Mental Health

How to stop the negative thoughts so you can tackle your 2019 goals

When you embark on your weight loss journey, you make sure you’re supporting your body physically; that is, eating well and exercising.

What you may not expect and be experiencing, is the rollercoaster of emotions, positive and negative, that comes with the journey. The negative emotions can be extremely detrimental to your progress and see you take steps backwards.

If this sounds familiar, learn how to deal with them so you can stay on track to achieving your goals this year.

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Tips to help kill negativity and kick your 2019 goals

Do you ignore or distract yourself from feeling negative emotions?

This can be a very common coping mechanism when trying to deal with emotions like sadness, guilt, stress or anxiety. 

You may find yourself eating, shopping, watching TV or drinking in order to ignore or distract yourself from feeling them.

Try instead…

Take a few breaths and pause before initiating an action or making decisions. 

You may find this challenging at first but the more you practice instead of giving in to your emotions the better you will get. 

If you are having a difficult time trying to breathe, pause and connect with yourself, try the MIND.BODY.BREATH 3-minute session from The Healthy Mummy app.

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Do you let your emotions blow out of proportion?

We’ve all been there; life is stressful, you may be exhausted. So when something happens you may find your emotions so overwhelming you want to or are throwing objects, slamming doors and shouting at the family about an unrelated issue. By allowing your emotions to take over you, you’re making the situation worse and only cause more emotional (or physical) damage to yourself and possibly others. 

Try instead…

A more positive and constructive way to express your emotions is by doing an unrelated activity or talking to someone.

When you feel your emotions reach their peak it is very hard to self-regulate so before you reach this stage, try to find the right way to release your anger and other negative emotions.

Try these ideas next time you feel yourself losing control:

  • Creative: drawing, painting, writing or playing an instrument when you feel stressed and upset
  • Physical: boxing, running, HIIT class for an adrenaline rush that will rid your negative emotions
  • Alternative: laughing therapy where you forcibly laugh to trick the brain in releasing happy chemicals or shouting underwater as you swim.

Do you find you can’t see/think clearly when you’re in this negative frame of mind?

It is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when all you feel is dark and down.

You may start to lash out at others blaming them for your feelings, make unhealthy, bad or dangerous decisions, where you later have to deal with consequences that make you feel guilty, ashamed and unworthy.

Try instead…

Take the time to write down what has happened to trigger the negative emotions, how you currently feel and what needs to happen to make you feel better.

Try not to express any judgement or opinions about your thoughts and feeling, try not to analyse.

Just continue to write without interruption until you feel a huge release. Writing down inner turmoil makes them weaker, more objective and hopefully manageable.

Do you find it difficult to pinpoint what you feel?

It can be common to feel a lot of things at once and not be able to give those emotions a name. So when you experience an event that makes you feel bad, you don’t know what to change because you can’t describe what you feel, leaving the cycle to continue unchanged.

Try instead…

Once you label an emotion, you find it becomes easier to recognise and manage. This self-reflectivity is quite a difficult task to master so when you start out, try to attribute colours, sounds or words to that feeling.

Once you have gotten used to this, try to focus on which part of the body you can feel this emotion coming from.

The key is to focus on the emotion so you can isolate it, manage it and anticipate it’s arrival so you can deal with it.

Emotional intelligence is a difficult but necessary part of life to master. With practice, you can decipher your triggers which can aid you in managing negative emotions that hold you back from achieving your goals.  

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written by:

Shara Smith

Shara is a psychotherapist and a counsellor, who has over 12 years experience in the mental health, life coaching and self-care sector. While she loves her husband and three kids, she also loves watching re-runs of Sex in the City and baking decadent cookies that only she gets to eat.