Loving and caring for others stems from loving and caring for yourself. Hateful words and thoughts that you have can be projected upon others, hurt relationships due to your own lack of self-love, or completely tear you down. Think about what you are saying to others before, during, and after you say something. Think about what you are saying to yourself and change it for the positive.
This is easy to say, and hard to do. I struggle with my own self-confidence and self-esteem. I struggle with negative thoughts. So, believe me when I say, it’s an uphill battle.
But, there are things you can do, to counter the negative speak you give yourself. I’m not a mental health practitioner, so if you need help beyond this, please seek it. These are just some of the things I do, that help me, and that I can recommend.
- Replace negative with positive: This tends to be difficult for me, but it works for so many others. When you begin thinking something negative replace that thought with something positive.Example 1: Instead of thinking you can’t do something; know, visualize, and say that you can. Go into it knowing that you’ve got it under control.
- Example 2: When you think hurtful thoughts about yourself such as “I’m so ugly”, replace that thought with something positive: “I’m so funny”.
- From the past? Find the funny aspect of it.: When you start ruminating on things that happened in the past, and those things cause negative thoughts, try to think of the funny aspect of it. Laughter is a strong medicine.
- Example: I went to the bar last week and had quite a few drinks. The next day I started replaying what happened and started feeling ashamed, and mostly, like I made myself look really silly. Instead of continuing those thoughts I began thinking about the good things of the night, and some of the silly things I did that looking back on, were really funny. After doing some laughing, all was well. The negative thoughts were gone. Now when I think of that night I’m met with laughter instead of being upset with myself.
- Journal – Keeping a journal will help you identify the things that cause your negative thoughts, and help you prevent in entering those situations. And, in the case of the second journal listed, those negative thoughts will fade away as quickly as they came.
- Use a daily journal.
- Use a gratitude journal: This is something you can either write on throughout the day (as soon as something positive happens) or that you can save for the night. In that case, here are some prompts that will help bring out the positive of the day. I highly recommend using something digital, such as an app. Remember to go back to this journal when your thoughts take a turn for the worse.
- one thing you like about today
- one thing you like about yourself today
- one thing you were grateful for today
- Cognitive journal: This was recommended to me by a therapist, and has been one of the most instrumental things in changing my thoughts. Based on the therapy technique, dialectical behavior therapy, you change your thought patterns by reviewing the issue and getting to the root of the problem. When you start having a negative thought, you have the opportunity to find why, and to change that into a positive thought. In this case it is a CBT Thought Record such as this example. However, I use an Android app that lets me create the records on my phone as soon as they happen.
- Be in the present: This one helps, but, for me, it’s fleeting unless I can find something to redirect my attention towards. In this case you’ll want to focus on the present moment. Are you cold or hot? What sounds are around you? How does your body feel? Focus not on the internal, but placing your focus on the external.
- Use positive affirmations: Yes, daily. Tell yourself as soon as you wakeup how beautiful, intelligent, and amazing you are. Tell yourself before bed how you were amazing today. Tell yourself you matter… that you’re important. Keep telling yourself these things. Like a certain organization says: “fake it till you make it.” Tell yourself those things, force yourself to believe them, and eventually, those thoughts will help to trump the negative.
Tarot Spreads for negative thinking
So, how does tarot come into play here? In this case, you’d want to either read for yourself or find a tarot reader you trust. This can get deeply emotional, even with what seems to be so few cards.
- If you are replaying something from the past
- What can I learn from this
- what other perspective can I see from this
- what can I do to move forward
- If you are projecting something into the future
- what can I do to prepare
- what can I do to focus on the now
- what are my strengths
- Current negative thoughts
- what is the core issue
- how can I move past the superficial issue
- what can I learn from this situation