I used to flirt with negativity an awful lot. I kind of liked it in a weird, have sore tooth will poke it with my tongue every couple of seconds, way. It was comforting and more to the point it was easy, no effort required be miserable, right?
I suppose because I did it so often and because I quite liked it, it became a bit of a habit. A nasty one that nonetheless felt good (smoking anyone?), but a habit that needed breaking because I was really fucking bored of it.
I don't buy into the denial approach, the never ever let yourself have a negative thought ever again approach because that's just stupid, you might as well tell yourself not to think of pink elephants and see how that works out. Thinking negative thoughts is normal, healthy and part of who we are, we can't be all unicorns and rainbows all the time, can we?
Three ways to knock the negative thinking down a notch or two. You know, if you wanna.
1. Accept it. Accept yourself, you are lovely just as you are and having negative thoughts does not make you a bad person. Allow all your thoughts to happen as they come and just let the negative ones flow right past.
'I feel like shit today'...'yes, yes you do, move along now'...
Make friends with your thoughts, get to know them and treat them well, make them feel welcomed, loved, suffocated with friendliness and pretty soon you'll notice that negative thoughts just don't have the same pulling power that they once did. We all know that suffocating over-familiarity makes everyone 'RUN FOR THE HILLS' so work it girlfriend, release your inner single white female and know you've made your mind a better place.
2. Reword those thoughts. This article is brilliant, reworking your thoughts and making them less personal is a great way to see through the egoic nature of an internal slagging off. 'I'm a loser' becomes 'I'm having the thought that I'm a loser'. Kind of loses its power doesn't it, all the hot air just pffts away.
3. Recognise them, catch the fuckers and replace them with something better. I can really get rolling with something negative if I find it rewarding, if it suits me to be dismissive and pretend I don't care. Me and knitting are like this, I can really think up a storm about all the ways I'm shit at knitting, it stops me from having to try doesn't it, gives me a free pass to give up. Every time (AKA sometimes) I catch myself having a knitty pity party I just stop and flood my mind with 'I can knit, I can knit, I can knit, I can knit' (substitute the word knit with anything you fancy, you will find that it works wonders). Rampant appreciation of your skills, perceived or otherwise, is like a soothing love bomb for your soul, feel the power, be the power. Word.