10 Ways to Free your Mind from Negative Thinking
You live with your thoughts, so be careful what they are.
— EVA ARRINGTON
During a Separation, or following a divorce, it is so important to start the process of freeing your mind from toxic, negative and unhealthy thoughts. This journey may be painful at first, but there are so many benefits: less energy spent on painful memories, reduced stress, better sleeps, more mental-space for newfound peace and joys that are on the horizon. Even with the benefits, freeing your mind can feel overwhelming and impossible, for some.
Consider this list of 10 ways to free your mind from negativity:
1. Declutter your space: As soon as you start to declutter your space, you free your mind from mental attachments to objects that may remind you of your past marriage. Re-evaluate all items in your space. Does it serve a purpose? Does it add value to your life? Does it help you continue on your journey to heal? Give things away, host a garage sale, throw things out! This first step will automatically make some space in your mind for new happy thoughts.
2. Get rid of relationship mementos: look at the items still in your space. Are any of these items relationship mementos that remind you of your ex? Do any of these items keep you mentally-connected to your marriage? If so, start the process of getting rid of these items. Throw them out, give them to friends, do what you need to do to physically remove them from your space. At the very least, pack them up in a box and store them somewhere away from you. Out of sight, out of mind.
3. Therapy: Everyone should go to therapy! Especially those who are going through a serious life-transition. Therapy is simply a set-time where you get to talk all about you! How often does that really happen? It can be daunting at first; however, it can soon become a safe-space. When you communicate negative thoughts and painful memories to someone, it becomes easier to let those thoughts and memories go. Therapists can also suggest some wonderful strategies to help you let go of, and move past, unhealthy thinking. Good Therapy can help you find a therapist in your area.
4. Imagine your beautiful future: It may seem like life will never be happy again; however, time does heal, and you never know what may be just around the corner. Start imagining that beautiful future you want for yourself. Think about that goal that you want to work toward. focus on the positive trajectory you want your life to take.
5. Mindfulness Practices: mindfulness is so important during this process. Take up a yoga class, meditate, give gratitude, be thankful, live in the moment, let yesterday go, be present, and breathe. Check out our articles on mindfulness for some tips!
6. Change your expectations: A lot of our pain and unhealthy thinking comes from our expectations of ourselves, our partners, and our lives. These expectations could have been created by upbringing, society, culture, family or friends. Re-evaluate all of your expectations. Are they realistic? Do they add value to your life? Can you change them so that you don't feel hurt or disappointed by the expectations you hold?
7. Take a break from social media: Friends on facebook, instagram, twitter, and other social media platforms often show off the very best aspects of their lives. Realize that this is not their every-day reality. Take a break from social media and live for only you. Be thankful for all that you do have and acknowledge all the things in your life that bring you happiness already.
8. Set a time-limit on negative thoughts: Even though you may be trying your hardest to never think your negative thoughts, maybe you can't banish them completely. Do yourself a favour and set a time-limit on how long you allow yourself to think about these things. It may be as small as 2 minutes; or maybe you need a larger window, like 15 minutes. Set a timmer every day and think exclusively about these things for the time amount you choose. Then, do not allow yourself to think about them again until tomorrow. You may find that eventually, you do not need this at all, as the thoughts aren't there anymore.
9. Journal: The simple act of getting out those painful thoughts and feelings can help you let it all go. A journal is a great tool for this. It could be the traditional paper and pen format. Maybe you want to keep your journal digitally. Whatever works for you. Get those negative thoughts out and let them go.
10. Reconnect with friends and family: While going through your divorce, it's possible that you alienated yourself from some of your friends and family. This is 100% normal. Now is the time to reconnect with these people and re-establish healthy relationships with people who love you and want the best for you.