We’ve all been there. Those moments, days, weeks or even months when your brain reminds you of how flawed you are as a human being. As soon as you deal with one mistake another creeps up and the little voice inside your head inserts doubt and fear into every thought, every action. Negative thinking seeps in and postulates why you didn’t get that job or why that relationship didn’t work. You know, those horrible moments of self-doubt that you just can’t shake? Well, here are some tips to get through those patches of negative thinking.
1. Self talk
Real talk. Self talk works. You spend the most time with you, listening to you. What you tell yourself matters. When thoughts of doubt, fear or self-hatred pop in your head, you have to stick up for yourself. Don’t let you bully you. Talk Back! You are smart. You are beautiful. You are strong. You make mistakes but you rise! Basically, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Know it and say it everyday. Those thoughts of not being good enough or smart enough or talented enough, that’s normal. Everyone has those, it’s how you combat and conquer those thoughts that make you a boss, or as Lilly Singh would say BAWSE.
Side note: Don’t hate because I’m late but I’ve recently arrived to Unicorn Island (Go Team Super!) and my positivity and productivity level has gone through the roof. Shout out to Superwoman! She engages in self talk all the time (vlogging counts, right?), and is determined to not just survive life but conquer it. BOOM! What up, BAWSE book reference! Okay, I’m going to tone down my Superwoman obsession and move on to tip number two.
2. Good friends
“Who you spend time with is who you become. Proximity is power.” Yes, Mr. Robbins, Yes! Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” Point? It matters who you hang out with. The company you surround yourself with has an impact on your mental health, spiritual health and life goals, so mind the company you keep kids.
3. Take a moment
Take some “me time.” Go ahead and be in your feelings. It’s okay to feel sad or whatever other emotion you need to feel. Embrace your emotions. Positivity is not feeling happy all the time, it’s knowing that even when it gets tough it will get better, there will be a silver lining. So give yourself a moment (not a lifetime) to feel all the feelings and emotions. Remember that self talk tip? Here is a good time to use it. Your moment can be as simple as taking a breather. I personally like to make du’a or Salat in my moment because there is no one who understands my problems and delivers on solutions like Allah. I also drink hot chocolate and believe that unicorns are real (don’t judge me). When that moment is over, learn from it and move on as a smarter and better you!
4. Patience and gratitude
Be patient and have gratitude all the time. Admittedly, this one is a lot harder than it sounds but it gets results. Having gratitude is a game changer, it breeds positivity and good energy. Patience, or more specifically, in the moment patience I swear has reduced my blood pressure. It’s the initial response to any crisis. The immediate response to when a situation does not go your way. In those moments try to be less reactive and more responsive or patient. Be about the solution and not the problem.
Art therapy is real, having a creative outlet can help with mental and emotional stressors that cause negative thinking. Do something that relaxes you and makes you feel good. Paint a picture, write a story, read a book, make or watch a movie, etc.
6. Be active and eat healthy
Eating healthy and staying active helps in every corner of life. You don’t have to be some exercise guru, starting with a simple walk or bike ride will suffice to help in combating negative thoughts and energy. Being active and eating healthy gives you more energy. Having more energy makes you feel good. Feeling good encourages positivity and positivity conquers negativity. It’s a whole healthy process. So, strap on your sneakers and go for it!
7. Learn what is in your control and what is not
This is my favorite tip (says the control freak). It’s awesome to be ambitious, motivated and determined but try as we may there are simply some things that are out of our hands. While we endure, push and succeed in the things we can control, it is equally as important to realize the things we cannot control and to respond (not react) accordingly. I constantly remind myself of how important it is to know the difference between what I can control and what I cannot. I strive to do what I can and have complete serenity in knowing that it is all in Allah’s control, particularly the things I have no influence over; and He is the best of planners.