As a christian, how do I overcome Negative thoughts and live an abundant positive life as Jesus said in John 10:10?
Most people don’t see things as they are, they see them as THEY are. Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done. “It’s better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right.”
Negative thinking starts with a thought or a feeling. Then it starts to drag you down to feeling sorry for yourself, even thinking “what’s the point of taking any action at all?” So, you walk around in a funk with your own personal rain cloud above your head.
Once the sin of negativity gets inside of you or in the world around you, you quickly become toxic and you do not have the life they want.
The following behaviors have helped me, and still help me to prevent and to overcome my own negative thoughts.
1. When you’re in a negative situation, look for positive thought. What’s one good thing about this situation? What’s one thing I can do differently the next time to likely have a better outcome.
2. Reminder: people don’t care that much about what you say or do. It’s easy to fall into negative thoughts when you think about what people may say or think if you do or do not do something.
We can zap our personal power and may trap ourselves in analysis paralysis. Getting stuck in your head and in thoughts like that will drag you further away from what you want and from reality.
Because the truth is, people don’t have that much time, attention or energy to think or talk about what you do. They have their hands and minds full with their life.
3. Question our thought process. One thing I like to do when a negative thought taps me on the shoulder and tries to start growing in my mind is to question that thought.
I ask myself: Should I take this seriously? This most often leads me to say: well, no, I honestly shouldn’t, because at that moment in time I may be tired, or hungry, or overworked and so negativity can try to cloud my mind.
I can’t be too focused on one small mistake or one bad day instead of focusing on the other 95% of my life that tends to be positive. Sometimes this question helps me to see more effectively. Because I did one small thing wrong doesn’t mean that I did poorly overall.
4. Replace the negativity in your surroundings. What you let into your mind in your everyday life will have big effect on you. So start questioning what you focus on.
5. Stop making mountains out of molehills. To stop a small negative thought from becoming a big monster in your mind, confront it early. Ask this question, will this matter in 5 years? Or even 5 weeks? This answer in most cases is likely that it won’t and that you were only starting to make a mountain out of a molehill.
6. Let it out and talk it over. Keeping negative thoughts that are starting to cloud your whole mind bottled up won’t help. So let them out. Talk the situation or your thoughts over with someone close to you. Just venting for a few minutes with a friend can often help you to see the situation in a new light. If not, then a conversation about it where the two of you find a more useful perspective and perhaps the start of an action-plan can be both relieving and recharging.
7. Live in and come back to this moment. When you’re tapping into negative thinking then you’re often thinking about something that happened. Or something that may happen. Or both, all jumbled up as your mood and thoughts sink. Start making it a habit to spend more of your time in the present moment and you’ll have less negative thoughts and be more open and constructive.
8. Exercise a little. I find that when I’m having trouble with thinking myself out of negativity then it often works well to change my headspace by using my body. So I go for a 20-30 minute walk or work out. This helps me to release inner tension and worries and it makes my mind focus and become constructive once again.
9. Don’t let the vague fears drag you down. One common mistake people make when it comes to fears is to become scared and run away from them instead of taking a closer look. It’s of course natural to feel that impulse and to want to avoid it, but when fears are vague they can become so much scarier than they need too. So what can you do? One thing that has helped me is this question: Realistically, what’s the worst that could happen in this situation?
When you start to ground a fear like that and begin to look at it with your feet firmly planted on the ground then you most often realize that the worst that could happen isn’t really that bad.
It’s often something you can make a plan to come back from it were to happen.
You can also probably start listing and taking action on a few things that will reduce the likelihood of this worst case scenario happening.
By doing this you gain clarity about the situation and what you can do about it and so the fear does tend to become quite a bit smaller.
10. Bring positivity into someone else’s life. If you get stuck in negative thoughts or victim thinking then one of the simplest ways to get out of your own head and the thoughts bouncing around in there is to focus outwards and on someone else. By adding positivity to his or her life in some way you too can start to feel better and more optimistic again.
A few ways to add positivity to someone’s life are to: Be kind. Give them a genuine compliment. Help out. Give them some good advice that may have helped you.
Just be there. Listen for a few minutes in a focused way as they vent, or talk their difficult situation over to help them to start finding a way out of their situation.
11. Be grateful for a few of the things you may often take for granted. When we get negative it’s easy to forget the positive things in life. Especially the ones that are just a normal part of life that we may take for granted a bit too often.
A few such things that I like to put my attention on and feel grateful for during such negative times are:
Food on our table.
A roof over my head.
As much clean water as I need.
Kind and helpful family and friends.
12. Start tomorrow in a way that sets a positive tone for your day. How you start your day often sets the tone for it. A pessimistic or negative start makes it hard to turn things around. But a positive start makes it a lot easier to just keep going with that emotion and the optimistic way of thinking until it is bedtime again.
In closing, God gave us great advise in Philippians 4:8 KJV. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
God bless you