Written by Christy Patton Launius from Central Elementary, Cabot, AR
Negativity. It seems to creep up on us when we least expect it, and once it has worked its way in, it tries to roll out its sleeping bag and set up camp! It happens oh so fast. Once you have let it in, you can either entertain it, roll around in it (stinky!) and let it have its own room, OR you can say “I refuse to believe that!” and kick it out!
Having a negative thought pop into your head is not a sign of weakness or immaturity. It is human nature. But you CAN make the choice to combat it!
I’ll be honest with you. Most of my negative thoughts are negative self-talk. I can get down real fast if I am not careful. Here are a few ways that I chase away negative thoughts.
1. Read Inspirational Books
I totally recommend that you read Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer! (Actually anything by Joyce Meyer is excellent.) Also, I love love love The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon! It is packed with positive energy in ten specific points that you can remember and put into practice for years to come!
I am currently reading Jon’s new book, The Power of Positive Leadership. Jon says, “I began taking “thank you” walks to practice gratitude, enjoy the outdoors, and feel grateful instead of stressed. This was a life-changing practice that not only energized me physically, emotionally and spiritually, but also provided time for many profound insights and ideas to come to me.” I love this idea! This leads me to my next point….
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal helps us keep our perspective! Everyday, jot down three to five things that you are grateful for! This trains your mind to be noticing the wonderful and positive things around you. I write this in my Seek Pray Grow Journalin the “Heart of Thankfulness” section.
3. Spend Time With Positive People
I can remember growing up and my parents telling me that I didn’t need to be hanging out with certain people because they were not a good influence on me I couldn’t understand that at the time because I was convinced that I would be able to help them change and my “positive” traits would wear off on them. Much easier said than done! Usually the reverse happens. In Jon Gordon’s Energy Bus, he says that we have to put those energy vampires off of our bus!!! They are the ones who are constantly griping and complaining about anything and everything. They suck the energy and joy right out of you! Life’s not fair, we know this, right? So…. just move on and do the best you can! Helen Keller did! Be around people who build you up; people who have goals and dreams and actually have a plan for a brighter future for our world.
Sing out loud! I love me some good upbeat worship songs like those by Israel Houghton and Mandisa, but I also can bellow out some Keith Urban, “Where the Blacktop Ends”, and some Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy”. Oh yeah! It is very hard to entertain negative thoughts when you are singing! (I don’t actually know if that is a scientific fact, but it should be!)
Put on your tennis shoes and go for a brisk walk or really sweat it out with a good cardio dance! OR you could combine singing and walking outside — your neighbors will be thoroughly entertained!
6. Focus On Others
I was talking to a friend this morning as she was telling me how she has been a little down because of some health issues she is having and just life in general. She went on to say “I realized that my issues are nothing compared to other peoples problems. I decided to text Talleah and tell her that I am praying for her as she fights her breast cancer battle.” That’s it y’all! Most of the time, there are people all around you that are in worse circumstances than you are so let your focus be outwards!