A positive thinking filter is what I needed. When overwhelmed by negative thoughts once, I started thinking about affirmations, but, while I get it, I’m not the chanting type. I thought instead about how I could filter my thoughts in order to guard them from negativity. I came up with this filter through which I practice processing all negative thoughts as soon as I am conscious of them.
Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to actions. Actions lead to habits. and habits ultimately contribute to personality. So, what is your personality becoming? If we allow overwhelming negative thoughts to endure, then we’re left with only negativity, a backward outlook and passivity.
A Positive Thinking Filter Can Allow You to Identify What’s Useless
My take on it? I try to guard my thoughts by meditating daily on three words:
I don’t sit cross-legged (well, sometimes I do). But, I find a time every day to pass my negative thoughts through these filters. I visualise a sieve (I’m an amateur baker, so this makes sense to me).
If my thoughts cannot meet these three criteria (or are allowed to continue unabated), then I know they’re not good for me and will lead only to negative feelings and everything bad that follows. They’ll put me back, not forward where I want to be. And, make me want to sit and let the world pass me by, when, really, I’d always prefer to be making something happen.
What I do instead is try to reframe what’s happening or what I’m thinking a little and focus on the good instead. (I realise that’s not always possible, and that, sometimes, we simply have to pass through a dark time. But, by way of recovery, this has helped me.)
I also guard my thoughts by examining what news and media I’m consuming and removing the dross. You could also unsubscribe from the daily dose of sensationalist drama and sign up to Positive News, for example.
Obsess Over your Positive, Forward and Active Thoughts Instead
Where possible, I recommend removing those things from your life that consistently cause harmful, negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are impossible to escape, but IMHO they should not be allowed to fester and take over. In order to reinforce my retraining of my brain, I use a gratefulness journal, where I write down 1-2 things that have occurred to me that day for which I am grateful. This helps shift my focus – in a concrete way – onto the positive, forward and active.
Remember, if you’re going through a tough time, it may be almost impossible to break the negative cycle all by yourself. Ask for professional help.
If you’re a fellow business owner and want to find out more, read Small Business & Big Mental Health.
I’d love to hear what you think and how you tackle negative thoughts. Do you pass them through a filter? And, does that encourage you to focus on the positive instead?