We all want to be happy. No real surprise there. One of the largest enemies of happiness is negative thoughts. Our minds are powerful enough to make us happy or make us sad. The good news is that you can control your mind. You can control your thoughts. And one sure way to be happier is to squash those negative thoughts as soon as you have them. Here are three steps to help with that…
Step 1: Acknowledge the Negative Thought
Don’t ignore a negative thought. When a negative thought comes, and you’ll know when it does, take some time to look at your negative thought. But don’t look at it as something that is a part of you, look at it from the outside. Imagine it as something in your head that you can step back from and examine. One of the best ways to examine a thought is to write about it.
Step 2: Write About the Negative Thought
I’m not suggesting that you sit and write about every negative thought you have. I’m talking about the negative thoughts that consistently haunt you. Once you acknowledge this haunting, negative thought, sit down with a piece of paper and write about it. Jim Rohn always said it was best to think on paper. So ask yourself a few questions…
1. Why do you keep having this thought?
2. When do you have this thought?
3. Are you afraid of something?
4. What are you worrying about?
5. What is the worst case scenario?
Once you’ve answered these questions and any others that come to mind, write down some ways you can deal with the answers to these questions. Perhaps you have these thoughts at certain times of the day or when you’re around certain people. Perhaps what you’re afraid of or are worrying about isn’t that big of a deal at all. Once things are on paper, you can see them more clearly and come up with some ways to work around those negative thoughts and feelings.
Step 3: Let Go Of It
Sometimes a negative thought just keeps coming back and they’re difficult to shake. Once you have acknowledged it and wrote about it, let it go. You’ve put it all on paper and have ways of dealing with it. This should be a lot easier to do if you fully completed the first and second step. But if a thought continues to come back, go back through the steps again. Forgive yourself if the thought creeps back in. It may and that is okay. Just address it and move on. Don’t let it consume your day. Live in the moment and refuse to let that thought steal any more of your time.
We all have negative thoughts. Thoughts where we may think bad of others, think bad of ourselves, or worry about something we can’t control. That’s okay and that’s human. But these thoughts should NEVER consume the majority of our day. When you have a negative thought that you just can’t shake, take the time to acknowledge it, write about it, and let it go. These three simple steps have the power to set you free and find happiness, if you simply take the time and explicitly do them. You control your mind. You control your thoughts. You control your happiness. Now take control.