Listen to “How to Overcome Negative Mental States”.
Most people are so used to being in a negative state of mind that they don’t even notice how long they’ve been carrying the cloud with them. If you wake up in the morning expecting another day from hell, how could you not be in a negative state of mind?
Negative thoughts are self-perpetuating, so the more time you spend in negative discussions or thinking, the harder you will find getting out of a negative state of mind.
Our brains perceive negative stimuli more rapidly and efficiently than positive ones. We recognise angry faces more quickly, overestimate threats and underestimate opportunities. We over-learn from bad experiences and don’t learn enough from good ones. In your brain, bad always overpowers good, and negativity leads to more negativity. In short, it’s a vicious cycle.
Most of us have a hard time accepting our pain, owning it, living it, and then taking responsibility for our lives. It’s both liberating and scary at the same time.
Depression and anxiety can characterise a particular season of life, but they don’t have to stick around forever.
Here are 5 steps to overcoming negative mental states and giving yourself a chance for more positivity and harmony in your life.
Your thoughts are just that, thoughts. They are not necessarily a reflection of reality.
You can’t control what pops into your head, but you can control how long it stays there. You don’t have to let the same negative dialogue run around in your head all day, every day.
When we identify with the stories in our minds, we imagine them as facts, as parts of ourselves, rather than as fleeting moments that will pass on their own, just like spring breezes or clouds in the sky. This is where meditation helps.
2. Find a trigger
An emotional trigger is anything that sparks an intense emotional reaction, regardless of your current mood. These triggers can come from anywhere, but the most common sources are memories, experiences, and events.
An essential step in learning to recognise your triggers involves paying attention to when situations generate strong emotional responses. Knowing what your emotional triggers are (and how to deal with them) is a crucial component of good emotional health.
We all want to be loved and accepted; it’s human nature. It only really becomes a problem when you start to put everyone else’s needs before your own and sacrifice bits of yourself to keep everyone else happy.
Being your own best friend means you need to turn that compassion inward and be kind to yourself. Stop beating yourself up over a past that you cannot change.
It’s highly unlikely that you would ever treat your best friend with the level of negativity that you aim at yourself, so try to give yourself a break.
Once you’ve given yourself a break, you need to drop all the other outside expectations about what your life should be. From society, family, friends, magazines, television, etc.
Work out what will really, truly make you happy. Once you know that, make that your goal.
4. Physical exercise
Exercise decreases stress hormones like cortisol. It also increases endorphins—your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals—giving your mood a much-needed natural boost.
Physical activity also provides a distraction from negative thoughts and emotions. It will help you take your mind off your problems and redirect them to the activity at hand or put you into a zen-like state.
5. Encourage an optimistic mindset
We can change what we feel and think about ourselves by presenting ourselves with more encouraging statements and ideas.
When we can deal with negative messages and replace them with positive statements, we can construct more adaptable and hopeful narratives about who we are and accomplish them.
Here are some inspiring positive affirmations to help you get started:
- I choose to be happy.
- My happy thoughts help create my healthy body.
- My life is taking place right here, right now.
- I am in perfect health. Wellness is the natural state of my body.
- I’m gifted with and surrounded by amazing friends and family.
- I choose to rise above negative feelings and eliminate negative thoughts.
- I am resilient, strong, and brave.
- Nobody but me decides how I feel.
- I am in charge of my thoughts, and I don’t judge myself.
- I accept and love myself, wholly and thoroughly.
- I choose only to think good thoughts.
If you find it challenging to get started, you can try Positive Affirmation for Negative Thoughts, which is available in the DeepH App in the Meditation section. It will help you to separate yourself from the cycle of negative thoughts and remove their power over you.