Direct Your Thoughts To Positive Thinking For Less Stress

The damaging nature of stress is well known today. It’s also well known that the vast majority of people today believe they experience stress on a regular basis. You can reduce the stress you experience by learning to apply positive thinking.

There is an old expression that you can only change what you measure. I’m not suggesting that you keep track of each and every thought you experience. That could be overwhelming as a place to start since most of us think tens of thousands of thoughts every day!

However, by becoming aware of what you are thinking, you can evaluate whether it is positive or negative fairly quickly and decide to steer your thinking in a positive direction.

Just taking stock of your thoughts using some of the methods below you can begin to make the change to encourage positive thoughts and perspectives about your situations and reduce your stress in the process! The side effects of better health and happiness will make you glad you did.

Quite often, the way we feel about a situation comes from our perception of it. Often that perception is right, but sometimes it isn’t.

For instance, sometimes we’re unreasonably harsh with ourselves, or we can jump to wrong conclusion about people’s motives. This can cause problems and make us unhappy, and it can lead us to be unfair to others.

Thought Awareness, Rational Thinking, and Positive Thinking are simple tools that help you turn this around…

…Thought Awareness

You’re thinking negatively when you fear the future, put yourself down, criticize yourself for errors, doubt your abilities, or expect failure. Negative thinking damages your confidence, harms your performance, and paralyzes your mental skills.

A major problem with this is that negative thoughts tend to flit into our consciousness, do their damage and flit back out again, with their significance having barely been noticed. Since we do not challenge them, they can be completely incorrect and wrong. However, this does not diminish their harmful effect.

Thought Awareness is the process by which you observe your thoughts and become aware of what is going through your head.

One way to become more aware of your thoughts is to observe your stream of consciousness as you think about a stressful situation. Do not suppress any thoughts: instead, just let them run their course while you watch them, and write them down on our free worksheet as they occur.

Another more general approach to Thought Awareness comes with logging stress in a Stress Diary . One of the benefits of using a Stress Diary is that, for one or two weeks, you log all of the unpleasant things in your life that cause you stress. This will include negative thoughts and anxieties, and can also include difficult or unpleasant memories and situations that you perceive as negative.

By logging your negative thoughts for a reasonable period of time, you can quickly see patterns in your negative thinking. When you analyze your diary at the end of the period, you should be able to see the most common and most damaging thoughts. Tackle these as a priority.

Thought awareness is the first step in the process of managing negative thoughts, as you can only manage thoughts that you’re aware of. – Mind Tools

Two More Methods To Lower Stress With Positive Thinking

Here are two more simple techniques that you can put in place today that will realign your thoughts toward a more positive direction and lower your stress in the process. We all know that stress hormones are produced every time we experience stress.

Some levels of stress are normal and needed so that we humans will be motivated to move through our day. But prolonged levels of stress produce an over-abundance of stress hormones and can damage your health and outlook.

Try these simple techniques to help limit the time that you experience stress from those events we all experience day in and day out and at the same time help you lower your cortisol level so you feel much better.

They Appreciate What They Have

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this…

…They Stay Positive

Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to an exciting event that you can focus your attention on. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative. – World Economic Forum

 

How many times a day are you grateful for something?