How to Help Negative Thoughts to Go Away
I am sure you have heard the phrase, “change your thoughts and you will change your world,”(Norman Vincent Peale). While this is true, why is it that many of us are finding little to no success with our thoughts?
There are countless practices that include the power of thought. From books to spiritual awakening gurus – there is talk about the power of your thoughts can have on your life. In our society it is common to mention the law of attraction or simply in the word, mindfulness.
While many of these practices have seen results in their own right, I would like to focus on how to work with your everyday thoughts that center around your present and current demands and emotions.
The following tools are tools that I practice on a daily basis. They take practice and will yield a great return as you are patient and work with yourself, especially when your thoughts think they know best.
If you promise to give yourself time and patience, these tools will work for you too.
TOOL #1: ACCEPT AND DIFFUSE
Your brain is exceptional, and it will bring things to the forefront of your brain for your (a) attention, (b) to remind or help you remember, or (c) just to work it through so it can leave with little to change to your internal welfare.
Your brain is like a highway:
-Fast lane: When you are in the zone focused
-Slow lane: When you’re quiet and at peace
The fast lane is your priority lane. You are in the groove and your thoughts flow smoothly as you continue to build out and process your thoughts with clarity. You’re in the zone. John Maxwell says, “what you focus on, increases”. It is true. Focus to expand.
The slow lane is actually one of the best places to think. This is where meditation and mindfulness functions best. The slow zone is the quietness inside of you and it has power. Power to enliven and power to bring lasting peace -- which will see you through the chaos and the demands of life.
The principle of go slow to go fast is a principle even the best athletes use for their physical training – the mind is no different. In fact, the mind is where training is put into action. Mind over matter!
The third lane is the troublesome one. It is the crazy driver lane. It interrupts, it shouts, it cuts you off, and ticks you off.
The thing about these kinds of thoughts are that they are irregular.
Depending on which “lane” these thoughts butt into, they will produce different results.
Into the slow lane: Anxious or restless it cuts into the slow lane, where your thought kind of meander and find whatever it can either out of boredom or in zoning out. This is typical when scrolling social media.
Into the fast lane: Over analyzing and disruptive obsessiveness. It interrupts you to point out your flaws, your weaknesses, what you could have done better. You become hyper sensitive and you explode – especially around people you love.
The louder the thoughts and emotions tied to it, the more you need to stop them dead in their tracks.
DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHTS HAVE RED FLAGS:
You Diminish: Self-loathing, judgment, shame, guilt, blame, control, pity, etc. Chaos brings chaos. First you allow these thoughts to be accepted and then you project or lash out with the same pain that you are feeding yourself.
External connection – a trigger, a flaw, a failure, a disappointment, an expectation versus reality moment, etc.
Emotional responsive is reactive not active. You are in a place where you respond in a hostile or submissive way. Reactive emotions lash or they shun. They belittle and corrode. They can berate pr they can stonewall.
**Know how you work: what thoughts diminish you? How do you deal with your triggers? And learn to identify how you are when you are reactive and stabilize yourself prior and during the experience.
When you are aware of what “lane” you are in, you can then choose where you want to be. It is simple
Do you want to focus and dig deep?
Do you want to quiet your thoughts and just be?
Accept what you are thinking, no matter what it is, and then diffuse it.
Giving it an emotional response charges the thought.
EXAMPLE: You could randomly be looking out the window and think, “I hate my life.” What you can do is accept that that thought happened “I see, it’s okay to hate life”.
Diffuse it, by letting it pass through you. Don’t give it any emotional charge.
Now! If you do feel a strong emotion and you identify what you are feeling, there is a different tool for this kind of charged thought.
TOOL #2: WORKING WITH HIGH CHARGED EMOTIONAL THOUGHTS
Let us use the example from above “I hate my life”. This can be a fleeting, like, “aw crap, I hate my life right now” or a seriously charged thought that can become hostile.
Context is everything:
Situation: Where are you? What are you doing? What has happened or is happening to producing this level of emotional response?
Thought process: what word are you using to get to that statement?
Connecting it to past or future issues (depression or anxious inducing)
When you are seriously struggling, you need to know what struggling looks like for you.
FLAGS THAT YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH A HIGH EMOTIONAL THOUGHT
Making Excuses or saying sorry over and over again.
Discombobulated in your thought process
Over-reactive: lashing out or over the top sensitive
Flooded: It feels like you are drowning or that your throat is closing
Run, Fight, Freeze: Your protective responses kick in and you feel you have to choose one in order to make it through the moment.
Once you have identified that you are experiencing a high emotional thought here is what you CAN do
Identify: Figure out what started the emotional response
Prepare: This one you cannot coax or fake out of the trigger, you have to be willing to work yourself through it. If you are in a safe place to do so proceed to Step 3, if you are not in a safe place, determine when and where you will work through it. And then do it, or it will come back to bite you again.
Diffuse: You are going to now walk yourself through the entire thought process of how you got to the charged emotion.
You are going to acknowledge each thought and you are just there to observe.
Remove judgment and bring in acceptance.
Then you are going to take a deep breath and flood each thought with love and gratitude. Because it took courage to process. It took being vulnerable to share how you really felt with yourself.
Lastly, you are going to share the truth with yourself about the true you.
TOOL #3: BRINGING THE TRUE YOU FORWARD
This is the only thing that has been able to vanquish my demons and completely uproot my horrible thoughts is learning to embracing my true self.
To activate your true self, you need to recall a time when you were:
Identify as many of these moments as you can and record them. The more details you can recall, the better. Let them fill you, put yourself there in your minds eye.
These moments are your true self.
Then, bring this kindness, wisdom, strong, and compassionate self into every part of your life.
You can use the kind and compassionate side of you to help diffuse your high emotional thought. Use wisdom and love as you speak to yourself in a way you would talk to your best friend or child who is struggling.
You will find that you are better able to give yourself real direction, comfort, and sooth out the potential - real or perceived- threat that just occurred inside of you.
You choose what you create.
Choose to create a place inside of you that is a safe haven. This begins as you work with the thoughts you have and allow yourself to love yourself even when the thoughts are painful and precise.
“The words you speak become the house you live in.” -Hafiz-
Choose today to notice your thoughts.
My challenge to you is to choose one of these tools to help you throughout the day today. And at the end of the day, record how that tool helped you.
The MEGA challenge is to try one of these tools for the next seven days and record how they have helped you. Please share your experience in the section below, we are all in this together! Thank you for lifting those around you.
Article written by Kaitlyn Andrews, Founder of The Art of Womanliness
Share Your Experience
How I worked through my negative thoughts