Mental Wellbeing: How to negotiate and overcome negative thought patterns
Our brains are made for survival. Our happiness is secondary. From concerns of monsters hiding in cupboards as children trying to fall asleep to the worry that a job promotion won’t come, our minds are instinctively made to protect us. For this to happen, our happiness isn’t factored as any consecutive factor, our minds are just making sure we survive by any means.
We know that our actions bring consequences and in today’s world, we are taught to work towards the ones that bring us results, that move us forward, and are perceived as positive. But how do we achieve what we desire when our minds feel chaotic and aren’t allowing us to think further than a negative thought?
Negative thought patterns happen when we are faced with an issue or problem. Our minds jump to a conclusion to shield us from potential emotional pain. Although the initial appearance of this is noble and brave for protecting ourselves, this occurrence can lead to a problematic habit. When we come under stress our minds resort back to this protection to try and resolve the problem quickly. Instead of dealing with what is at hand; we avoid it. We then end up with a backlog of thoughts about issues that we never confront. This then becomes a returning habit where any sign of pressure elicits this negative thought response. Before we know it, our self-doubt isn’t a one-off to force a quick retreat, but a daily occurrence that can cripple us.
The task of addressing these issues is daunting and can spiral into feelings of anxiety. For anyone who has lived with negative thoughts for years or even just weeks, the idea of confronting such ingrained negativity doesn’t feel achievable.
But it is.
There’s a pile of paperwork sitting at the end of the table. It continually grows. It’s filled with things that need filing, bills that need paying and forms that need filling out. This is not a task that we want to complete. It grates on us every day, we see it, we know it’s importance, yet we avoid doing it.
The overbearing task feels too big. We must break it down into smaller tasks. We ask ourselves, am I willing to spend 20 minutes on this? Am I willing to spend 10? Am I willing to spend 5? Even if only 1 minute is the allotted time you can agree upon, the first step has been made and the task suddenly becomes manageable if not achievable.
If you find your days just go by with no set plan of the day and you push important tasks to 'tomorrow', then set your alarm an hour earlier. You will be surprised what you can do for your mental health and what you can achieve! We recommend the 'Miracle Morning' routine by Hal Elrod. If you have negative thought patterns, i.e depression or anxiety, then we recommend trying The Miracle Morning routine. This method of self-improvement consists of waking up early in the morning to set up a daily morning routine, through 6 activities called life savers. The six morning habits known as SAVERS; Silence (meditations), Affirmations, Visualise (visualise in your mind how you want things to go in the best possible way), Exercise (this is really good for anxiety and lifting mood), Reading (go for personal development books), and Scribing (this can be journaling and setting mini goals and tasks). Imagine how positive you will feel achieving all this in just 1 hour in the morning! What an improvement on mental health with this life hack!
Our mental health is something we sometimes value less than the paperwork. Sometimes we think why would we allocate any time to something that makes us feel less than but our journey to happiness has to include the things we don’t want to do. When they sit there and wait and pile up, we become consumed by the weight of our stresses. If we start to break down the causes, invest time in our mental and emotional wellbeing, we can slowly dissolve the negative thoughts.
We are all human, we are all fighting against our instinct. Persistence is the key to success. We are all on a journey to finding inner happiness.