Life In General

Can You Control How You Feel?

During this pandemic, many people have had to deal with feelings and emotions that have perhaps been hidden in the past by a busy lifestyle. When you are at home with not as much to do as normal, it can give you time to think and get used to your own company a bit more. Some people deal with this really well, but others can have a battle with negative thoughts. 

Naturally, everyone has negative thoughts from time to time – from negative feelings about ourselves to negative thoughts about what might happen in the future, to negative thoughts about other people. If we allow too many negative thoughts to dominate our thinking, this can have a detrimental effect on our emotions, our happiness and our behaviour. This, in turn, can affect our relationships with others and even our physical health.

So it is possible to change our thinking patterns?

Our brain is an amazing creation. It is well know that repeated actions, behaviors, and thinking patterns can create what is like a well-worn pathway in our minds. The more a path is traveled, the easier it becomes to walk it. The same is true with our thinking – the more we think in a certain way, the easier it is for us to resort to that pattern. To think in a new or different way takes effort, and can be hard a first. But if it is possible to form a negative “pathway”, it must also be possible to retrain our thinking to follow a more positive “pathway” that in turn will get easier.

So how do we go about retraining our brains?

The first step is actually identifying negative thoughts – we may be so used to them that we don’t notice that we are being negative after a while! It can even help to write down a common negative thought pattern that comes up and try to see if there is a certain situation or circumstance that triggers it.

Second, talk to yourself when you identify a negative thought. You may think, “I am no good at this, I always do it wrong!” How about substituting this with,  “I’m just like everyone else; I do many things right, but I make my share of mistakes too.” I heard a child psychologist once explain that it is better to say to a child, “Hold that glass carefully!” instead of “Don’t spill your drink!” Slight changes in the way we phrase things in our speech and thoughts can change them from negative to positive.

The next steps are really well explained in this article (click to read).

There is also another great series of articles here (click to read).

And another one here (click to read).

You can win the battle against negative thinking with a bit of effort and maybe a bit of help! It is worth the effort!


Nicola Keegan

I have an interest in all things "techie", design, photography, writing, cooking, rugby, reading and music!

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