One of the best things you can do for yourself first and foremost is to recognize that you can only control yourself. You might think you can change others or that others even can affect your mood. Truth be told, others do not have any control or influence on how you feel or behave. This fact is hard for some to swallow. You might think someone “makes” you mad or that you can get your husband to be more romantic.
We even think that others can read our minds and respond accordingly. Women tend to do this more than men. I myself am guilty of these and truly used to think that I was powerless to control certain aspects of my life. Have you ever heard that phrase that says, “what others think about your is none of your business”? Well, it is true…it’s not! We can choose to react and respond to any words or situations positively. Only YOU have control over your mind!
When you let go of trying to control others and start focusing only on what you can control, you become free. You are free from owning others’ responses, actions and outcomes. Once you realize that you even have the power to control your responses to others’ behaviors and choose to react in a positive way and you will feel totally empowered. This means that if someone says or acts in a negative way towards you…you do not have to own that. You can choose to realize that it may be a reflection of themselves or their current situation.
Alternatively, if you feel that whatever a person tells you is negative but that they are attempting to point out something unsavory in yourself, you will be less likely to get defensive and hear the criticism for what it is, without taking it as a personal jab. This kind of control over your thoughts does not come easy; it takes a lot of practice.
We do not realize how many negative thoughts we have every day. When you start making a conscious effort to think more positively and control your own thoughts, behaviors and reactions, you might find that you live in a state of constant negativity. Self-talk can be very detrimental to your mental health and well-being. Take for example that thought that you want to lose weight. You might constantly be saying to yourself that you cannot eat this because it will make you fat or that you cannot wear this because it makes you look fat or even just the thought, “I want to lose weight.” These are very common thoughts that most of us have had at some point in our lives. Now think about the connotation those thoughts are sending out…negative vibes.
A positive way to change these thoughts at first takes an open mind to see that you are truly being negative and then you must find a positive way to re-arrange the thought. So, it might now sound something like, “I want to be healthy,” or “I want to gain strength.” The thoughts needed to be shifted to the positive aspect of the outcome you want to achieve.
Affirmations are a good way to start practicing better self-talk and working on positive thinking. Negative thoughts, emotions and actions derail you from almost all aspects of life. Once you start thinking more positively, your own words, actions and feelings become less toxic not only for you, but for everyone around you. It is not opposites attract in this case. The more positive you are, the more positive things you focus on and the more positive your life is. There are many things that can contribute to having a positive life, but this is one of the biggest tools you can have in your toolbox. This single way of living can change how you communicate with yourself and others, as well as allow you to be more authentic in those conversations.
Some of these concepts can be found in books like The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz (which I do an in-depth review on here) and The Secret, written by Rhonda Byrne. These books focus on the power of positive thinking and never speaking badly about yourself or others. Nobody is perfect and you can never have positive thoughts and words 24 hours every day. It is impossible to reach a “perfect” level of anything. The goal should be to love yourself and others more, which starts with positive intentions. Many other books, movies and podcasts offer tips and tricks on positive thinking and changing your mindset. Get out there and find what works for you.
Things to Take Away
Do not allow others to negatively impact you- You can control your response and reaction to what others have said or done. Recognize they have their own issues or situations and are most likely taking out on you. Sometimes people cannot communicate constructively, which has nothing to do with you. Try to consider that there might be a difference in perspective that some people will internalize, then lash out…again do not take this personally. There are many factors that need to be considered before negatively responding. Nine times out of ten, a negative response is not needed. That tenth time should be the time that you are not allowing someone to treat you inappropriately. Ideally once you have mastered this tool, you will recognize the difference very quickly.
Always pause before responding to consider these factors. Again, you will always have those “haters” or people that plain just do not like you or want to see you fail. Let those kinds of people inspire you to keep pushing forward in your own personal development. The best revenge or way to “stick it to them” is to have a life that others thought you could never achieve…and be authentically happy.
Be your best support- When negative thoughts are converted into positive thoughts your body will respond in a positive way. The phrase, “thoughts become things” is true and that includes physiologically. When you are in a happy place mentally, it is hard to feel physically bad. Again, there are medical conditions that will continue to cause pain, but surprisingly there has been research that has shown a significant reduction in pain, when you are in a positive frame of mind. The mind is a powerful thing, and it is time to start using it wisely. Personally, when I am feeling down or upset, I get a headache and my stomach turns to knots. I would much rather not feel physically ill, so I try my best to get out of a funk as quickly as possible. When you feel awesome, think positively and support yourself, everyone around you will feed on that energy and treat you with the same love and respect you give to yourself.
Stop wasting time with negative thoughts and behaviors- Have you considered how much time you have wasted on negative energy? One can spend hours, days, months or even years with sadness, anger and anxiety. How many days have been wasted because of negative feelings or wondering about someone else’s actions or inactions. Life is way too short to spend any extended length of time with negative energy. Any time you get in a funk, allow yourself to have the negative thought, recognize that it is negative, attempt to change it into a positive thought, give it less than 10 minutes of your time and move on or take action. It can be that simple…the choice is truly yours. You can choose to be in a negative state of mind, or you can actively choose to change it and focus on something positive.
Reach new goals- Clearing negative thoughts will lead you to clearing negative actions. Once you have accomplished these two things, you can start working on completing the things that are truly important to you. Setting goals and allowing yourself to focus on those goals in a positive way will keep you on the right track. The goal does not have to be monumental, but something that will ultimately bring your or others joy. If you find yourself slipping into negative emotions or thoughts, remind yourself of your goals and shift all that negative energy into positive actions for those goals. Re-directing your brain will trick yourself temporarily until it becomes habit. Fake it until you make it if you have to. Re-direction can get you out of a downward spiral very quickly. Having a bad day? Get that goal list out and start putting that energy to good use! Feeling angry? Go through those clothes you have been meaning to donate.
Reap the joy of feeling authentic and free- Letting go of the responsibility of others’ words and actions will truly liberate you. Stop owning others’ opinions of you. People do not know your struggle or intentions. Perception can ruin relationships. It is time to examine your perception carefully. How do you perceive others? How do you perceive the world around you? What judgments do you hold? What prejudices do you have? After you are clear with what you believe in yourself, practice letting go the fear of what others will think or say if they knew the true you. If others are not paying you, romantically involved with you or bringing you joy, why does their opinion matter at all? What can they truly do to you if you do not have the same belief in something? If those people are compelled to eliminate you from their lives because you have been authentic with them, maybe that person was not needed in your life to begin with. Fear has restricted so many people from sharing their true selves. Using your positive words, intentions and thoughts can allow you to feel confident in how you speak about yourself towards others and will also allow you to move past any conflicts with ease. You can always find the silver lining in a cloud. If you can identify the lesson in every interaction or behavior, you have gained something positive.