In life, bad things can happen to everyone. There is always an element of uncertainty, nothing is assured and life can change in a moment. It is normal to think about the negatives, the ‘What if’s’, ‘What could happen’ etc. We can think and worry, over and over again, about the same things, a constant fear of the unknown that goes around in circles taking up our headspace or we can work though our thought processes, accept that change is a constant and limit our negative thinking.
While research is undecided as to whether we are ‘predisposed’ to stinking thinking and worry, negative thinkers and those who tend to be overemotional, struggle daily with it. It’s important to remember we can unlearn the learned behaviour patterns and develop better strategies around worry.
Tips for Reframing Your Thought Processes
Have a Set Time for Worry
This is a very helpful tool, I often give this to clients. Set a time aside, make an appointment time for 10 minutes or one hour, whatever works for you. During that time process your worries and concerns. It’s important to remind yourself throughout the day that the worry time is set and you can’t worry at other times.
Especially during the set worry time. Worry provides us with opportunity for problem solving and helps process information. One method for doing this is thinking of all the worst possible scenarios, and then evaluating whether they are likely to really happen.
Get to the Root of the Problem
Often we worry more about everything surrounding the problem, rather than the problem itself.
Make Sure Your Expectations are Realistic
Look at solving the problem. Are there different solutions to the problem? Look at what might work and also what may not and aim to find a reasonable solution rather than a perfect one.
Be Confident That You Can Handle Whatever Comes Your Way
You’ve got through it before, you work well in crisis mode, draw on some of your previous experiences and know you can do it.
Look for the Positives
Learn to reframe situations, look at the positive sides of things, other meanings, turn it around.
Who’s Problem is it Anyway?
Is it your problem, your worry or someone else’s? Establish right thinking.
Stop Anticipating Other Peoples Thoughts
What other people are thinking is none of your business, and for the most part, other people are focused on what difficulties they have, not on yours.
Learn to be Positive
Like everything you can learn new habits and behaviour. Learn to love yourself, learn to think positively, learn to think confidently. Try doing daily affirmations about how well you can do rather than how badly you do.
Let Go of Toxic Thoughts and Toxic People
Say things that reflect who you are as a person and you will stop worrying about what others think of you.
Relax Unwind and Focus
Make a conscious effort to relax. Use meditation and relaxation techniques to help yourself unwind.
Stay in the present, don’t get stuck in future events that may not happen and in the, “What ifs”. Mindfulness is a good technique to practice, it keeps you grounded in the here and now.
Challenge Your Thought Processes.
Use Cognitive behavioural techniques that break the cycle. Look for evidence to the contrary.
Learn to be Flexible
Accept the uncertainty of your emotions, knowing that emotions come and go. Let them help you make good decisions rather than being afraid of them.
You Have a Choice
Remember there is always a choice. Choose to worry or choose to problem solve, it’s up to you.