Targeting Negative Thoughts Workshop

Targeting Negative Thoughts WorkshopCMHA ‘Employment Support Scheme’ helps service users to strengthen their life skills and increase their self-confidence by organising workshops regularly for service users such as ‘CV Writing’, ‘Successful Interview’, ‘Communication Skills’, ‘Stress Management’ and etc.

CMHA ‘Employment Support Scheme’ helps service users to strengthen their life skills and increase their self-confidence by organising workshops regularly for service users such as ‘CV Writing’, ‘Successful Interview’, ‘Communication Skills’, ‘Stress Management’ and etc.

In supporting this program, we recently invited a professional counsellor with a doctorate degree and a senior lecturer in business and marketing, Mr Lee Gan Quan to deliver ‘Overcome Negative Thoughts’ workshop for CMHA Employment Project service users.

This phrase ‘Your biggest enemy is yourself’ has been around since ancient times. Have you ever found yourself emerging thoughts such as ‘He thinks I am a failure!’, ‘Now I will not succeed in this exam/interview!’, ‘I will not succeed in getting this job!’, ‘If I fail, my life is over!’, ‘I am not a popular person and no one likes me!’, ‘Bad things always happen to me!’, ‘I am no good at anything!’ When you have these kinds of thoughts in your mind, you would have never suspected if they are genuinely real, therefore you feel frustrated, despair, lost, depressed and even have doubts about the value of yourself as an individual and so in action your performance is reduced and you take a negative outlook.

It is not because you really are a failure, or you fail your exam /do not succeed in interview that led you not been able to carry out positive actions but rather your negative thoughts.

During the ‘Overcome Negative Thoughts’ workshop, Mr. Lee Gan Quan and participants talked about various matters in daily life and discussed personal thoughts when events occurred. Furthermore we found out how different thoughts or mental states of mind can lead to different kinds of behaviour. Throughout the practising process, we can see that negative thoughts or attitudes can have a direct impact on our behaviour. The above example shown that if you think exam/interview will not succeed for sure, you may appear lack of confidence or become panic in the exam room. This can lead to non ideal exam results.

Negative thoughts affects individual performance. It has an even more direct impact on interpersonal relationships. If someone firmly believes he/she is not a popular person, he/she often ignores other people’s recognition or appreciation. At the same time he/she is extremely suspicious of others. He/she regards others’ non-malicious comments as against himself. He/she accounts other party as defaming himself/herself. The default state of mind then consolidates him as an unpopular person. So the behaviour performance appears to be shrink, silence, avoidance, isolation, sad, unlovable, others find it difficult to get close and they will end up in poor interpersonal relationships.

In the workshop, Mr Lee helped participants to test personal negative thoughts and understand its consequences. Mr Lee Gan Quan explains further that negative thoughts can be changed and replaced with positive thoughts.

For example, if you feel everything you do is worse than everyone else: ‘He is more successful than I am!’ You can look at it in a different view: ‘I am not that bad!’ If you worry that redundancy might get to you and think losing the job means your life is over, you can try a different perspective such as ‘God has the best plan for you. No matter what happens, I will be fine.’

Negative thoughts often does not help in making things better, on the contrary, a lot of unnecessary time and energy will be wasted on worrying, fear, anger and resentment. More importantly, if you switch to positive thoughts, not only you have no losses nevertheless a change in attitude can make you feel much happier and become more energetic. Along these lines, positive thoughts and attitude means better capability to deal with things when they go wrong.

Mr Lee Gan Quan summarises the workshop by saying ‘Let's make a start with our first step, learn to be aware of your own thoughts, observe your thinking, when negative thoughts pop out, replace them with positive thoughts immediately. After a period of time, you can see if there are any changes in your life. Following the build up of confidence, you will be more willing to persevere and continue with the positive thoughts and attitude!’

Translated by Lilian Yong


Authors: khim, Yang&HeiTung翻譯/translates

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