Having negative thoughts about the future happens to everyone, but it can cause stress and paralyse you with fear if it goes on for too long. Thankfully, you can be more positive about the future - here are a few ways to do it.
Recognise the thoughts
Obsessing about the future can be the start of a negative thought spiral. Because the future is uncertain, your imagination can create stories around what you think it will be. That’s why it’s important to recognise when this is happening, and not feed those negative ideas further.
Think about it less
The past is gone and the future hasn’t yet happened - the only thing you have power over is your present. Thinking less about the future doesn’t mean you should abandon your plans, but rather that you accept change when it comes, and you believe in your ability to “cross a bridge when you get to it”.
You can practise gratitude in many ways, such as writing about the experiences, people and things you’re thankful to have in your life. Focusing on what you have, rather than what you think you should have in the future, will help you feel more optimistic about the present.
Celebrate your victories
If you’re feeling hopeless about your ability to succeed in the future, think back to all the times you achieved something great. This can be anything, from getting a good grade, to making someone smile. You have so many unique talents to celebrate, so write down your achievements and taking a moment to remember how good they made you feel, and that it’s possible to feel that in the future as well.
Re-write your story
The future can be scary to think about, especially if you’ve had a painful past. Your past experiences can change the way you look at the world but thankfully, this isn’t set in stone. You have the power to re-write your story, by believing that your future is bright and going into it with excitement and hope.
Here’s a quote you can read to remind yourself that the future doesn’t have to be so bleak and scary:
“The future was one thing that could never be broken, because it had not yet had the chance to be anything.” Sarah Dessen
Feeling scared or hopeless about the future is a feeling everyone gets from time to time. The important thing to remember is that you do have the power to change your mindset to a more positive one. For more advice, read our article on what to do when you feel like giving up here. Remember, you’re strong enough to face anything the future throws your way. Good luck!