You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re stupid. No one likes you. Everyone is talking about you behind your back. You’re no good. You’re terrible. You’re a bad person. You should give up. You will never amount to much. You have nothing to offer. You will always be alone. You can’t do anything right…
Stop Believing The Lies!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you are bipolar like me you know all to well these records that play in our minds each day. Specific instances of saying the wrong thing, or behaving poorly, replayed over and over again until you don’t know if it really happened or if your mind is playing tricks on you again.
Why didn’t she say hi to me? Did I offend her? Does she not like me anymore? Do I look ok? I look horrible today, she probably thinks she’s better then me? Why do I even bother? No one likes me anyways? I think I’ll just go home and cry. Why do I even try?
It isn’t just those of us with mental health issues who are plagued by negative thoughts. Just about everyone in our post-industialized Western consumerist culture is hit everyday. Advertisements are designed to create a need only their product can fulfil, and advertisers aren’t above making you feel terrible about yourself to sell you the latest shampoo.
It’s All Lies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I’m tired or stressed, I find it more difficult to stop my brain from filling my head with these untruths. We all have off days, and I bet if you look closely at your thought process you will be able to hear the increase of negative thoughts on those days and feel your mind readily accepting them. But you don’t have to!
Tell Your Mind, NO!!!!!
I’m not going to listen to you. You’re just being silly. Does it really matter what so-and-so thinks of me? If I weren’t already feeling tired and stressed would you be telling me this? No! I’m not going to entertain this! Even if this is real, I’m not going to agree with this reality. This is a negative thought, but I will not let it have a negative impact on me.
Change Your Inner Dialogue
- Change WHAT your thoughts say.
- Change the FOCUS of your thoughts.
Negative thoughts are a part of life, but we can chose NOT to accept them. Every day we must make this choice. I still have trouble daily with negative thoughts, but they impact my life far less then they did 20 years ago. Instead of focusing on how other people view you, or what they might be thinking about you, try thinking about what you are doing or what you are going to do. Shift the power of your thoughts from outside and focus internally on what you think about yourself.
Give Yourself A Break
Take a literally break, a self-timeout to collect control of your thoughts. We all need a rest, but in today’s fast paced world, while we’re running late spilling coffee on our blouses, it can sometimes be hard to take justify taking moment purely for ourselves. Arguably though, we all know we need to and we all know it will be beneficial in the long run to just take that extra time.
Give your mind a break as well. A referee will see a foul and call the game to a halt. Be that referee for your mind, call foul on negative thoughts and stop the game! Refuse to play the self-hating game of negative self thoughts. Start a new game, an uplifting game with fresh thoughts and a fresh perspective. Give yourself some time to tryout a few different ways to change your thinking, and above all give yourself a great deal of time to notice the changes. Your mind is a powerful thing, it might learn quickly but it doesn’t change as fast as you might hope.
If you are suffering from negative thoughts, or have already learnt some valuable lessons please share in the comments below! We can always learn new ways to tackle this issue!!!