In an article from forbes.com, Jeena Cho discusses how practicing mindfulness can actually reduce your negative thought patterns.
So, what is mindfulness anyway? Jessica Bane-Robert from Clark University defines mindfulness as “bringing awareness to the present moment.” When you notice yourself having debilitative thoughts, you can talk yourself out of them. Mindfulness is a “tool” that you can begin to use daily to stop negative thought patterns from interfering with your life.
“Once we identify the patterns, we know what to target,” says Jeena. “Mindfulness thus serves as the fulcrum for action to deal with negative thoughts and emotions.”
How to Practice Mindfulness
Ever notice how sometimes you’ll replay bad moments over and over again in your head? Ever realize how doing this doesn’t solve anything — it just makes you feel worse about the situation, and in turn, yourself?
Well, this is when you can practice mindfulness. Actually changing your thought patterns as they come can lead to inner peace and overall well-being. Dr. John Paul Minda, a professor at the University of Western Ontario, explains that “By being aware of negative feelings as soon as they arise, people can engage in positive remediation rather than dwelling on the negative cognition.”
What are some ways to practice mindfulness? Yoga, meditation, and other exercises that connect your body and mind are great to start with. By practicing these regularly, you will begin to feel more aware of your thoughts and surroundings. The hope is that eventually, you’ll begin to use the techniques that you’ve learned from these exercises in everyday life.
Mindfulness won’t stop negative thoughts from occurring in the first place, though; the practice just helps with dealing with your emotions in a more productive and healthier way. Minda believes that people should become aware of their thoughts so that they can catch negative thought patterns before they begin. He says that people will “be aware of negative thoughts, to acknowledge them and to then move on.”
Instead of focusing on bad experiences and obsessing over what you could have done better, practice mindfulness to ease your self-doubt and intercept negative thoughts.
Many studies have been completed over the years to examine the concept of mindfulness further. Jeena says that the studies continue to result in the idea that mindfulness improves physical and mental health. Start practicing mindfulness to be the best version of yourself possible!