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Mental Health Awareness Week – Challenging Negative Thought Patterns

15th May 2019

We are on day three of Mental Health Awareness Week and our focus today is challenging negative thought patterns.

If you have ever struggled with sadness, worry, fear or a feeling that there is more to life than what you have at present then you will share this in common with many people. A reason for such unhappiness is that we seem controlled by our negative self critical thoughts which have developed over time and need to be replaced with more positive and self accepting thoughts or beliefs about ourselves.  We may have benefitted from having a ‘talking cure’ therapist help us with this endeavour, or we may have found self-help or app based material which helps us challenge these negative ways of being. It may be a pattern of negative and unhelpful thinking which has been learned over many years, and yet the starting point is to recognise what is happening and start from this point.

Challenging Negative Thought Patterns

Developing a more positive self accepting approach enables us to develop our awareness of patterns of thought and behaviour and step aside from this so that we stop reacting from habit or auto-pilot and can begin to let go of unhelpful patterns and choose more adaptive ways of thinking and behaving. We can train our brain to re-wire and respond to life in a way that will help us to move towards a healthier and more spontaneous expression of who we are.

Remember it all begins and ends in your mind. Whatever you give power to, it has power over you if you allow it. We can take 3 deep breaths and consider our reactions and identify if our thought pattern is helpful to us or not. We need space and reflection to do this, so the next time you feel you are in reacting and negative mode, take a breath (or 3) and adapt your thoughts to a more beneficial approach. Become conscious of your thought patterns, becoming conscious means you can start to control/adapt them into a more helpful thought pattern which will soon become a habit.  You may also benefit from some professional help from a therapist or coach, or make use of some self help material.