How to get yourself out of a negative mindset
Quiet the noise of negative thoughts that are impeding your goals.
By: Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy.D
The Power of Positive Thinking
As humans, we engage in a constant internal dialogue called “self-talk” which combines our conscious thoughts with our unconscious moral compass. Through this act, our brain works to process experiences and use it to guide future decision-making. These thoughts can be either positive or negative, which influences our overall perception of life.
Positive self-talk is important for those looking to accomplish any type of goal. In fact, speaking about your future in a positive and uplifting manner is actually proven to help individuals achieve their desired outcomes. However, research has demonstrated that humans tend to engage in pessimism within our internal dialogues.
The negative internal dialogues that many people experience, or “noise,” comes in the form of thoughts or distractions that impede success or sabotage progress. They can be influenced by family, friends, significant others, coworkers, and even ourselves. Such thoughts are especially common for those striving to achieve a big goal, such as weight loss. Common triggers for negative self-talk include history of failure, lack of self-control, justification of poor behaviors, dissatisfaction with guidelines, and disappointment in results.
In order to be successful in achieving a healthy lifestyle, it is vital to learn how to constructively shut down this disruptive mental static. To do this, I suggest the following 3-step method:
The first step to dealing with negative thinking is to recognize it when it occurs. Once you can identify the thoughts that are impeding your success, you can confront the issue by telling yourself that it is not a valid reason to give up.
Avoid the people and situations which influence negative self-talk. When you spend more time with uplifting, positive people, you are much more likely to think and behave in a positive way.
Ask yourself: Which friend of mine would like to exercise with me? Who can I prepare healthy foods with? Who can I count on to vent to when I have a problem?
When faced with noise potentially derailing to your goals, replace it with a positive thought! One effective way to train yourself to be encouraging is to define a daily mantra.
- I am in charge of my own life
- I am worthy of a healthy & happy life
- I can overcome any obstacle to my success
- My past does not define me
According to a recent study conducted at the University of Southern California, humans actually average 70000 thoughts per day! Even if only 10% of our thinking was negative, that would leave nearly 300 negative thoughts per hour. Consider how this noise affects your overall life quality!
Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy. D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Red Mountain’s Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist. She specializes in weight management, body image concerns, and eating disorders & prides herself in her ability to educate, guide, and inspire patients to overcome obstacles and ultimately achieve their goals.