At first glance, it would seem that positive thinking and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) have nothing to do with one another. But many people with ADD develop negative thinking patterns because they become frustrated by their challenges and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook then makes it even harder for them to manage those challenges and move forward.
Practicing positive thinking allows people with ADD to focus on their strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows them to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck. Those in trucking can fall into a “negative” trap also, due to all of the hardships and struggles a driver faces on a daily basis. Problems with the shippers and receivers, dispatchers, traffic, DOT, law enforcement and the general public can, over time, lead to a negative outlook on life…and even depression
The following tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
It’s much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest.
2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For
Stresses and challenges don’t seem quite as bad when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference.
3. Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions
A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually not reality. If you have a fear that a friend or family member’s bad mood is due to something you did, or that your co-workers are secretly talking about you when you turn your back, speak up and ask them. Don’t waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.
4. Refrain from Using Absolutes
Have you ever told someone “You’re ALWAYS late!” or complained to a friend “You NEVER call me!”? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like ‘always’ and ‘never’ makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering.
5. Detach From Negative Thoughts
Your thoughts can’t hold any power over you if you don’t judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don’t follow it.
6. Squash the “ANTs”
In his book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” Dr. Daniel Amen talks about “ANTs” – Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like “Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me,” or “My dispatcher wants to see me? It must be bad!” When you notice these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them!
7. Increase Your Social Activity
By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way!
When it comes to trucking, protocol is pretty much the religion. To know the things needed to do are the basics of productivity, but interaction and having a steady mind makes up the entire whole of true productivity. There are those who seem to work well even under pressure, but not everyone can do this. We are human and imperfect. To get these little things like stress under our skin won’t solve our problems. Sometimes it’s best to just stop, step back and relax for a moment. We only have one life to live . . . why live it stressed, worried and with a negative outlook?
If your current truck driving job is not working for you financially, then find another one. Being constantly surrounded by “negatives” will only cause you to miss out on the positive things of life. Don’t let trucking rule your life . . . stop now and then . . . and smell the roses.
Allen & Donna
© 2008, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.