Kick-starting a healthy life can begin with a change to your diet or introducing a new exercise regimen into your life. But living a healthy life is so much more than that. It’s about achieving a harmonious balance between mind, body and soul. I know this may sound like hippie talk, but your health is more than just what you do – it’s also how you think.
It is said that we think 40,000 negative thoughts every day. That number might sound staggering, until you realize just how simple a negative thought can be. I will admit, on a daily basis I put myself down. Thoughts like “Why would you do that, Kelly?” or “why can’t you be more pretty/funny/considerate/outgoing?” cross my mind more than I’d like to admit. I set my expectations too high and when they’re not met, I consider myself having failed. I take things personally when, really, it’s nothing personal. I’m sensitive to situations and often feel responsible for things that are not my responsibility. These are just some examples of negative thoughts that run through my mind. Do you ever feel yourself thinking these things, too?
It’s hard to control your subconscious. You can’t tell yourself “only think positive thoughts today” and expect to be free of the bad. So what can you do to support positive thoughts and healthy thinking?
1 | Mindfulness. This helps us be aware of our thoughts and choose what we want to focus on. Be mindful of your surroundings, live in the now. How? Turn off distractions, take note of what you have, and recognize what is in front of you. Be grateful for the abundance in your life. Be present.
2 | Relaxation. Enjoy a nice cup of tea, read a book, or take a walk to enjoy the nature. Do something that eases your mind. Personally, I love going for a walk and listening to music. If you don’t know what it is for you, find it. Experiment.
3 | Yoga. By relaxing the mind, we rid the negativity from our lives during our practice. Yoga helps you be mindful and present, by turning off all those inside voices and focusing on your yoga practice. If a negative thought pushes in, acknowledge it and then let it go. It also helps to set an intention for your practice, giving it a purpose. Often we are reminded to practice the art of gratitude, which helps one leave class with a positive mindset. Personally, I love yin yoga for relaxation, and a basic hatha flow for a bit more stimulation.
4 | Positive messages. Leave yourself positive messages where you will see them. Set up alerts on your phone, print out your favourite quotes and plaster them on your wall, change your computer background every day or week to a new inspiring message. I love Pinterest because of the ability to find so many awesome uplifting and inspiring quotes (you can check out my quotes board here).
5 | Pick up a hobby. Simple as that. This helps you distract your mind and gives you an outlet to find enjoyment. An enjoyable hobby can easily bring some positivity into your life by giving you something you can control and appreciate. For me, this would be going to the gym. I feel great when I know that I’m taking care of myself, and I can control the intensity depending on the results I want.
How do you counter negative thoughts?Follow