I’ve had my share of dealing with fearful and negative thoughts in both my career and personal life.
The first thing I learned was to replace my negative thoughts with positive statements. For example, I would have a difficult time in getting ready to take my exams in college. I would get all kinds of negative thoughts telling me that I would fail and that I would not pass. These thoughts would get the best of me before I even took my exams.
I decided to talk back to those thoughts using positive reinforcement. I would tell myself to take it one exam at a time and that it would not be the end of the world if I did not pass. I gave myself positive encouragement by replacing my negative thoughts with positive statements. I did this for every exam and it worked most of the time.
I struggled with anxiety and fear for over 20 years.
I looked back at some of those anxious times and I learned that my fearful thoughts made my fears and worries even worse. The negative thoughts I experienced at the time were completely exaggerated and made things even worse. I now make it a habit to focus on the facts of my current situation instead of focusing on my negative and fearful thoughts. The negative thoughts still come, however I now try to focus on the facts and the reality of the situation. This has helped me in reducing my worries and fears.
There were times that I tried to stop my fearful thoughts from coming. This only made it worse. The more I tried to stop the thoughts from coming, the faster the thoughts would come. I learned that instead of stopping these negative thoughts from coming, I would just get into the habit of not dwelling on them.
I would occasionally get these negative and fearful thoughts regarding my job.
I would get these “What If This Happened” or “What If that happened” kind of thoughts. I realized that it wasn’t the thoughts that bothered me, but instead it was the fear behind those thoughts. I theorized that if you take away the fear behind these negative thoughts, then those negative thoughts lose their power and become much easier to manage. I now make it a habit to determine why I am afraid and how I can manage the fear behind these thoughts. I find that managing the fear behind the thoughts make my negative thinking easier to manage.
It is not always easy in dealing with your fearful and negative thoughts, however I had a lot of practice and hopefully some of these techniques I mentioned can be of some help. It is also very important that you seek the services of a professional to learn effective ways to deal with your fearful thoughts.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/