A truly ‘ideal’ lifestyle – the definition of which is subjective – is, I would argue, impossible to achieve. In some instances, mere time constraints may get in the way: you miss workouts because of upcoming exams, choose convenient food while travelling, sleep less than your body needs because of work. Sometimes, it’s mental health. […]
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.
In this fast paced lifestyle, take time each day to be present in the moment.
This may be a few minutes to be in the “here and now”:-
as you have a break from the working day
or it may be an early morning mindfulness to focus and improve your mood as you wake up and prepare for the day ahead
or a late evening meditation to improve your sleep pattern
Stopping to be in the moment!
It is often more challenging to feel happy:-
as the nights draw in and the days become shorter
the days become dull and misty
the cold season rapidly approaches
But don’t dispair!!
A few minutes each day, to reaffirm what is good in our lives, can prevent this becoming a challenge.
Try these simple exercises to refocus your attention and boost your mood!
A busy household – part time intense job, teenagers, step-teenagers, animals, music, driving, stress, older active mum, working away husband, friends, learning and running a household. Quiet time I ask?
Essential…if you are going to keep your mind calm, your body functioning and your mental health in one piece.We all know this on some level but it is trying to fit it in.
So we need to develop strategies to make it happen.
Find a peaceful place – where you don’t have to overthink of anything, time for you to focus on the here and now. Focus on you! Even if only for 10-15 minutes each day:-
Walk the dog
Sit in the park
Plan a relaxing bubble bath
Walk through countryside
Reading a book or magasine
Play sport or exercise class
These are some of the things I have tried .Whatever allows you to have that feeling of tuning out or ‘flow’ , where your mind switches off and you can just be. Be in the moment.
With people demanding of your time and energy for much of the day, you need and deserve this time and space to replenish your energy levels.
If this is difficult for you, I know I have been there, plan to make it a priority 🙂