Believe it or not, there is an explanation for our thought patterns and ways to manage them.  We are going to answer three questions that will help us to understand thoughts and how to control them.

What causes negative thoughts or where do they come from?

All manner of stimuli we encounter are filtered by our brains as sensory experiences- things seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or felt.  First, positive events make us feel happy, excited, motivated, and energized consciously while negative events cause us to feel offended, embarrassed, humiliated, discouraged, frightened, stressed, or troubled.  Eventually, these encounters, along with the accompanying feelings, get lodged in our subconscious. Because we are finite beings, it’s a challenge for us to recall certain past events. However, when we encounter a trigger, it brings those emotions and memories into our conscious, which then impacts our present thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

How can someone interrupt negative or depressive thought patterns?

First, we must identify the catalysts that send us into a mental tailspin and try to avoid them or prepare ourselves to encounter them. Next, we must be mindful and cognizant of our thought patterns, so we can discern when we are beginning to concentrate or think on undesirable things. After recognizing this, we must replace the bad thoughts with good thoughts.

What are some strategies someone can use to convert negative thoughts into positive ones?

Because our spoken words are so powerful and transformative, speaking affirmations is one of the greatest techniques for redirecting and converting thoughts. Deep breathing, meditating, listening to inspirational speeches, watching comedy, reading humor, and praying are also powerful strategies we can utilize to assist with decreasing negative thoughts and increasing positive ones.