8 Steps for Interrupting Your Negative Thinking Habit
8 Steps for Interrupting Your Negative Thinking Habit
Hello. My name is Kassy and I am a recovering negative thinker.
Doubts, fears, put downs, assumptions of failure. You name the negative thought and I am pretty sure I thought it at least once in my lifetime. It would be more than safe to say I have been known to be a glass half empty kind of girl.
But you know what I have realized? These negative thoughts get in the way of every big goal I have for myself. Holding me back from finding the love of my life, from pursuing a career I am truly passionate about, from having really rewarding friendships with others, from taking chances in life and enjoying the moment, and so much more.
Ultimately your thoughts are perhaps the most important part of any new goal you set for yourself and if they are primarily in the negative category how do you think your goals are going to play out? Yea, they will probably get added to the never ending ‘goals unfinished’ list you already have.
But what if you tried something different? What if you could work on quieting those negative thoughts and freeing up the space in your brain? Even better, what if you could replace them with positive thoughts? What a concept right?!
Here is my step-by-step plan for stopping negative thinking (I encourage you to give it a try!):
First you have to notice these thoughts. You can’t just ignore them or bulldoze over them because that will actually just make them stronger. So often we just want to flip a switch and decide to only think positively now, but the reality is we are human and negative thinking doesn’t just go away overnight. Notice what you are thinking, what you are saying to yourself, what kind of energy state these thoughts put you in.
Acknowledge these thoughts and make a choice to interrupt the programming. The reality is your thoughts only exist within you. They are not separate entities that you have no control over. They come from you and can be controlled by you. But only if you make a choice to interrupt their pattern. I recommend literally thinking to yourself, excuse me but I am not going down this thought train. I will not allow this low vibration negative energy to be what I focus my mind on. You can acknowledge that in some way they think they are trying to keep you safe, but you choose courage, bravery, possibility, etc instead. Literally say to yourself what you choose instead of negative thinking.
Create new programming, positive programming to be exact. Create new positive thoughts you can say to yourself to bring you back to your high energy state. Perhaps write these thoughts down and have them with you to read when needed. You could even record yourself saying these positive, empowering thoughts and play it back to yourself in moments of negative temptation. Positive thinking is like a muscle you work out at the gym, you have to start with a routine and build up your strength. Once you do, it will be much easier to implement on a regular basis.
Create a ‘bring me back to happy’ routine. Remember how I mentioned we are human before? Yea, let me remind you again of that fact. Negative, disempowering thoughts never go away completely. So instead we put support structures in place to help us out. Perhaps for you it is upbeat music, or writing in a journal, or reading a certain book, or spending time with friends. Whatever brings you joy, back to a high vibrancy energy level, make that part of your typical routine.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Getting rid of negative thoughts doesn’t have to be an all or nothing process. You aren’t suddenly going to wake up and be beaming with positivity from every pore of your body. Find the grey area to be more positive. Instead of focusing on how horrible a date might be your could think to yourself how it will perhaps be fun and at least not awkward. This isn’t you trying to convince yourself it is going to be the be the most amazing date ever, but at least it will be a fun experience. Ease yourself into positivity and remember that you don’t have to go to the extreme. Being positive doesn’t mean you see everything as perfect all of the time. It’s about rolling with things as they happen and seeing good in even the not so good things.
Do a self-assessment of the people and activities you spend the most time with and the type of energy they bring into your life. We are the result of the people we spend the most time with; therefore, the energy pattern they live in does directly impact our own. Consider removing negative energy from your life, at least temporarily while building up your positive thinking muscle. Unfortunately other people’s negative thought patterns can be easy to commiserate with and before we know it we are going down that rabbit hole. Now I realize we can’t just cut everyone out of our lives that don’t think like us, but make sure to be aware of the people in your life, the energy they bring, and putting up some boundaries and barriers to protect your positive energy.
Fill your life with passion. Seriously, make sure you are filling your spare time with things you enjoy. I realize you might not love your career and can’t always change your job, but if you can then great. If not then make sure to make time for hobbies that bring you joy. Maybe it is going to the gym, or walking your dog, or getting your nails done, or visiting a friend. Whatever it is, you need to make it a priority. Put it as an appointment in your planner and don’t cancel on yourself just like you wouldn’t cancel on a doctor.
Take care of your needs. So often I come across people who are drained, pessimistic, and lacking in hope because they are not taking care of themselves. They are not putting their needs first. Heck, they often don’t even know what their needs are. Figure out what recharges you and what drains you. What in your life is not in alignment with your happiness. Where you need to make improvements. Then go and get those needs met. Whether it is in your relationships, your well-being, your confidence, your career. If you aren’t taking care of yourself you can’t maintain a positive aura around you.