3 thinking patterns you need to STOP … and what to think instead!

3 thinking patterns you need to STOP … and what to think instead!

One of the things we know for sure about happy people is that they think differently.

Happiness is significantly determined by your attitude; and can be destroyed by the wrong type of negative thoughts.

So if you’d like a happier, better life and you’re thinking these negative thoughts, keep reading for some tips about how to make the right sorts of changes…

via Psychology Today by Melanie Greenberg

How you think about the events and people in your life can either help you reframe things in more positive ways that help you cope or take you down a rabbit hole of negative thinking and feeling bad about yourself, other people, and your prospects. Unhealthy ways of thinking and reacting to things can cause depression and anxiety, prolong stressors, and create chronically stressed states of mind that can affect your heart health and immunity. You can’t always control what you think, but you can learn to identify when you’re sinking into a negative pattern, and then reboot and redirect your thinking along a more constructive or hopeful path. If you keep redirecting your negative thinking over months and years, you may even change the patterns of neuralconnections in your brain so that you react to life’s events in more grounded ways, with less panic and judgment.

It’s tricky to identify negative thinking patterns, because our thoughts feel so immediate and true. We have a habit of accepting them uncritically, without questioning. Also, worrying about something bad that may happen can draw you in, making you feel like you’re doing something about the problem, even when you’re making things worse for yourself. For some of us, overthinking can feel like a proxy for control. By keeping thoughts of the stressor in mind, we may feel like we can control what’s going to happen. In fact, many of life’s stressors are not controllable, so focusing too much on them just drains our mental and emotional energy and prolongs the body’s stress response.

Following are 3 negative thinking patterns to avoid—and what to do instead:

1. Negative Rumination

Although it’s natural and can be healthy to self-reflect, reflection becomes problematic when it’s negative, excessive, and repetitive. Rumination is a kind of negative thinking in which we get mentally stuck and keep spinning our wheels without making progress, like a car stuck in a snowdrift. Rumination can make you more and more anxious as you keep thinking of more and more negative outcomes that could possibly happen. If you feel lonely, you may think about being lonely forever, never meeting the right partner, never having kids, losing all your friends, and ending up alone in a ditch. Ruminating can also make you feel depressed. You may focus on how bad you feel, why you feel so bad, what you did wrong to get in this situation, and how things could get worse and you could mess things up even more. Before you know it, you start to feel like a loser, and this interferes with your motivation to take steps to solve the problem.

What to Do Instead: Pay attention to when your thinking starts to get repetitive or negative. When you notice rumination, make yourself break the cycle. Get up and do something else: Go for a walk or reach out to a friend (but don’t continue the rumination out loud by whining to them). Don’t overeat or drink too much alcohol to avoid the negative thoughts. Try to change your thinking to a problem-solving focus that is more deliberate and strategic…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE