, try to refute those very arguments the same way you would edit an essay. The act of reviewing and altering your pessimistic thoughts will allow you to figure out any elements in yourself that you may want to change or improve. At the same time, you may be able to find the very phrases that reinforce your negativity.
Afterwards, find the situations in which gloomy thoughts typically strike. Negative thinking loops often strike in individuals who often find themselves recalling situations or memories where they were uncomfortable, angry, or embarrassed in some way. If you find yourself in this situation, try to view the memory with compassion and understanding of yourself. Little mistakes and lapses in judgement are things that naturally occur in life to everyone. While it is important to identify and acknowledge what may have upset you, choosing to not dwell on past mistakes goes a long way in boosting self-confidence.
Finally, take action in your everyday life. Casually mentioning suicide as an alternative to taking a challenging test might seem like a fun and edgy comment to make to your friends, but it may also reinforce your cynical outlook. Avoid intentionally phrasing your words negatively, and try to see the light in every situation. While this may seem silly or idealistic, the act of intentionally forestalling pessimistic ideas will eventually help you become less inclined to casually interpret situations in a pessimistic light.
For many of us, pessimistic thinking can often be a crutch to lean on during stressful school days and standardized testing weeks. However, actively engaging in the modification of your thoughts and words can go a long way toward making you a more positive and easygoing person. Push away those thoughts of giving up, and beat your stressful blues today.