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Negativity is another name for negative mindset. A negative mindset can come in the form of many different thoughts. Practice being aware of your reality...positive or a gentle '"scan". Stop what you are doing and quiet your mind. Notice if your thoughts or your "self-talk" are negative..."I can't"; "I won't pass this test"; "They don't like me"; "Why can't I do better?" When you are aware of any negativity...worry, fear, criticism, self-doubt, catastrophic thinking, anger, etc., gently move your thoughts and "self talk" to anything you can observe that is positive, for example, "The blue sky is beautiful" or "I'm grateful for my breath". This takes practice but it does work! It is normal to have negative thoughts from time to time. But maybe you stay stuck on some negative responses with criticism of others or habitual worry or seeming to always talk about "what is wrong" rather than "what is right". The goal here is simply to notice that you may have been stuck in more negative thinking that you realized.  When you repeat this skill often it will become easier to keep a positive mindset most of the time.

Some examples of negative thinking:                 

Criticizing another person...focusing on what is wrong with a person's behavior;                gossip about another.

Criticizing, blaming, minimizing yourself and your accomplishments.                                Worry...thinking about the worst outcome.

Mind reading...making assumptions about other people’s thoughts, feelings and                behaviors without checking the evidence.

Catastrophizing...expecting something unbearable or bad to happen.

The story you tell yourself about your stressors can dictate how your body responds.

How you interpret your situation and its danger lays out the potential for how you will feel.  For instance, rather than thinking about social distancing as being stuck in your house indefinitely, think about being home as a way to contribute to public health, and an opportunity to slow down.  

You can also calm yourself by using your five senses. Going outside, listening to birds, and smelling a flower are all simple “grounding” activities. Essentially, these things bring your body back to the present moment, which may feel safer to your nervous system than the potential negative scenarios of the future.

Watch the videos "Negative Thinking" and "From Negative to Positive" below.


Negative Thinking

Negative Thinking

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