According to Scientific American Magazine, “We are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking that goes on in our minds, and we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts.” Because most of our thoughts occur subconsciously, it is important to take advantage of the few we can control.
Channing Marinari, licensed mental health counselor at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, identifies four toxic thoughts to eliminate for a happier and healthier life:
Marinari says this thought leads to a vicious cycle of procrastination. She recommends changing this to “I’ll start today” and give yourself a concrete start time (i.e. 2pm) to complete your goals.
This will prevent you from achieving your goal before you’ve even started. “There is often more success in the steps building up to an accomplishment than the accomplishment itself,” explains Marinari. Instead, Marinari says to tell yourself “I will do my best at trying that” and watch yourself succeed at new things you never thought possible.
“This leads to a victim cycle and perpetuates negative self-image and defines how a person acts and thinks,” says Marinari, who recommends changing this to “I admire how they do that and maybe I can learn from them.” Looking to others for inspiration is healthy, comparing is unhealthy.
“This leads to a constant state of unfulfillment and depression. Changing your perspective to find gratitude in what you do currently have will help you to feel more fulfilled and successful,” says Marinari. She recommends creating a gratitude list every week and hanging it up to look at when these thoughts come up.
Toxic thoughts can play a major role in anxiety, depression and other mood disorders by decreasing self-esteem and motivation. By reducing these toxic thoughts, you can take control of your life and achieve your goals.