Without constant monitoring, I end up with negative thoughts that slow me down. These negative thoughts can be tied to a variety of things, but if unchecked, they lead to procrastination, depression, anxiety, and generally ineffective behavior.
To keep motivated, I have had to come up with a variety of methods to keep moving. I recognize that I must deal with the negative thoughts, but when I need to be effective, I put some of these things into practice.
I originally recorded this as a video but transcribed and edited it into an article.
Hey what’s up, it’s Jerad. Today I wanted to start out the week by talking to you about negative thoughts and how to get rid of them. I’ve got seven tips on how to get rid of negative thoughts. Now, I suffer from probably various forms of depression and anxiety, I think I’ve battled with that for a long time and I’ve found ways naturally to cope with it and deal with it. Then, I’ve also found myself deep in the trenches and not necessarily understanding or knowing why I’m there.
For a lot of years, I think I’ve dealt with fears. One of my biggest fears going in through my twenties and leading into my thirties was the fact that I didn’t get a college education. Now I’d been working for myself for a long time, I’d been doing things for a long time on my own and had various forms of success but I still felt like that college education was that fall back that I knew that companies hired people just because they had a Bachelor’s. It didn’t even matter if I had half a cell working in their brain, they would hire them because they’d managed to get through college, so I had feared there and I dealt with those for a long time.
Anxieties and different things had just come up over the years. I think these days we have a lot to measure up to. We’ve got more than just magazines on the rack like it was when I was a kid. We have social media and more television shows, more things than ever that are basically telling us this is what life looks like, this is what being happy looks like, and if we can’t measure up to those then it’s just a bummer and it’s kind of depressing.
Negative thoughts can definitely creep in and they can mess with you and so I found that I could really get into a funk easily and that can last an entire day. Then, it ruins my day and that just leads into another day and before you know it I’ve had a week that isn’t as productive as it could have been and I’m not as effective as a husband to my wife, I’m not as effective as a dad to my kids, a friend, and anything else so getting rid of thoughts is the key to it.
Here are seven things that I’ve figured out and as long as I can remember these things and implement them on a day-to-day I tend to have a great day.
1. Change Your Posture
Recognize and change my posture. I notice that a lot of times I’m sitting, I’m working, I’m on the computer or whatnot and my posture just starts to get really horrible. That’s kind of a telltale sign that I just have negativity going on.
Now, I can definitely relax and you can slouch and just kind of chill, there’s nothing wrong with that but what often happens is that I will be just slouching. Maybe I have to write an email I didn’t want to write or respond to something that put out a fire or something like that and I just find myself just getting into this funky position in my chair and before you know it it’s affected me in more than one way.
I have to remind myself just to sit up straight and fix my posture, keep my back straight, not get too comfortable in the chair to the point where I’m slouching or whatnot. I want to be comfortable but I don’t want to get myself into a position where my body just feels achy because it’s been sitting and contorted in some way for so long in the chair so changing my posture is definitely huge.
2. Be More Mindful
Starting my day being mindful from the beginning. I think that if we start our days attached to whatever tasks and things, we have to achieve an email, we focus more on other things rather than ourselves, we’re starting the day off the wrong way. We need to start our day off mindful and that means making a list. I use Evernote and I make a list every single day of these different things including tasks and things that I have on my schedule for the day.
These things include gratitude, affirmation, what would make today great, and I set goals. I write all these things down every single day and on the days that I don’t do that or if I let too many days go by that I don’t do that then it starts to affect me. Some might say, “Oh, it’s kind of weird to write down affirmations about me every single day, it seems kind of weird,” maybe a little … It’s just odd to write down, “I am blah-blah-blah,” every day but those are things that I need to do because I need to remind myself.
Even if it’s something as simple as reminding myself that I’m a good dad or reminding myself that I’m good at a specific task or something that I’m good at, that’s just starting off with one additional positive thing for the day so write those things down.
3. Be More Creative
We don’t get creative enough and we don’t create in different ways. For example, I’m not much of an artist with a pen. I see people drawing and creating art and I’m just in awe. One of my cousins, his kid, his daughter is amazing, I didn’t even know this about her because I hadn’t seen her in forever. She’s just sitting there drawing and just is amazing at it and I thought, “Wow, it’s creative outlet is something that I don’t have.
Getting creating, having that outlet, and not necessarily having to be amazing at it but just having some sort of an outlet that creativity just flows out of us when we let it and it definitely takes negativity with it. Whether you can write, draw, reorganize things, whatever it is you can get creative in so many different ways. I’m not the best writer but I do like to write sometimes. I definitely am not any good at drawing and that’s something that I probably need to try and get better at because even if I’m not drawing anything too good it’s still just a good creative outlet.
4. Be More Active
This one used to be huge for me and I’ve been horrible at it since having kids. That’s going and working out, going and running, riding my bike, just being more active. I’ve found that my body just, and maybe it’s because I’m just a bigger guy, I don’t know, but my body just closes in on itself and if I don’t work out and stay active … I don’t know, I just feel like my body just wants to pull itself together into a little knot and then that’s it. Being active is a must for me, I have to be active. When I’m not I could feel it physically, and when I could feel it physically I could feel it mentally and emotionally as well.
5. Create a workflow.
Now, this one’s been huge for me and this is probably a whole video in and of itself but I’m going to briefly explain what a workflow is. Now in my line of work, a workflow is a process that I take from start to finish completing a task. I’ve found that when I’m further into a negative thought or I’ve found that maybe an hour has gone by and I’ve just been in this negative thought I need to initiate a workflow.
Here’s an example of one. It’s getting up, stretching, walking around, taking a drink of water, closing my eyes for around 60 seconds, and then sitting back down. Initiating that workflow interrupts whatever was going on and allows me to change things for a few minutes. Then I can go and sit back down and get back to work or relax or be there for my wife or my kids or whatever the situation is around me. Usually, it has something to do with being at work so workflows are great because I can just initiate them, do whatever it is for a minute or two, sit back down, and then be good.
6. Take a Timeout
Sometimes as adults we need a timeout. I was talking with one of my other cousins about this, this weekend, about parenting. Sometimes we have to give ourselves a timeout. Sometimes our kids need a timeout to correct behavior or to calm down or something like that. A timeout definitely is something that as adults we don’t give ourselves that often. We might feel like we give ourselves timeouts because maybe we binge watch Netflix for a few hours or something like that or have a glass of wine and just sit and read but we really, truly need timeouts. Timeout just to chill and initiate one of those workflows or be creative.
Sometimes you just flat out need to leave. If you can’t shake the issue, whatever it is, sometimes for me it’s shame, things that you’ve done in the past, things that have happened in the past that were out of your control, that you didn’t get to correct or fix. Sometimes you just need to get up and leave and change the atmosphere altogether. Now at work that might be a little tougher so that’s why I wanted to give you six things that you could actually do before seven, which is to get up and leave, but sometimes you just have to get up and leave and change things.
In closing, not all negative thoughts are bad. We have to be introspective from time to time just to remain normal and healthy so when you have those feelings of guilt, anxiety, shame, jealousy, temptation, fear, those are things that you do need to deal with eventually. You can’t just push them away forever or something is going to happen. I do recommend that you find somebody to help you with your thoughts, especially if it’s an ongoing issue for you if it’s something that you think is chronic you definitely want to get that dealt with.
That’s going to do it, thanks so much for reading. I know it was kind of fast, I went through a lot of things quickly. I may break these things down a little bit more but I’d love for you to chime in in the comment section below. Let me know your thoughts, let me know what works for you and let’s just do life together and help each other get through some of those times that definitely keep us away from achieving the things that we want to achieve. That’s going to do it for today, we’ll see you next time.