I wrote the last exam of my semester today, and I thought: "Oh yeah, I will get a good grade this time!" However, once my final grade came out, that expectation didn't turn out as expected... At first, I felt bitter, angry, furious, frustrated, disappointed, and it was as if all these negative emotions were all of a sudden pouring down on me. They made me feel more suffocated than I have ever felt, and for a moment, I thought of giving up on my dream. I thought I am never going to be good enough for anything. Negative thoughts are what we often face in our stressful life, but many times, instead of having control of the situation, we end up letting the negative thoughts take control over our life. The topic of today's blog is something that we are very familiar with: How to cope with negative thoughts.
We can define negative thoughts in many ways, but to put it simply, they are thoughts that are associated with negative connotations, criticisms, and perspectives about ourselves. They serve no good purpose besides making us feel bad about ourselves. However, whether these thoughts are making us feel down or not, we have full control of what we can do with them. While some of us choose to do nothing with these thoughts, others might take advantage of these negative thoughts and turn them into motivation to push them forward.
One of the most revolutionary things about us humans is that we are able to adapt to change quickly and our creative minds lean toward exploring, learning, and solving problems. Like many problems that we have solved in life, I have 100% confidence in any one of YOU out there that YOU are capable of finding a way to battle with negative thoughts. Here, I want to leave you with some tips for coping with negative thoughts that I have picked up along the way.
Write them down
When these negative thoughts are in our heads, we tend to amplify them by making them a bigger issue. Our mind is then set on an alert mode where we now stress out about our life even if the issue might not be that big. However, once you write these thoughts out, you no longer hold on tight to these thoughts and make your brain do unnecessary work up there. These thoughts are unimportant and the act of writing down serves the purpose of emptying them out of your mind.
Indeed, this topic is connected to what I mentioned in my previous post about self-reflection. Being aware of how you think and how these thoughts influence your well-being is important. We might not notice, but it is a skill that we must build over time. Sometimes, it might be difficult and scary to acknowledge our emotions because they might be conflicting with our perspectives. For example, your negative thoughts might be thinking negatively about someone else, but you refuse to admit it because it might be embarrassing to think of it that way. However, if you don't resolve these thoughts, they will only make you more furious about the person and stress you out more for no good reason. Once you are able to become self-aware about your own thoughts, you will also feel more control over yourself.
3. Building a collage of positive thoughts
Like ice and fire, if negative thoughts are fire trying to burn you down, why not use some ice to cool yourself down? There are many ways to find and build a collage of positive thoughts for yourself whether it is a notebook with tons of positive quotes that you collect or it is a simple search on Google to find inspirational quotes. Over years of collection, I have made myself a box full of Christmas letters, birthday letters, the gifts that I have gotten from my friends and family, and many more sentimental items. And whenever I am down, I like to read these letters. I have already made myself a box of treasure and mental medication for myself now, so what about you?
4. Having mental support
I can not emphasize how important it is to have strong mental support and connection with your friends and family. The people who love and care for you will always be there and open their arms to welcome you. They are ready to hear you out, support you, and cheer you up unconditionally. Next time, if you are feeling down about yourself, call your friends or ask your mom to give you a hug. You will be amazed by how much a small talk or a hug can make your day.
No matter where you are in your journey of life, you will definitely encounter a time when you want to give up on your dream goal. It's not that you want to give up on it, but perhaps you are too tired and frustrated with all the disappointments and failures. And you are probably tired of battling with your negative thoughts. It's most devastating when you have tried your best but you are not any closer to your end goal. However, if that is how you feel about your ultimate goal, that dream goal must have meant a lot to you. It's worth it to live a life with many bumps and hills on the road because those obstacles have made you become a better version of yourself today. KEEP ON FIGHTING!!!
P/S. I am sharing with you a snapshot of a peaceful afternoon-walk scene! I hope everyone is doing well during the pandemic. Stay safe!