Dwelling on negative thoughts is a bad habit that is hard to break away from. Thoughts like “I’m depressed”, “I hate going to work” and “I can’t do it” are negative and will hold you back from many things you want to do in your life.
These thoughts are in our minds and cannot easily be wiped away, trying to resist them will make it worse. A negative thought pattern needs to be replaced with a new one and when a negative thought comes you need to redirect it into a positive thought. Once your mind gets used to this, every time a negative thought comes along it will automatically link to the positive thought. Here’s how to squash those negative thoughts.
Negative Mental Image
First take the thought and picture a mental image to go with it. For example the thought “I’m stupid”, picture yourself dressed in silly clothes with a dunce hat and surrounded by people pointing at you while you shout your thought. Exaggerate the image as much as possible and keep practising it in your mind until every time this thought comes along you picture the ridiculous image.
Then think about the positive thought you want to replace the negative one. Choose something empowering and influential enough to replace the old thought. For example “I am amazing”.
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Positive Mental Image
Now conduct the same process of a mental image with the positive thought. For example picture yourself on stage standing tall with people cheering for you and you shouting “I am amazing” over and again. Keep picturing the image so every time you think that thought the image automatically comes.
Join the Images
Both the negative and positive mental imaged now need to be chained together in your mind. The first scene needs to morph into the second scene, still exaggerating as much as possible. For example start with everyone pointing at you in your silly clothes, and you shouting “I’m stupid”, and then maybe someone throws something at you which hits you and makes you wake up. Then you can rip your clothes off to find stylish clothes underneath, and you run to the stage and shout “I’m amazing”. Keep picturing the full image in your mind and try to make it a quick thought, ideally less than one second.
Now it is time to test your thoughts, what should happen is when you think of the negative thought it is automatically replaced with the positive one. If you have done everything right, your mind will know what to do, and the negative thought will always be covered by the positive thought, without you even being fully aware. If this is your first time doing visualizations, it may take a few minutes or more to go through the process. But every time you practice you can get faster, and it can even be done in seconds once your mind is trained.
Wiping away negative thoughts is a process and easy once you are used to it. Try and experiment with different imagery types as some may be more effective than others, for example in the first person and third person. Once you have redirected one negative thought, try to do it with all of your negative thoughts to change to the pattern. You will feel that you have more control over your mind and empower your life. Then you can always be a positive thinker without even trying and enjoy your life without dwelling on unnecessary thoughts that hold you back.