Changing Negative Thinking
Changing Negative Thinking – Everyone thinks negatively from time to time. For some people, it becomes a way of life. Frequent negative thinking contributes to a variety of problems including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor body image, sexual problems etc. Many times, these negative tapes have been playing in a person’s head for years. Whether you have occasional negative thoughts, or frequent chronic negative thinking, this tip from Center for Growth can help you to begin to change that negative thinking.
Letting Go Of Negative Thoughts and Developing a Realistic Perspective
This exercise will require you to record your inner thoughts on a piece of paper and waiting a day, or even a week, until you have more perspective on where you were in the moment. The word realistic is important here. This technique is not necessarily about changing your thoughts to be all positive, but for them to be realistic. However, when people struggle with negative thinking, their thoughts are often so negative and unrealistic, that a more realistic thought is quite positive in comparison.
To try this technique, you will need a few pieces of paper and a pen. Writing this exercise rather than just thinking it is an important part. Our thoughts can be much more powerful inside of our head and are easier to modify and change when they are written down. Take a piece of paper and divide it into seven columns. Use the following headings at the top of each column:
Column #1 – Percentage I Believe Negative Thought Column #2 – Negative Thought Column #3 – Feelings About Thought Column #4 – Revised Thought Column #5 – Further Revised Thought Column #6 – Feelings about Revised Thought Column #7 – Percentage I now believe Negative Thought
Column #1 – In this column, write down from 1-100% how much you currently believe the negative thought.
Column #2 – Write down the negative thought completely. For example, “I will never amount to anything”, “I am worthless”, “I will never be free of my depression”.
Column #3 – Write down all of the feelings that occur when you think that thought. For example, sadness, fear, embarrassment, hopelessness, guilt, etc.
Column #4 – 1-2 days later, write down a revised more realistic thought.
Column #5 – 5-7 days later, write down even more revised thoughts. If you are struggling with this, get a friend or family member to write this column for you without showing them what else you have written.
Here is an example:
Percentage I Believe Negative Thought (Column #1): 95%
Negative Thought (Column #2): “I will never learn how to control when I cum.” This thought is a prediction thinking error. You are making a predication that is not certain. You may not know how to control your ejaculation or you may have trouble with it now, but you can learn how to do it.
Feelings (Column #3): Depressed, hopeless, anxious, emasculated, vulnerable, embarrassed.
Revised Thought (Column #4):“I don’t know how to control when I cum.” “I am not able to control with I cum with a partner, but I do know how to control when I cum with myself.” These thoughts are likely much more accurate. They acknowledge that it is an issue but it takes out the certainty of the word never. Depending on the circumstance, you are able to control your ability to cum.
Further Revised Thought (Column #5): “If I can control when I cum by myself, I can learn how to control when I cum with my partner.” “This is not a medical problem. This is me learning how to manage feelings.”
These two thoughts build on column #4. They are still more accurate statements like column #4, but they also add the positive element that you can learn how to control it. In reality, there are specific behavioral steps that will reduce the potential for feelings to distract you from controlling when you cum.
Feelings (Column #6):hopeful, motivated, less anxious.
Percentage I Believe Negative Thought (Column #7): 30%
As mentioned earlier, it is important that you write this exercise down and not just think about it. It will make it more effective especially as you are developing this new skill of modifying your thinking. It is also important that you do this exercise at least a few times if not several times with all of your negative thoughts. Changing negative thinking takes some effort and time. In many cases, you have been thinking and convincing yourself of these thoughts for a while and it will take some repetition to undo them. Negative thinking can contribute to many negative feelings. As a result, modifying your thinking by using this technique can help to relieve those negative feelings and get you on the path to feeling better.