Our state of mind is engineered by our thoughts, writes Dr. Dan Collins, an ordained minister and licensed psychologist. To improve your state of mind, start thinking of yourself as a thought engineer.
Negative thinking is a big source of anxiety. To reduce your anxiety, it’s important to reduce your negative thinking. We can’t get rid of every negative element in our lives, but the more negatives we can turn into neutrals or positives, the better we can feel about our day.
Dr. Collins lists three steps to being a thought engineer:
- Realize that your emotions are created by your thoughts. You may have heard of cognitive therapy, which discovered that depressed and anxious people have a distorted view of their worlds. When you learn to correct what some call “stinking thinking,” you’re often able to master your depression.
- Untwist your negative thoughts. It’s hard work, but we can challenge the thoughts that bring us down. When we face a challenge, we can think of our areas of weakness as a personal roadmap to improvement. We can use weakness as a springboard to healing and growth by being brave enough to ask for help and follow through with it.
- Choose your thoughts. Since we know that thoughts are the engines that drive our feelings, we can pause and reflect on how we want to feel. We can choose how we view our lives, and we can decide how we view our problems. Instead of holding onto a negative viewpoint and expecting the worst from ourselves and others, we can expect the best. We can look at our challenges and say, “Why not?” We can say, “Today, I will put myself on the path to reaching my dreams.”
Negative thoughts are the most wasteful part of your day. All they do is to make your world a negative place. Try spending tomorrow saying positive things, without saying anything negative. Not only will you feel better about yourself, others will react more positively to you.
- Learn to control needless negative thoughts.
- Untwist negative thoughts.
- Beware of “all or nothing” thinking.
- Give compliments.
- Find a positive element in even the worst situation.
- Believe in yourself.
If you need a guide to help you down the pathway, or if you feel that you need immediate assistance, call the Front Porch at 901.762.8558.