How to CRUSH Negative Thought Patterns

It’s important for all of us to have positive thoughts, and patterns of thoughts because it helps keep us mentally and physically healthy. My parents were definitely a proponent of the “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” movement, but what if your not so nice sentiments aren’t actually spoken words, but thoughts that saturate your mind day in and day out? Our thoughts about ourselves AND others impact our feelings and behaviors – if our thoughts are for the most part crappy, negative, self-defeating or judgmental, our emotional state and behaviors will follow suit…even if we don’t mean them to. So, – how can you crush these negative thought patterns, helping yourself stay mentally positive? Here are 4 key strategies for your toolbox:

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Building Healthy Self-Esteem 1 of 2

The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.

What is self-esteem? Is it something we make or something we do? At times, self-esteem appears to be a living breathing organism, capable of growing and shrinking, strengthening and weakening. The concept of self-esteem arises from a culmination of our personal beliefs and self-perception. How are these perceptions developed? Well, without getting to psychological on y’all, how we begin to see ourselves is often shaped by the feedback we receive from others, especially those we are close to; mom, dad, siblings, caregivers, teachers, peers, bosses, and the list goes on.

Think ------Feel------Behave------Think--------Feel---------Behave------Think------Feel

How we feel about ourselves is also shaped by how we think, feel and behave (“TFB”). If you have ever been in a counseling session with me, there is no doubt that I have created the TFB triangle for you as a visual for how these three aspects directly affect each other, but are separate concepts. Now, subconsciously, these three processes love to get together and piggy back off one another. The thoughts we have about ourselves greatly affect the way that we feel about our abilities, which in turn can influence the actions we take, affecting the thoughts we have about ourselves that greatly affect the way that we feel about our abilities….and well, you get it, the cycle continues.

One can largely argue that our thoughts, feelings and actions are also largely influenced (for some, more so early on in life) by the feedback we receive from others. Individuals with healthy self-esteem are able to acknowledge their personal strengths and weaknesses (I prefer to use the phrase, strengths and challenges) and be accepting of both.

Next week, we’ll build on today’s concept, and discuss great habits to have to help build a healthy self-image.