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Challenging Negative Thoughts

I love today's topic and quote!! Today I’m going to talk about one way to help challenge your negative thoughts.

Have you ever just woken up and felt very negative? Ever had a day when one negative experience affected the rest of your day in a negative way? Maybe even carrying that negativity to the next day? Maybe even longer than a day? Have you ever noticed that when all you do is focus on the negative, the positive just slips away unnoticed? A positive, healthy, happy life and life experiences do not simply stop occurring; they just pass by unnoticed because your focus is on the negative. This is totally normal.

However, what I’m challenging you to do is to work on challenging the negative mentality almost as quickly as it comes into being. There are various ways we can work on challenging the negative thoughts but today I will be speaking about the “helicopter view.” What is the helicopter view? Glad you asked! When something is stressing us out, we’re so close to it, involved with it, part of it – it’s really hard to stand back from what’s happening. We see the close up view—what’s happening right now, but we struggle to see anything else. If we could zoom out our view, like a helicopter hovering above, we’d be able to see the bigger picture. We could stand back, be less emotionally involved, and see a different perspective.

Let’s look at the steps to put this into practice.

STEP 1: Think about looking at your experience as if you are looking at it from above. Look at the bigger picture. Think about the situation and ask yourself what happened and how.

STEP 2: Think about what you are reacting to. What is the worst thing about this situation?

STEP 3: Think about if you were looking at the situation as someone who is not directly experiencing it. What would the situation look like to you if your good friend was telling you it happened to them? What might your thoughts and feeling be about the situation then? What might you tell your friend about the situation?

STEP 4: Think of options for handling the situation. What will help the most? What’s the best thing for you to do – for yourself, for others, for this particular situation?

And there you have it. The helicopter view broken down so that you can challenge negative thoughts next time they creep in. And remember, “the happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts” – Marcus Aurelius. The more you practice, the easier it will be to be conscious of your thoughts, recognize triggers, and have the skills to challenge any thoughts that disrupt your positive thinking.

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