Imagine you spend your whole day with your partner doing activities you both love. You laugh, talk and have a great conversation, really good quality time – you feel truly happy and blessed.
After a wonderful dinner, you stand up feeling relaxed and ready to go home.
Your partner looks at you and start to speak spontaneously about some bad decisions that your parents made and how they don’t know to spend their own money properly. You’re instantly annoyed.
On the way to home you debate about this and many other things. In that moment you start to feel so exhausted and drained. You feel your partner has been rude and disrespectful.
Before you go to sleep you are thinking that the day was a really terrible day. What happened to all those good feelings from the day? Your positive experiences in your mind were repressed by the negative ones. You’ve been a victim of the negativity bias!
If you look at your past, you will probably recognize many other situations like this one. It’s obvious that the negative events, moments, emotions, thoughts or social interactions affect our mood more than positive ones.
Our mind gives more attention and importance on the negative experiences and information.
So if you say many positive traits and one bad trait to another person, that bad trait will be recalled more easily than any of the good qualities that you mentioned.
But, you can control these negative vibrations in your daily life. Here are two techniques that you can practice when you feel that the negative thoughts or emotions occupied your mind.
1. Three good things.
Before you go to bed, find some paper (or you can take your smart phone and use your notes app) and write down three good things that happened during the day.This simple exercise will help you focus your thoughts on the positive. When something happens through out the day and you find yourself thinking “Oh, that can be one of my three good things” that’s when you know that this simple technique is working.
2. Stop and take a minute to analyze your negative thoughts.
Next time when you catch yourself thinking about something negative, or you have some negative thoughts about yourself, in that very moment stop and take the time to ask yourself: Where is the evidence? Are there some alternative explanations? What is the result of thinking this way? Am I expecting myself to be a perfect person? Would I judge another person in the same way?
I know that many times in our lives it is really hard to stay positive when we are surrounded by many negative things.
But, if you want to live more healthy and have a happy life, you must learn how to deal with these bad thoughts, emotions or events. You can’t live a positive life, with a negative mind.
I hope that these two techniques will really help you take control over your negative thinking.
And remember: “Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day”.
Let this quote be your remainder that there is something to be thankful for everyday.