Imagine enjoying a peaceful day at home when suddenly the door flies open and in comes a crowd of unruly people. They are loud, obnoxious and condescending. The unwelcomed guests. Similarly, negative thoughts are also unwelcomed and they will take over your life if you don’t take control of them. They seem overbearing and headstrong and even though you may not want to think about them, you feel powerless to do so. Negative thoughts can be sneaky, slipping in undetected, yet having a powerful impact on our moods and emotions.
We often don’t realize how overrun with negative thoughts we are, until we become extremely uncomfortable. Think of the following scenarios and see if you recognize yourself in any of them:
You apply for a great job and feel excited by the possibilities. A few days go by and you don’t receive a phonecall requesting an interview. Do you begin worrying about errors you might have made in the application or whether your skills are upto par? Do you assume that you won’t get the job and resign yourself to a low-paying, unfulfilling career for the rest of your life?
You are driving in fast-moving traffic and you see a large truck approaching from the opposite direction. Do you automatically begin feeling anxious that the truck could veer to your lane and crush your compact car-even though the driver of the truck has given you no indication that this is a possibility?
These examples demonstrate how easily our thoughts can move into a negative place. It is actually quite common, so don’t despair yourself, if you identify with these situations. There is something you can do about it. We simply have to deal with it, just as we do with all of life’s challenges. The best course of action would be to kick them right out. Don’t entertain them. Simply turn the thoughts around to something positive- or at least neutral- instead. Rather than assuming you didn’t get this particular job, there are plenty more great jobs out there if you take time to look for them. Rather than assuming that you’ll be killed by the large truck, assume you won’t be.
It is never too late for an attitude shift. It will require practice and patience, of course. Many of us have been thinking negatively for years, but old habits will die hard. But if you set your mind to it and keep focusing on the positive, positive circumstances will began to bloom in your life. Make a conscious decision to expect the best at all times. Even if you don’t end with ‘the best’, you might still end up with something really good.
– TANVI SHAH
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