Gloomy thinking is normal isn’t it? Okay, it is but the problem with gloomy thinking going on too long is that it slows everything down, even to the point where we grind to a halt. So, how do we push gloomy thinking away?
Start with a Plan
This can be trickier than you think if you’ve been preoccupied with gloomy thoughts. Write down, in any order, things you’d like to be doing or would consider doing. Avoid passive activities like sitting in front of the television. The aim here is to plan to do things that you find pleasant, or that you’d like to try. Once you’ve listed a few ideas, put them an order where the easiest come to the top the list. Take the task seriously and plan out a full week. Don’t try filling every minute but maybe something in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Secondly now your plan is ready it’s time to put it into action. You’ll find lots of reasons to avoid the things you’ve listed but try to stick to the plan unless there is an especially strong reason preventing you. You also need to build in activities that require mixing with people. No, it doesn’t require you to be the life and soul of the party, and anyway that may not be your style. But having people around you, maybe in a coffee shop or a park, is useful. People watching can be entertaining and thought provoking.
Okay it may not come to the top of your planning list and that’s fine. But if you can work it in I guarantee you will feel the benefit. Don’t kid yourself. Sitting on a park bench while your dog chases pigeons is not exercise. Choose whatever activity you want, so long as it leaves you slightly breathless, preferably with the rosy glow of perspiration on your skin, and takes maybe 20 to 30 minutes of your time in a day. If you work in an office block you can probably achieve this just by using the stairs a few times. Exercise is often more easy to undertake if it’s a part of your daily routine. Gloomy thinking won’t necessarily disappear overnight but you will almost certainly feel better in yourself.
Go with Balancing
Balancing is an active technique in the sense that you need to become aware of your own negative thoughts and then counterbalance them with more positive alternatives. Negative thinking feels dense and heavy. For some reason positive thoughts seem lighter, so my suggestion is for you to use as many positive thoughts as it takes to counter the weight of something more negative.
Finally and in relation to those niggling gloomy thoughts that hang around for days or weeks on end. The aim here is to move the thoughts out of your head and give them some physical form. So, get yourself a pen and a sheet of paper and begin to map out what’s in your head. Take as long as you like and you can pick it up whenever you want.
You may find you end up with a kind of map containing words, squiggles, things in boxes, connecting dots, feelings and stuff heavily underlined! The purpose of all this is to turn your thoughts and their associated emotions into something with structure. This structure can then make unpicking confusing or worrying issues a little easier. In turn it may help you to generate ideas that will solve these problems.
That’s it. I hope you’ll give some of my ideas a try or perhaps share some of the self-help ideas you’ve experimented with yourself.