3 Ways to Curb Negative Thoughts
If you’re a Print+Promo subscriber, you must be familiar with our Executive Perspectives column, where we interview top executives of successful print and promotional companies to gain insight on trends, leadership strategies and what’s currently plaguing the industry. One of the questions I like to ask these principals is: What keeps you up at night?
The answers are varied, ranging from an aging workforce to disruptive technology. No matter the response, all concerns are valid, and it would be wrong to shame anyone for their feelings. But whether in business or in life, there are ways to manage our anxieties. After all, to quote Temple University professor of mathematics John Allen Paulos: “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”
Here are three tips to help you curb the negative thoughts and get some extra shut-eye in the process:
Chances are, if you’ve made it to the C-suite, you’ve learned a thing or two about goal-setting and problem-solving. As Graham C.L. Davey, Ph.D. reminds us in a post on Psychology Today: “Worrying is normally a very inefficient attempt to problem-solve.” Instead of feeding this behavior, he says, consider what you need to do now to deal with the issue at hand.
2. Practice mindfulness
I’m currently working on this myself—and it’s hard! Tiny Buddha contributor Lori Deschene writes, “When you obsess about a tomorrow you can’t control, you’re too busy judging what hasn’t happened yet to fully experience what’s happening right now.” As a result, the positives go unnoticed and you get trapped in a cycle of “what ifs.” Deschene suggests spending the “today” doing things that you love. Maybe that means writing, reading or simply connecting with others. Focus on the possibilities. And when tomorrow does come, respond to it, and learn from it.
3. Forgive yourself
This may seem counterproductive, but feel all the feelings. That doesn’t make you weak or defective. In fact, it shows strength. So, don’t be too hard on yourself. Repressing those feelings to maintain a certain image will only make them stronger when they return—and watch out when they do!