At times managing negative automatic thoughts can be difficult.
Any holiday period…with a change in routines, interacting closely with family members, or not as you would like, more time on your hands to think, plus the enhancements of alcohol or lots of rich food etc can amplify the thoughts running through your mind.
The Christmas holidays can be one of those times. Or the weeks following this when the debts need to be paid and the hangover of social events may be on your mind.
There are lots of quotes and suggestions on how to bannish these negative thoughts and focus on positive thoughts.
This can be really difficult to do!!
Working hard to stop negative thoughts and somehow not managing to keep them from from popping into your head and lodging there, as a rumination – going round and round, can add to the negative cycle.
Dr Judith Beck, a Psychologist and President of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in USA carried out research in 2013 which demonstrated that women were more likely than men to ruminate. However some people are more prone to negative thinking than others and this can be genetic and/or as a result of childhood experiences.
As constant negativity can interfere with happiness, add to our stress levels and eventually damage our health we are increasingly aware ongoing negative thoughts are not good for us.
This can add to increasing feeling of failure, due to not managing these negative thoughts.
By not trying to stop these negative thoughts, worry and obsession can be reduced.
The basic premise of mindfulness meditation is acknowledging your negative thoughts which can lessen their weight. Acknowledgement and acceptance of these negative thoughts is the way forward!
Once the negative thought is accepted force yourself to challenge it.
There are many exercises you can use, based on cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT. Google or access ‘get self help’.
If your negative thoughts are making you feel overwhelmed – practice taking some deep breaths. Controlled breathing can help reduce the stress reponse and calm anxious thoughts.
Practicing meditation or self hypnosis can boost your positive feelings.
The more you practice acknowledging, accepting and challenging negative thoughts the sooner this can become the
However if your thoughts are making you feel distressed or are interfering with your work or social habits, seek help from a mental health professional.