We all want to lead happy, ‘normal’ lives but sometimes our negativity gets the best of us. As an important asset to our mental well-being, your mind has enough strength to make or break you. Without realizing it, some days we descend into a storm of destructive thinking, creating self-doubt that keeps us from reaching contentment.
Destructive thoughts do more than poison our mind — they impair our ability to be the person we aspire to become. Studies have proven we can control the chain of thoughts that influence perception either positively or negatively but it’s about our committed ability to banish such thoughts in order to lead a happy life.
Thought #1: “I’m perfect!”
Sorry, but you’re not perfect — and neither is your best friend, or that gorgeous guy you’re currently stalking on Instagram. There’s no such thing as perfection. Through its definition, perfection is “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws and defects.” But how free are you if you’re struggling for an ideal?
With a culture built on likes and hearts, perfection has reached a point where what we see, we believe. But by letting go of perfection, you can be happy without the compulsive desire to be excellent in everything you do. Mistakes are normal because our failures or slip-ups mature our thinking and become a vital instrument in reaching our goals.
Thought #2: The constant worrying
Worrying keeps us up at night and festers until we fear making that next step. Regarded as an unrelenting anxiety that drains us from enjoying the moment, worrying can transform into an obsessive cycle, creating an inability to focus on goals and pleasure.
In his best-selling book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living," author Dale Carnegie shares ways to break the habit before it breaks you, by advising to keep busy and cooperate with the inevitable. There will be things in life out of your control, so make a choice to not worry of what you cannot change and focus on the present. Whether spiritual or not, Carnegie says the best way to conquer worry is to pray.
Thought #3: “I can change them…”
No matter how hard you try, you can’t change people. Either you accept them for who they are or you start living without them. Everyone is entitled to his or her own individuality and it’s insensitive to want them to change for you. This destructive thinking triggers resentment, oppression and creates a divide between the two.
Acceptance is key and a vital part of any healthy relationship. Everyone has problems, but you learn from them, you live with them, or move on if you’re not happy. You can only change yourself and it’s a choice you make. People are supposed to be different.
Thought #4: "Money buys me happiness!"
When The Beatles sang “Can’t Buy Me Love,” they should’ve added happiness to the mix. While money can provide you with more opportunities to do things you love or buy whatever you want, it isn’t the true key.
According to a study from Princeton University, money can buy happiness, but only until a certain point. So, why rely on something so fickle? Even the most successful individuals suffer from this harsh reality as Forbes reports CEOs, founders and innovators are more or less prone to depression than the average person. No matter how you look at it, happiness comes from an inner state of mind and the relationships we form with family, friends, our community, and giving back.
Thought #5: "My future depends on my past…"
Life is unpredictable. But it doesn’t have to be depending on what path you consciously choose. While our past provides us with an idea of where to head next, it isn’t an indicator of how things need to be now. To decide what you want for yourself, a more accurate snapshot is seen in your waking life: “Do I like my job? Am I happier on my own? Is my relationship what I imagined it’d be?”
Nothing is holding you back but you. If yesterday was good but today was harder, recognize what you deserve and make the change no matter how hard it is. How you currently feel shapes your future more than your past, so take advantage of where you are today — your future depends on it!