In a previous post, I discussed how “you are not your brain.” That means that despite the chemical signals your brain sends you all the time, you don’t have to succumb to negative thinking. Your mind can overcome your brain. Here are some tips for overcoming negative feelings and replacing them with positive thoughts.
Remember that writing is not just for writers. Writing is a way of capturing positive thoughts in a tangible format that makes them more real. Write a positive vision of your future and go back to it when you’re feeling discouraged. It’s the same technique as visualization, except that you come out with an actual document that serves as a blueprint for success.
Describe your next job in detail. Where you work, what you’re doing, how you fit into the team. Describe interesting projects and successes you achieve. An alternative to this kind of positive journaling is to write out successful solutions to problems you’re having. There’s a whole theory that the universe will help you get what you want if you can just articulate what it is. Even if you don’t believe, the act of writing – and going back to read – a positive story can help you override negative thoughts.
We tell ourselves stories every day: what we’ll have for dinner, what kind of weather we hope will come for the weekend, how we want the sales presentation to turn out. Since we’re telling the stories, we have the ability to choose whether they have a happy ending or not. Why not choose happy?
You can also create a gratitude journal to help you stay focused on the positive. Choose any blank notebook (or purchase an actual journal) and record the things you’re grateful for on a daily basis. You can choose to write at the beginning of the day to start off on a positive note, or write at the end of the day to remember the large and small blessings you encountered during the day.
Author Sarah Ban Breathnach writes the blog Simple Abundance. She says that on tough days, her gratitude journal may contain just the basics: “my health, my husband and daughter, their health, my animals, my home, my friends, and the comfortable bed that I’m about to get into, as well as the fact that the day’s over. That’s okay. Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgment of what is working in our lives can help us not only survive, but surmount our difficulties. “
If you’re more of a techie than a writer, you can still make a little more happiness for yourself. Yes, there’s an app for that. Happy Tapper (http://www.happytapper.com/) offers a series of apps that help you get inspiration, keep a gratitude journal on your iPhone, or visualize projects. It’s the 21st century version of lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness. Enjoy.