Did you know that it is possible to retrain your mind to think positive thoughts instead of negative ones? Over time, we have all gotten into the bad habit of looking at things negatively without realizing we are doing it. For instance, when we are sitting behind a desk at work on a sunny day, we might wonder why we are stuck working on such a gorgeous day and why we are not at the beach. We make it sound horrible and depressing that we are working rather than looking for something positive.
We can also worry for no reason when we do not need to. For example, we might be waiting for our best friend to call us back, and our mind might start to worry and generate the thought, “I hope they are okay.” Again, our mind wanders to the first negative thought it can generate. To get out of this bad habit and refocus our thoughts so they are more positive, it is essential to learn how to retain your mind using the following steps:
Step #1: Monitor Your Thoughts
Before you can address negative thinking and retrain your mind, you need to know what is wrong and where to start. The first step is to take notice of your thoughts as they occur. It is beneficial to write these thoughts down in a journal you can refer to later.
Initially, monitor your thoughts for about 10 minutes every hour. As you train yourself to “listen” for negative thoughts, you may start to notice when they occur outside these 10-minute intervals. When they do, write them down.
Step #2: Transform Negative Thoughts into Positive Thoughts
As you start to fill up your journal with negative thoughts, take a look at each one. When starting out, focus on a few of your most common negative thoughts you have. Rewrite these thoughts into something positive. The next time you start to think the same negative thought, pause and replace it with the positive one instead.
To illustrate, you are overloaded with work, while co-workers always seem to have less to do. It is easy to start to feel negative thoughts about your job like everyone just passes off their work to me, so they have less to do.
Take this negative thought and turn it into a positive one, such as thinking my boss is so confident in me, they give me more challenging work to do than my co-workers.
Step #3: Learn To Be Grateful
It is easier to look for everything that is negative and wrong than focus on the positive and what is good in our lives. To help refocus your mind and retrain it, set aside time each day to pick out one thing you are grateful for. Whatever it is, write it down in your journal. Each day, add another item to your gratitude list. As you add items, review the ones you added on the previous days. As you review these, pause for a moment to enjoy every little thing you are grateful for.
Starting a gratitude list does help alter our minds by keeping us more focused on the positive things in our lives.
Step #4: Choose or Create a Personal Mantra
A mantra is used in Hinduism and Buddhism, where a sound or word is repeated to aid in mediation. Over the years, people have adopted this practice by creating their own personal mantras, such as, “I love myself the way I am.” Mantras help guide our thoughts and retrain our minds when repeated aloud or silently numerous times. Doing so helps put us in the right frame of mind to accomplish tasks and our goals.
Your personal mantra could be anything that benefits you. You can create more than one, as well as change mantras as the need arises. It is essential to repeat the mantra several times throughout the day, and anytime you notice negative thoughts pop up in your mind.
Step #5: Set Time Aside for Meditation and Quiet Reflection
Each day, get into the habit of setting aside time for meditation and quiet reflection. You want to choose a quiet spot, free from distractions. Some people find that soaking in a hot tub with the lights turned down is an excellent meditation method. Other people might sit quietly on a Yoga mat, close their eyes, and drift off in peaceful mediation.
You should spend about half an hour thinking about the positive things that occurred throughout the day and how they made you feel. You can also spend the time repeating your mantra at the start of your quiet reflection and the end.
Getting Help to Retrain Your Mind
Retraining your mind does take effort and commitment. If you find you need some guidance and help, Neuro Wellness Spa in Southern California offers comprehensive psychiatric care for the specialized care your mind deserves. We can assist you in letting go of negative thoughts, focusing on positive thoughts, and utilizing the power of positive thinking. Please feel free to contact us for further information or to schedule a consultation today.