A piece of paper is not much but just enough to keep your mind in balance.
Our common sense says there is nothing wrong about being precise and attentive to details. These are qualities that help us detect problems before they appear and to address them right away. On the downside, this natural pedantry makes us overly concerned with things that are not important at the moment. Some of them may never be. Still, we continue sacrificing our nerves and energy to keep things in perfect order. At the end of the day, all we have is agitation and disappointment, as negative thoughts arise automatically and grow like a snowball.
If you suddenly cannot concentrate on studying and anything that matters right now, you are most likely overwhelmed by your negative thoughts. The good news is you can take control over what you think and, consequently, over what you feel. There are different techniques that may help you to cope with stress. In this article, we offer what you have at hand: a piece of paper.
Write down your negative thoughts
As you are ready to combat your negative thoughts, you should detect them first. According to Dr. Thomas A. Richards, a licensed psychologist and the director of the Social Anxiety Institute in Phoenix, the human brain works in a way that you are constantly in a shower of depressing thoughts. But, you can single out every troubling drop of that rainfall. Listen to yourself. Once you realize that a thought presses too hard on you, take a piece of paper and write it down. Analyze your negative thought. What scenario do you dread? And what is the chance it will happen? In most cases, the real chances of a “catastrophe” appear much smaller when you solve it on paper, like an equation. Are there any alternative outcomes to your worst scenario? Write them down as well. Every time you look through the record of your negative thoughts, you will be amazed at how fast they lose their power.
Analyzing your negative thoughts on paper will tremendously help you in reshaping your false beliefs. Have a small notebook you can carry with you and write down negative thoughts once you recognize them. Do not get upset if you cannot detect everything worrying you at once. Over time, you will be able to catch more negative thoughts and turn them into realistic ones.
Transform your negative thoughts into something real
Our constant striving for perfection turns routine events into everyday disasters. Negative thoughts make doing a presentation or going to a meeting unbearable for no reason. To take a more realistic look at a negative thought attacking your mind, you can visualize it in a different way. Again, detect your worries and write them down on a sheet of paper. Take a closer look at what you have. Are you ready to let go of these troubles? Fold the sheet to make a paper plane. See how the plane carries your stress away and how it lands in a different place.
Making paper planes or ships is a very simple yet effective way to imagine how your stressful thoughts can go away. You can also put your negativity on paper and burn or tear it apart. It is important to realize that your destructive beliefs exist just in your head. There is no need to imagine them coming true if they give you so much distress.
Sketch pictures to help you let go of negative energy
Drawing and painting are excellent activities that help people cope with stress. Even if you are not an accomplished artist, you can still benefit from simple tasks, like coloring pictures. Though it seems childish, many adults do coloring to relieve their anxiety. It is equally easy and enjoyable. You can buy one of those sketchbooks with mandalas and beautiful ready-made drawings to have art therapy whenever you want.
Sketching and coloring are a good distraction from obsessive thoughts and stressful feelings. The more you distance yourself from negative experiences, the higher are the chances to relax and enjoy living in the moment. Everyone can find drawings and colors that suits one best, which makes coloring therapy universal. Art therapists are widely promoted all over the US, but their work is quite clear. You do not need anyone if you can just take a sketchbook and start drawing.
Turn a routine paper into a piece of art using origami
Talking about the arts, origami is another wonderful paper technique that will help you get rid of negative thoughts. Cheap and easy to master, this eastern craft has become a favorite activity for many creative people all over the world. There are plenty of pictures and free tutorials on the web that will help you fold an ordinary piece of paper into an amazing work of art. You can practice origami with your kids and decorate your apartment with beautiful paper things. Fold an ordinary sheet of white paper cut into smaller pieces or even a paper napkin. You can also use paper of different colors and textures to get a brighter artistic experience. Origami may teach you not only to decorate your personal space but also to enjoy new hobbies.
Get more relaxed and confident with a simple piece of paper
Practising a relaxation technique is a must in our stressful environment. At some point, you may not realize how tense your muscles get when destructive thoughts invade you. However, over time, you will see that it becomes more difficult to cope with simple routine situations, like presenting your projects or meeting with friends. Techniques like writing down your negative thoughts or folding origami are the easiest ways to get rid of excessive stress and to distract your mind.
Once you learn to challenge your negative beliefs, you will be able to replace them with more rational thoughts. Positive and rational thinking is a steady way to resisting stress and anxiety in all kinds of situations. And you can actually develop your positive thinking using any paper technique you like.