Negative introspection and toxic thoughts

Kailah Lee | Staff Writer

Your brain is a filthy liar. Can you believe that your own mind is audacious enough to cause unnecessary stress and anxiety? Believe it. The mind is such an intricate and powerful thing, but it will have you in some adverse predicaments if you allow it. The culprit isn’t your lack of ability, talent or skill. It isn’t how you look or how you perceive yourself and it isn’t what another person may think of you. It is distortion in your mind.

Don’t panic. Your brain isn’t only compiled of tall tales. However, your mind wants to seek comfort and familiarity.

Little details associated with your unconscious mind find ways to creep into your thoughts and haunt you alive. Next thing you know, you start thinking every little action, event or gesture made has something to do with you negatively. Cognitive distortion is biased and pretty much serves to enhance our doubts and fears.

Say, for example, you spend hours fixing up your appearance and, objectively, you look good from head to toe. You start your day feeling quite ebullient, smiling ear to ear, and holding your head high. You walk into class expecting a compliment or at least some acknowledgment but you don’t receive any. The day goes on, you run into some of your friends and once again, nothing. In this moment, you’re doubting yourself a little.

Studies show that people are less likely to compliment a good-looking person because they feel that there is no need. But need not worry, your mind is just playing one of its favorite card tricks. The need for approval has been instilled in us from a young age, and it comes in many shapes and sizes.

Yes, our minds can suck at times, but how might you reverse that? HU student Josiah Belfon-Valentine, a junior from Bowie, Maryland, suggests that touching reality with our doubts and fears can help.

“I confront the area that I’m feeling negative about enough times until it’s no longer reality for me,” he said.

One of the first steps in wanting change is acknowledging the existence of a problem. Your mind lies, but that’s because you let it. You must overcome that part of you that accepts falsified thinking. An effective tip for change is to journal and practice affirmations.

Write down all the things you love about yourself as well as things you strive to improve. Repeat daily until your words are worn in your nature. Words have power, and faith in your words is even more powerful. “I believe affirmations are like praying, in a way,” said Hampton University student Jamaija Rhodes, a junior journalism major from Richmond. “I talk to [God] and tell Him about the things I would like to improve about myself. With faith, effort and a strong mind, I have taught myself to be better.”

This is your life, so why waste it on false perceptions? If you truly want to be better, mold your conviction as such.

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