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How Do I Stop These Negative Thoughts?

How Do I Stop These Negative Thoughts?

Are you always jumping to the negative outcomes in situations? Do you expect the worse to happen? Have you anticipated failure before you are even in a bad situation? You could struggle with negative thought patterns. Today, we are going to talk about that and how to stop negative thought patterns. Have you considered your thoughts lately? How many are negative compared to positive?

How Do Negative Thoughts Affect Me?

Negative thought patterns are more than just a thought. While it is normal for everyone to have negative thoughts, it is not healthy for us to have primarily negative thoughts or thoughts that remain in a negative cycle. This affects more than just the thought. It can affect your physical health as well as emotional and mental health. Below are a few ways having primarily negative thoughts can affect our us and our lives. Do you see these in your own life?

  • Upset stomach or digestion issues
  • Social withdraw or isolation
  • Frequent headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Issues sleeping
  • Addiction
  • Negative impact coping mechanisms
  • Strained relationships

Do you recognize these traits in your life? Are you ready for change but not sure how to stop negative thoughts? Keep reading for suggestions that could help.

What are Examples of Negative Thoughts?

If you have struggled with negative thoughts throughout your life there may reasons that contributed to it. Trauma, neglect or an unstable childhood are just a few factors that could contribute. Our thoughts become so normal to us that we often don’t realize how our own patterns or the severity of how often we come to a negative conclusion. Below are some examples of negative thought patterns. Do you recognize these for yourself?

  • You see one single negative event as a continuum of bad events
  • Seeing a circumstance as the worst ever, or blowing out of proportion
  • You gauge your life based on how you currently feel
  • You focus on what you should have done
  • Assuming something in the future is going to be bad
  • Believing something is either absolutely perfect or a failure
  • Measuring your worth or value from your successes or failures
  • Blaming others for how you feel
  • Not seeing positive outcomes and only focusing on the negatives

Breaking free from these thought patterns can be hard but there is hope. With determination and honesty with yourself, you can, over time, improve the way you think. Ready to know more about how to do that?

How Can I Stop Negative Thought Patterns?

Most people who have thought patterns that are primarily negative desire a change. They often can recognize the condition of their mental health but just don’t know how to stop the negative thoughts. Remember that change takes time. If you have struggled the majority of your life with an issue, change is not going to come overnight. With time and effort, we can take small steps of change to improve ourselves. Below are few suggestions that could help you make that step.

  • Write something you are grateful for and add to it each day
  • Spend 15 a day writing out how you feel to identify your thoughts
  • Replace negative surroundings such as TV, music, websites, social media or people
  • Get more exercise
  • Confide in someone your trust about your thoughts and efforts to improve
  • Seek professional help and talk it through

If you are someone who comes from a family of past abuse, neglect or trauma, it can be hard to make changes on your own. You are not alone. Upstate Restorative Counseling understands and has a passion to help people just like you with taking steps toward freedom to live their lives.

Try Something New this Spring

Try Something New this Spring

The green grass is coming back. The hills and mountains are more than shades of brown. The beautiful colors of the flowers can be seen everywhere. Spring has sprung! With warmer weather and prettier sites to see, it may be time to try something new this spring. The winter months can be long and hard for some but spring is the perfect opportunity to get out and get moving.

Increase Your Movement.

We have talked a lot on this blog how movement and exercise is needed for so many of our bodies functions to remain healthy. Movement also decreases depression. Spring could be the perfect time to commit to trying something new. Consider things you enjoy and try to get exercise and movement from them. There are so many different fun ways to exercise that are outside of the normal gym or class setting. Take a look below at the suggestions. Which of these may you want to try?

  • Local city-wide paved trails for walking or biking
  • Tend to the garden
  • Paddleboard in a local lake
  • Take a hike at your ability level
  • Fly a kite
  • Pickleball with some friends
  • Go for a kayak ride
  • Play frisbee with a friend
  • Listen to your favorite music while walking

There are so many ways to add movement to your lifestyle. Many of which can be so much fun if shared with someone you enjoy. Try something new this Spring, it may just stick around as something you love.

Spring Time Fun.

Spring also brings other opportunities that may not be as available the rest of the year. The idea is change up your routines and habits to make space for new things this year. Did you know that repeating the same things all the time can lead to increased stress and more boredom in your life? This can be a challenge to those of us who prefer routine. Everyone can benefit from change and being intentional to bring new fun things into the mix. Below are a few things to consider that can be different for spring.

  • Start a garden or shop local farmers market for new foods
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Pick some berries and make a homemade pie
  • Explore a downtown area and dine outside
  • Find a quiet spot to bird watch
  • Take a small get away spring vacation
  • Hang a bird feeder and identify the birds
  • Clean out the house and have a garage sale
  • Go on a picnic
  • Find wildflowers and make an arrangement for your house
  • Grow some window seal herbs
  • Dance and play in the rain
  • Sit in a patch of clover and look for a four leaf one
  • Take a Sunday drive or road trip to see something new
  • Take a walk on grass barefoot

The idea of the list is to try something new this spring. Slow down from the normal pace of life and “smell the roses”. The pace we sometimes keep can be hard on our bodies and on our families. Building in time to slow down and enjoy something different can improve our mental health and decrease our stress and anxiety.

If you find yourself desiring more fun and less stress but can’t seem to make changes for yourself, you are not alone. It can be hard to overcome a wound or trauma from your past. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here for you and wants to help you with tools to help you live your best life. Reach out today.

Spring Cleaning for Ourselves?

Spring Cleaning for Ourselves?

Spring is often a time when we go through our houses and do deep cleaning. We clean things that only get cleaned a couple of times a year. Isn’t it crazy how dirty those places can get without regular attention? Did you know the same things can happen to us when we ignore our own needs and habitually procrastinate implementing a needed change? That is what we are going to talk about today. Spring cleaning for ourself is necessary. Ready to dive in and decide what area of your life could use a good scrub?

Why Do I Need to Care for Myself?

Caring for ourselves is necessary. Just like most all things, if we don’t partake in maintenance for ourselves, we can slow down, develop problems in working correctly or even break. We all have complex needs to support our whole self emotionally, mentally and physically. When we ignore one or more areas of need, it will only be a matter of time before we see symptoms of neglect. Are you familiar with what those symptoms look like? We will take a look below at some things can occur as a symptom of not caring for yourself as often as needed.

  • Emotional symptoms. You may feel confused about how you feel or unable to put to words what you are feeling. You can feel numb to your emotions or push them down refusing to “feel” them. You lack compassion for yourself and are often critical. You are self-dependent and feel like you can’t ask for help. You shut down or walk away from conflict instead of resolving it. You remain in unhealthy relationships where boundaries are practically non-existent. Your emotions are close to the surface, you may tear up at mention of change or challenge.
  • Mental health symptoms. You suffer with anxious thoughts or worry. You mostly feel unhappy or depressed. You may have issues sleeping deeply. You have become withdrawn and prefer not to join social activities. You have lost interest in performing well. You have thoughts of guilt or worthlessness about yourself.
  • Physical symptoms. Your body has less ability to perform physical activity. Your strength and stamina has changed. You tire more easily. You have muscle pain and stiffness with even little activities. You find you are stationary with less movement. You may find breathing more strained during activity.

These are some of the symptoms that you could experience if you have put yourself on the back burner. But that doesn’t have to remain the picture you see. Today we are going talk about ways to spring clean yourself and add something new to your day that can help.

How Can I Spring Clean Myself Emotionally?

Self-awareness is key in helping yourself build emotional resilience. We are all complex and have a multitude of emotions, and that is ok. We simply are not made to be capable to plowing through each day without being moved or bothered by anything. That isn’t possible. Below are suggestions to spring clean your thoughts and beliefs in believing you can.

  • Allow yourself to feel the emotions you are experiencing.
  • Try to understand why you feel the way you do.
  • What triggered the feeling you are having?
  • Cultivate or practice positive thoughts such as “This is not what I expected, but in time, I will come up with a solution that can work.”.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings.
  • Practice deep breathing in your nose and out of your mouth to give space and time in between your thoughts and words.

Mental Spring Cleaning, How?

Mental health is important and can be tough to maintain and improve, but it can be done, and it is worth the work. Having a constant level of impacted mental health can be harmful for you and impact your relationships. Below are some suggestions that could help you spring clean your metal health.

  • I know we have all heard the importance of exercise. Exercise is literally like scrubbing the inside of your body from the stresses of the day.
  • Unplug from social media. It is full of peoples highlights and comparisons. This can wear on us especially when our family is going through something hard.
  • Journal your thoughts. Get them out. Holding stuff in just stores all the negative energy inside your body. Over time this can affect our health.
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. While we sleep our bodies recover, restore and replenish. Without sleep we begin the next day with yesterday’s stresses still present.
  • Stay connected with people who are fun. Meet with people you trust and talk.

Help, I Need Physical Spring Cleaning.

Each day our bodies need to respond to our needs and activities we have. Keeping up with our demands can be hard if we are not regularly working our bodies physically to strengthen ourselves. The key to physical activity is finding what you love and doing it. We don’t all like the same things, and that is ok.

  • Move. It benefits more than just your physical health.
  • Choose food and snacks that are fuel to your body. Enjoy sweats and treats with moderation.
  • Drink plenty of water and less soda and sugar drinks.
  • Drink a cup of hot herbal tea each day. It’s a relaxing drink that can also have positive health benefits.
  • Get out in the sun. Natural vitamin D is so good for us and helps maintain our body systems.
  • Park in distant parking places to get more steps in.

Whether you are in need in one of these areas or all, choosing the first thing you want to change is the first step. Remember, we don’t change our habits overnight. With consistent persistent effort in adding one of these to our day, we will see change over time. Before you know it, next year’s self-spring clean may not be as long.

Remember that change takes time. We can’t continue the way we are and expect change to come. Be gentle on yourself. You are worth the work. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here if you need help with the next step. You are not alone. If you have tried self-help and still struggle with anxiety or depression, reach out, we are here to help.



The Power of Positivity

The Power of Positivity

We have all heard it our lives. Thinking positive and staying positive is good for us. Having a negative outlook affects us mentally and physically. But what exactly does the power of positivity mean? We are going to talk about that today. So whether you could use some help with changing your mindset or some encouragement on keeping it, todays blog could help.

What is Positive Thinking?

Have you heard the saying “the glass is always half full or half empty”? Oftentimes, that is pertaining to how someone thinks or perceives things. We each have a default mindset when we hear or contemplate a scenario. If our minds default to considering the good outcome or finding a possible good, even in bad situations, we are seen as having a positive outlook or positive thinking. Have you ever met someone that regardless of what scenario you discuss with them, they immediately jump to the negative conclusion? I think we have all met a person like that.  They have a negative mindset, or they are negative thinkers. Below we talk about the power of positivity and how it affects our well-being.

Does Being Positive Really Help?

There are so many studies out there that look at our physical and mental health and how it is affected by the type of thinker we are. You can Google the term and learn so much. Although there are many studies that look at the topic from different perspectives, the outcomes are mostly similar. When we are intentional to change the way we process situations, it can have positive affects in our lives. But first we must recognize the need for change and make a decision to act upon it. The findings below could help you make that decision. These are a just a few impacts having a positive mindset can help.

  • Improved psychological health
  • Longer life span
  • Better stress management and coping
  • Improved immune system to common illnesses
  • Decreased depression
  • Reduced heart related illnesses
  • Improved relationships
  • Boosts productivity
  • Increased energy

We could all use more of this list in our lives, couldn’t we? Which of these impacts has the most appeal to you?

How Can I Change My Thoughts?

If you have struggled with negative self-talk for most of your life, changing that could seem hard. Remember, it’s ok to decide just one step and work on that. Change happens in small increments over time, not overnight. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time. Persistence is the key to change and looking at results over longer time. Before you know it you will be looking back and with gratitude over the difference the power of positivity has had in your life. Below are steps that can help you change your mindset from negative to positive.

  • Acknowledge your thoughts
  • Encourage yourself with positive statements
  • Ponder all outcomes, not just the negative
  • Keep a thought journal to reflect back on
  • A gratitude journal can help keep good things in mind
  • Talk to yourself in third person, using your name to address yourself, our subconscious minds responds differently to hearing our name
  • Remind yourself of positive or good things that have happened recently
  • Schedule down time in nature, being creative or just being quite
  • Remember the challenges you have already conquered

I want to remind you; change will not happen overnight. But, if you stay committed to go easier on yourself and talk more positive, you can see change over time. If you have tried to take steps toward improved mental health, but struggle to make headway, you are not alone. Sometimes we have events in our lives that require professional help to guide us through. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here. Our therapists have a passion for helping people find freedom in their lives. Reach out if you are ready take your life back and live out your life goals.

Are They Being Controlling?

Are They Being Controlling?

Are you in a relationship with the type of person who has to control the routine all the time in order to maintain a calm demeanor? Do you feel like they are being controlling? Have they displayed a desire to control other people? Do they feel the need to be the one to make the decisions, because theirs are the best? Are you made to feel like your opinions, thoughts or preferences are not important? Control can be defined as the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.

Recognizing someone is being controlling can be difficult. Someone with control issues, however, tries to control most all circumstances. Today, we are going discuss ways to recognize what it is like to be in a relationship with someone who struggles with control. Can you relate to this?

What are the Signs of Control?

Relationships are hard, even when both people strive to be a healthy individual. If one of people has a desire to control, the relationship can go beyond unhealthy to dangerous. It is important to listen to your inner self if you often feel someone is treating you in a way that makes you uncomfortable. Do you have someone in your life that makes you feel like you can’t be yourself and their wants are more important than yours? Do you have someone in your life that makes you feel like you’re unimportant and you feel unheard? They may struggle with control. Below are signs that someone may struggle with control.

  • Don’t take no for an answer
  • It’s their way or no way
  • Highly critical
  • Try to isolate you from others
  • Manipulative behavior
  • They are unpredictable
  • Use gaslighting
  • Excuse their behavior as “just joking”
  • Try to make you feel guilty
  • Don’t take responsibility for their actions
  • Don’t respect your boundaries

If you are in a relationship with someone who displays any of these signs, they may struggle with control.

What Causes Someone to Control?

The desire to control others and situations can be created within us many different ways. In all relationships, it is important that each person be themselves, be a healthy and safe person. Each of us need to respect the other people and their needs. When people are raised in environments that do not respect these boundaries, they can develop unhealthy boundaries themselves. They can also learn unhelpful ways to cope with life and stress, leading to them being an unhealthy person. Recognizing these traits are key to entering into safe relationships. There are many circumstances that can lead to someone having an unhealthy need to control. Some of those are listed below. Do you recognize any of these circumstances as possible for them?

  • Anxiety in someone can lead them to want to control all situations
  • Personality disorders can increase the desire to control others
  • Learned behaviors, from childhood or past relationships
  • Traumatic events in the past
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of abandonment

While these are some of the reasons that people can become controlling, these are not all. Regardless of why someone has the need to be controlling, it is never your fault nor responsibility to try to change the person.


What Can I Do?

Recognizing the need for change is always a good first step in taking action. It is important to realize that we cannot change another person, but you can take steps forward to do what is best for you. The below steps could help you in deciding a path forward. Once someone recognizes that there is a need for change, help can be right around the corner.

  • If you are in an unsafe situation, please seek help immediately
  • You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text START to 88788
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Speak with a therapist who can help you better understand your circumstance
  • Set boundaries for yourself and learn how to keep them

Admitting that we have someone in our lives who are trying to control us, can be hard. You are not alone. Upstate Restorative Counseling can help. We have compassion to listen and help you establish steps forward to accomplish your goals.