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By nature, human beings are storytellers. It’s how we have passed down knowledge for centuries and how we continue to learn. Stories are powerful tools, and yet, the ones we tell ourselves aren’t always true or useful. Often, we convince ourselves of things that are negative and damaging to our self-esteem. These thoughts can create negative thought patterns that are incredibly hard to break but not impossible!
We have the ability to change the way we think and get to a place where our thoughts about ourselves, our past, and our lives are overwhelmingly positive. Positive thinking is not only better mentally, physically, and spiritually for us, but it is actually an important part of the work we came into this world to do and the blessings we are meant to gain.
Here are 3 tips to transform your negative thoughts:
1. Nip negative thoughts in the bud. Every thought has an energy, and that energy does not simply disappear, no matter how fleeting the thought seems. Negative thoughts feed each other. For every lie we tell ourselves, we build a story around it, which makes it stronger and stronger.
Part of our spiritual work is to starve our negative thoughts by fighting against them. When you allow your mind to think negatively about yourself or other people, you create fuel for more negative thoughts. Catch yourself having these negative thoughts and resist them. Actively choose to dismiss them so that they aren’t able to grow root. The less energy you give to negative thoughts, the less power they have over you.
2. Studying wisdom feeds positive thoughts and eliminates space for negative ones. Our minds do not stay idol. Left alone, they become fertile ground for negative thoughts to creep in. This is one of the reasons it is so important to study wisdom in any form. The more we fill our heads with positivity, the less space we make for negative thoughts to settle in.
Actively pursue wisdom. Study something important, whether it’s spirituality, science, or literature. The more your mind ruminates on positive things like appreciation, love, or understanding, the more you allow positive thinking to grow.
3. Look for opportunities to grow from negative experiences. So often, we say things like, “If I could go back to high school, I would do things differently and appreciate the opportunities I had.” Many times, we wish we could erase the hardest, most painful times of our lives. But in fact, those are the opportunities for real growth, happiness, and freedom. Everything truly positive in our lives is an effect of something negative. Every experience molds and shapes us.
Remember that our experiences are subjective, no matter how logical we think we are. Each of us experiences the world uniquely, based on our past memories and how we derive meaning from them. In truth, we only see a fraction of reality. Think about the fact there are particles and parts of the light spectrum we can’t even see with the naked eye. There is so much we cannot see, and therefore, so much we cannot comprehend.
Realize you are only seeing a small piece of reality. Go back and look at every painful life-changing moment, and challenge them. What did you learn from them? What can you continue to learn from them? Why would you want to erase something where there is so much to learn from every experience? How do you use this experience to grow?
Negative thoughts are sneaky. They can worm their way into our heads without us even realizing. But we aren’t powerless to our own minds. We can retrain our brains and reframe our thoughts so that our experience of life is one of Light and positivity. Be aware of your negative thoughts, resist them, and replace them with wisdom and life lessons. Put it to the test and see how your experience of life changes.