Photographer's Freedom

Beginner – Better – Business

How To Stop Negative Thoughts

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For some of us this is an easy thing to do. For some of us it is not so easy; we often find ourselves caught up in a negative thinking pattern quite often.  This post will give you some techniques and tips on how to stop negative thoughts.  

These techniques will not show you how to get rid of negative thoughts forever;  I don’t believe that’s possible. It will however enable you to stop negative thoughts when they do occur.   This will make sure that you don’t end up in a negative thinking spiral that snowballs and ruins your day.

HOW TO STOP NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, ON A PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG?!

how to stop negative thoughts - black stick figure man with question mark above his head

Alright, one question you might be asking yourself is “What is a blog about how to stop negative thoughts doing on a photography blog?”

Simple. The way we think affects everything that we do.  If you’re reading this and you can honestly tell me that you have never been affected by negative thoughts, I applaud you.   I also think that you should contact 60 Minutes because your life would make a very good story?!

No matter how positive we may think we are, life throws some pretty crappy things our way. Things don’t always go the way we want them to go; people come and go in our lives; we make a lot of bad decisions…..These things can lead to a lot of negative thinking.

We can’t stop the negative thinking all together. However, we can learn to control it.

WHO AM I?

You may also be asking who I am and what do I know about negative thinking?

Well, I am not a doctor; I am not a psychologist; I’m not a psychiatrist; I am not a trained professional of any kind.

What I am is a regular guy who has experienced an awful lot of negative thinking in his life and has found a really easy way to overcome it.  I want to share this with you in the hope that it may change your life for the better. 

NEGATIVE THINKING PATTERNS 

I have not been the most positive person during my life so far. There are times when I find myself trapped in a negative thinking pattern and I don’t even realize it.

how to stop negative thoughts - different colored words in brain fibers

A lot of the time these are thoughts of “what if”; or “why did I do that?”; or “why is life so hard?”; or “why is this happening to me?”  All of which are useless questions that do nothing to help me solve the problem or to feel better. 

The longer I allow these negative thinking patterns to go on, the more they affect me both mentally and physically.  Negative emotions stop us from thinking and behaving rationally.  As a result of this, they tend to compound into a feeling that can be very difficult to get out of.

how to stop negative thoughts - white faceless figure standing in front of a stop sign

The trick is to stop this negative thinking cycle before it gets a hold on you. 

Firstly you have to recognize that you are in a negative thinking pattern.  Once you have done this you can start to chip away at it and turn it around.  The best way I have found to do this is with gratitude.

USING GRATITUDE TO STOP NEGATIVE THINKING

Gratitude is a seriously powerful thing. The reason for this is that it gets you thinking about everything that you already have in your life.  It instantly turns your train of thought from one of lack and despair into one of abundance and love.

how to stop negative thoughts - woman holding up a frame with the words give thanks in it on white paper

The trick is that the instant you realize you are starting to get into a negative thinking spiral, think of one thing that you are grateful for.  This might be the fact that you are alive today; perhaps the clothes that are on your body; it might be gratitude for the aroma of the cup of coffee that’s in your hand!  It really makes no difference what it is, the fact is it will start you on a positive thinking spiral.  

In the same way that negative thoughts compound and grow and grow, positive thoughts do exactly the same thing.  Thinking thoughts of gratitude is an amazing way to kick-start a positive thinking pattern.  One thought of gratitude will lead straight to another, and then another, and another, and another; and before you know it you will be feeling amazing.

GRATITUDE EXAMPLES

If you are having trouble thinking of things to be grateful for, here is a short list of things you may like to try:

  • Your eyesight
  • The Sun shining
  • The feeling of wind on your skin
  • A healthy mind
  • Your muscles
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Wife/husband/partner
  • Children
  • Pets
  • Your car
  • The ability to drive
  • The fact you are able to walk (if you are)
  • Your home
  • Chocolate!

You can see how this can start to snowball and lead to an avalanche of positive thoughts.  You don’t just need to think about the big things. Even the tiniest little things in your life that you may be grateful for can start to build this positive thought-flow.

PRACTICE THIS

Now you need to try this out. Remember this technique the next time you feel yourself starting to think negatively. Gratitude is so powerful. Use it. 

You may even consider carrying around a small notebook and begin writing down things to be grateful for. You could also do this using a note app on your phone. This way whenever you feel you need reminders of what to be grateful for, they will be right there in your pocket.

Best of luck.  Thank you for reading this post today.  If you would like some tips on how to follow your passion in life, try these posts from my blog:

If you need professional help within Australia, please reach out to Beyond Blue for help with depression and general mental health.

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