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Tips to Overcome Your Negative Thinking Patterns

"This is never going to get any better"

"I suck today"

"I should be doing better right now"

The above statements are ones that we often find ourselves thinking throughout the day especially during a performance. Whether you are an athlete or an individual looking to reach a goal, the above statements or those of a similar nature, are ones that may come too easily to mind during the day.

In order to overcome your negative thinking patterns, it is important to increase your positive thinking and use certain techniques such as reframing and thought stopping. You must learn to program positive thoughts and reframe negative thinking. With practice, you can learn to increase your

positive thinking and gradually decrease your negative thinking and when you do begin to find yourself

thinking negatively, be able to quickly get back into your positive flow.

1. Program Positive Thinking- increase the use of positive affirmations and motivational

slogans (quotes, mantras, sayings, etc.), increase the use of cue words or quick reminders to help trigger

automatic responses (i.e. relax, deep breath, its okay, etc.)

Exercise: On a piece of paper list 10 positive affirmations that will increase your positive thinking patterns, post the paper on your mirror, wall, etc.

Positive Affirmation

2. Reframe Negative Thinking- No matter how often you continue to increase your positive

thinking, negative thoughts will remain. Your ability to reframe those negative thoughts are

key to improving your self-talk.

Tip: Thought stopping is a self-talk technique that forcefully disrupts the stream of negative thinking before replacing it with more constructive thoughts. Stopping negative thoughts may take intense concentration and the use of cue words such as "Stop!" or "Shut off!" Imagining turning off a light switch or stove top knob may allow your body to image shutting off or stopping the thought.

Remember: Give yourself some patience. Change takes time especially when what you are trying to change is mostly all in your head.

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