Is Your Glass Half Empty?
Be honest with yourself…are you one of those “glass half empty” types? Well if you are, you certainly aren’t alone. Many people tend to think in negative ways rather than to have positive thoughts.
What is even worse, our brains feed on repeated negative thoughts and can start locking in negative “neuron firing patterns.” In other words, our minds become more proficient at negative thinking habits.
So what, if anything, can be done about this? Well below are some excellent suggestions for you to consider. You can always go to the website direct for detailed information.
> Know Your Current Thinking Pattern:
In order to begin the change from negative to positive thinking habits, you need to learn how you currently process information. Here is a link which should help you identify the type or kind of negative thinker you are. Read and take notes as this is a crucial step in the change process. The link is: “chakrahealing.com.”
> Isolate And Change Negative Thoughts:
The process by which you can begin to change negative thoughts into positive ones is called “cognitive-behavioral therapy,” or (CBT). The simple explanation of how this works is this. You stop whenever you have a negative thought, examine it for accuracy, and if it is baseless, you will learn to replace it with a positive thought. Again here is a link which gives much more information on (CBT): “socialanxietydisorder.about.com/od/treatment”
> Learning To Cope With Criticism:
A large part of the CBT process involves learning to deal with the judgment and criticism of those around you. Some suggest this is effectively done in therapy sessions. However, it is possible for some to learn how to restructure their thinking with self-study. You will need to build up your personal assertiveness skills. Once again, here is a website which can help with this: “socialanxietydisorder.about.com.” Look for “Assertive Communication” under the “Coping” section.
> Practicing “Mindfulness:”
Mindfulness is a technique which is born from meditation exercises. Here you learn to separate yourself from your thoughts and emotions, and make them “outside observers.” You will then learn to see thoughts as “objects” floating by you one after the other. You can stop the show by choosing to examine one, or let it pass you by. As the article says, the object of mindfulness is to gain control of emotional situations while allowing the thinking part of the brain to take control. Mastery of this practice is a step-by-step process and will take time.
> Thought Diaries:
Thought diaries are helpful in training you to identify negative thinking styles and how thoughts, not situations, can unwanted negative emotional reactions. Most behavioral modification programs will involve a diary or journal of recorded situational experiences and the thoughts which you had to them each day.
> How To Set Up A Thought Diary:
Here is an example of how to plan and maintain a thought diary. All you have to do is to record the negative thought you had each day, and the emotional and physical reactions you had to it. As an example: The thought may have been ”anxiety.” The emotional response was “fear or discomfort.” And the physical response was “racing heartbeat, sweating, etc.” It is also very helpful to record where you were when you had these things happen. Again this is a day-by-day exercise and can take time to see results, but stick with it no matter what!
REFERENCE: “socialanxietydisorder.about.com,” by Arlin Cuncic, January 31, 2012.
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