If you're struggling with stress, sickness or unhappiness, the cause might not be poor work/life balance. Instead, it could be a poor attitude. "Pessimism is trouble because it's bad for your health," author Travis Bradberry writes in an article for Entrepreneur.com. "Numerous studies have shown that optimists are physically and psychologically healthier than pessimists."
To turn your frown upside-down, Bradberry suggests training yourself to focus on fact instead of fiction.
"Most of our negative thoughts are just that -- thoughts, not facts," he says. "When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things your inner voice says, it's time to stop and write them down. Literally stop what you're doing and write down what you're thinking. Once you've taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity. Evaluate these statements to see if they're factual."
If your negative thoughts contain words like "never," "always," "worst" or "ever" -- "this bad thing always happens," for example, or "I'll never achieve this awesome goal" -- they're probably false narratives.
"When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain's natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event," Bradberry says. "Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook."
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