Posted by: Rachel Cates | October 24, 2009

How to Reframe a Negative Mind-State

Negative thinking is past and future based.  It is a result of our self-preservation instincts derived from the ego that want to protect us from experiencing pain by alerting us of every possible danger.  It is fueled by the perpetuation of negative images we encounter; especially in the media and entertainment industries.

We have virtually no control over the events that occur outside ourselves, but the one thing we can control is our mind. Understanding the power we have to manage our thoughts is the first step towards reframing a negative perspective.

Negative thinking involves judging a situation that has already occurred or worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. Negative thinking is exhausting and it can rob the mind of the cognitive space necessary to allow creativity, new ideas and solutions to flow.  

Stress is the end results of negative thinking. Studies have shown that chronic stress and anxiety can lead to a myriad of health problems including cancer, stroke and heart disease.

If you find yourself caught in a pessimistic mind trap, tune into the present moment by shifting your attention to the NOW.  Use your senses to observe all elements of your current reality.  This will help to snap you out of repetitive thought-patterns.

Learning to become a positive thinker will not solve all of your problems, nor is it alternative to hard work and taking action, but it can allow you to experience the journey of your life with more happiness and grace.

Everyone has to deal with obstacles at some point and sometimes those challenges can make us feel sad or uncomfortable, however, even during difficult times, it is better to shift your thoughts towards optimism.  

No matter what is going on in your life everyone has something for which they can be grateful. The proverbial half-filled glass is an adage that has been expressed for generations.  The glass – representing life and it’s manifestations – can be perceived from a perspective of lack or abundance.  At any moment we have the ability to choose. I recommend choosing the glass half full.  

In the United States today, we have a staggering unemployment rate that is reaching 10%.  Although some people undoubtedly experience unemployment as a hardship, there have been countless stories of people that have viewed their situation as an opportunity to start over and find careers that they enjoy.  

I remember the story of a corporate executive that turned her love of baking into a small enterprise. She is now successfully operating her own cupcake business.

Many people are realizing that it is never too late to reinvent themselves and are going back to school to start new careers.

Like most things, learning to become a positive thinker requires patience and practice.  Here are 10 simple tips to help you master the art of positive thinking.

1) Find a reason to laugh every day

2) Develop the Believe that “Everything is going to be ok” and that “Everything happens for a reason”

3) Practice believing the best of yourself and others

4) Mediate, Pray or embrace silence for at least 5 minutes a day

5) Replace a positive thought for every negative thought you have – example: “I am too fat!” to “I am beautiful just the way I am”

6) Surround yourself with positive people and be the positive influence around your negative friends

7) Forgive yourself and others… after all we are just human

8) Spend time outdoors… studies have confirmed that people are happier when they connect with nature

9) Practice daily affirmations of love, happiness, and gratitude

10) Remember – you have nothing to lose by thinking positively


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