Recently I read some advice, “Life is like photography, develop from the negatives.” My first thought was that many young people may not even understand this play on words because photography is now digital. This means we no longer use film which develops into the negatives used to print photographs.
However, I did find it to be good advice as this period of time feels as if we are being inundated with negative messages. Just when we have Covid-19 vaccines available, the virus is mutating and becoming more contagious than before. Also, just getting an appointment for the vaccine is a lesson in persistence and patience.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.Willie Nelson
Because of this, it is important to have developed some ways of overcoming the negative thoughts that invade our mind and keep to the positive to preserve our mental health.
Here are some things I do to help overcome my negative thoughts:
- Meditation or yoga: This helps take my thoughts away from what could happen and remain in the present time. It is also very relaxing which helps to ease the tension in my mind.
- Smile: Just the act of smiling does something in your brain that helps you to feel better. It really does help change your mood and relieve stress. Remember, it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.
- Surround yourself with positive people: When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking. Avoid people who are incessantly negative.
- Change your thoughts from negative to positive: Rather than focusing on the things that drive you crazy about a situation, try and find something positive instead. If a personality trait of a friend or partner grates on your nerves, try and focus on the things you love about that person.
- Don’t play the victim: Each one of us has the power to create the life we desire. Take responsibility and make decisions to fill your life with positivity.
- Help someone else: Taking the focus away from ourselves and doing something nice for another person helps you recognize the power of giving. It will make you feel better for helping.
- Don’t expect perfection: It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. The best way to think of mistakes is as opportunities for growth. Learn from it and move on.
- Play music and sing: I love to sing, but even if you are tone-deaf, listening to your favorite music will elevate your mood and push away negative thoughts.
- Write in your gratitude journal: List some things you are grateful for in your life. Big or small, showing gratitude will lift your spirit.
- Read positive quotes: I have a tear-off calendar with positive messages to read every day. I try and take some time every day to let these messages sink in. I save the ones that are particularly meaningful to refer to on a bad day.
See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.Dalai Lama
Learning to develop from the negatives is very important because pessimistic thoughts may become words. If we allow it, we may say something that we regret due to our current situation. Go easy on yourself and remember self-love must come first.