This article is on the same theme of how you can control your negative thoughts as my two previously published articles:
To think positive, feel positive first.
Staying positive by accepting your negative thoughts

At times you get these thoughts, “I give up,” or “I cannot go on”’. You ignore these thoughts and continue to put your best efforts into whatever you may be doing at that moment, cooking a meal or completing an assignment. With each passing day, these thoughts become stronger until you stay in bed and cover your head with your blanket one morning.

At the Tokyo Olympics, mental health came into focus with the withdrawal of a top athlete due to mental health issues they were having at that time. You felt sad that the athlete sacrificed months and years of hard work. The same happens to each one of us when we say we cannot go on.

The question is, why do we not report our mental health issues to get timely help? It is because the symptoms of mental health problems creep up on us until one day, everything collapses.

Here, let us talk about two scenarios of how you handle these negative thoughts.

Scenario “A’. You dismiss your negative idea of feeling low and continue to go about your day. You trudge along, but by lunchtime, you cannot go on. You feel more tired and retreat to your bed, unable to leave your bedroom.

Scenario ” B”: You feel tired and have thoughts of not being enough. You pause while making your breakfast and wonder why you got these negative thoughts as you usually feel upbeat and ready to do your chores for the day. You take a break to rejuvenate; you do some breathing exercises or take a walk. You are now prepared to start again with the same enthusiasm as you had on waking up. By being aware of your thoughts, you have normalized your day.

In both cases, you stop doing your chores. The difference is that in scenario “A,” you chose to ignore your negative thoughts and then literally collapse in bed. In scenario “B,” you make a conscious choice to relax to rejuvenate.

In scenario “A,” you cannot leave your bed, which leads to an increase in adverse symptoms. You give up, get teary-eyed, cannot eat your meals and lose sleep. Meanwhile, in scenario “B,” you take time off, and your life is back on track by the evening. You have your meals and have a restful sleep.

How can you take control of your negative thoughts?

You can start with knowing the reasons. These thoughts are foreign to you as you usually like facing the challenges of everyday life, whizzing through your tasks and finishing your errands.

Having an action plan can be the next step; begin with identifying your thinking pattern. Keep a note of the times when you feel fatigued, overwhelmed or sad. Subsequently, document what you immediately did once you felt tired. It will help you to identify your response or what you did to feel better.

Next, begin with adding one adaptive behaviour at a time, positive behaviour that is already in your go-to repertoire. It can be having a cup of coffee or taking a brief walk.

You will still get these thoughts of not being enough when you feel tired or overwhelmed, but you will be able to go about your day by controlling your reactions.

Therefore, accepting your negative thoughts will make you less judgemental of your failings, leading to a more robust you.

This article was published in the Telegraph-Journal.
The picture is from Mind Matters A.S. Consulting;
anjula siddhartha mind matters Facebook page
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and should not substitute for psychotherapy with a qualified professional.