Amid great uncertainty, fear, and hardship, it’s common (and understandable!) for negative thinking to dominate our minds. While some amount of negativity is inevitable, it’s important to recognize that negative thinking can impact our emotional wellbeing, decision-making, stress level, and relationships.
Common forms of negative thinking include:
· automatically blaming yourself when things go wrong
· minimizing the positive aspects of a situation while magnifying the negative aspects of a situation
· catastrophizing, or anticipating the worst
Much like harnessing exercise to train our bodies, there are strategies we can employ to train our minds to think more positively. One powerful training strategy is positive affirmations. Affirmations are statements that help us challenge and overcome negative thinking. When combined with goal-setting and engaging in mindfulness work, affirmations can be highly effective in helping us to achieve positive change in our lives. Below are a few affirmations that may serve as a good starting place:
I believe in myself; I trust my own wisdom and instincts.
This is my life, happening right now. I am present and open to what unfolds.
I love myself for exactly who I am.
I am resilient; I am strong; I am brave.
I can do hard things.
This moment is hard; it does not define me.
I’m going to make mistakes, but they do not define me—they help me learn.
I acknowledge my fear; for now I’m letting it go.
Look for the good.
This is a new day, and I am grateful.
Once you select an affirmation, try repeating it several times each day, especially when you begin to experience negative thoughts. You may also try journaling about the affirmation.
If you feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts, don’t wait to ask for help. Contact your primary care provider or a MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL today.
If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away or dial 911 in an emergency. You also can call the NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE (LIFELINE) at 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255), or text the CRISIS TEXT LINE (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all calls are confidential.
Visit the Bene RESOURCES page for a list of mental health organizations.