7 Toxic Thoughts That Poison Our Lives and How to Get Rid of Them

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4. You let your emotions control your decisions.

Coming to conclusions about yourself or the things around you based on emotions is another type of thinking that can hold you back from doing what you want and achieving your goals. For example, you want to start a business, but you are afraid it won’t work out and you feel overwhelmed by the whole process. So you might think, that if you’re scared and confused already, you really weren’t meant to be a businessman or a businesswoman.

However, how something makes you feel isn’t always the way it really is. If you have negative thinking from the very beginning, you’re setting yourself up for failure. So it’s important to do away with those worries, face your fears, and think more positively about your abilities or the situation at hand.

5. You often blame yourself.

We all want to feel in control of what’s happening in our lives, so when something doesn’t happen the way we expected, we might blame ourselves, even if we aren’t responsible. For example, if your child gets bad grades in school, you might think that you’re a bad parent. Or if you booked a table at a restaurant for you and your friends, but when you got there, they didn’t have a record of your reservation, you start blaming yourself for not being responsible enough to double-check if the booking went through, and you think all of your friends also blame you for ruining their night. While in reality, it was probably not your fault at all — maybe the person checking the reservations just missed it, or there was a system failure.

So instead of beating yourself up and thinking, “It`s all my fault, I could`ve prevented that,” accept that there are some things that are just out of your control and you aren’t responsible if something goes wrong.

6. You use words like “must,” “should,” and “ought to.”

In some situations, using these words means setting unrealistic goals. And if you don’t achieve them, you feel bad about it and see yourself as a failure. For example, you think to yourself, “I should work out 5 times a week.” And then if you don’t do that, you feel really guilty about it, and you think you’ll never have enough willpower to do it.

Instead, think “I can\choose to work out 5 times a week.” If you use these words, you won’t feel as constrained in your actions. You will give yourself more freedom to choose what you can and want to do. And you won’t feel bad if you decide to not work out on a certain day.

7. You jump to conclusions.

You can never really know what someone else is thinking. However, sometimes being anxious or insecure could lead you to make assumptions about what others think about you, and it’s rarely something positive in your mind.

For example, you might feel self-conscious when you notice someone staring at you. You think maybe there’s something in your teeth, or your hair looks weird. When in reality, that person could not be staring at you at all. They might just be looking into the distance, deep in thought. And if they are actually looking at you, maybe they want to compliment you on your outfit, but feel too shy to do so.

Don’t let your anxiety control how you think and feel. When you notice your brain doing some mind-reading and picking only the worst-case scenarios of what others could be thinking, stop right there, and imagine the best-case scenario instead.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking these types of thoughts? How do they affect you? Have you tried to get rid of them?

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