Are you stuck in a loop of negative thoughts? Maybe it’s something that happened yesterday or a long time ago. You’ve tried to resolve it or done what you could but one bad memory leads to another and another until you’re miserable, upset and depressed.
If you’re looking for a way to stop negative thinking, here is a quick and easy exercise to break the chain and take back control of your thoughts and your mind.
Take Control of Your Thoughts
Thoughts are habits and patterns. No matter what you do, your mind will constantly keep thinking thoughts.
It runs around like a toddler on a sugar rush. However, instead of sugar, the mind gets amped up on emotional energy. It wants to think about something. Anything. The more intense the energy, the more your mind focuses on it.
Unfortunately, negative thoughts tend to have a lot of emotional energy behind them. The more you focus on something negative, the more negative things your mind will come up with to add to the feeding frenzy.
How to Stop Negative Thinking
The key is to first notice when you’re in a loop of negative thoughts. Just catch yourself thinking. Every time you realize you’re doing it, stop and notice it.
You can say it out loud or to yourself, but just say no. Say it calmly without emotion. Don’t get frustrated with your thoughts or with yourself. You’re actually doing fantastic just to be able to recognize it. Just detach from any negative emotions around the thought and say no. Brush it off like you would a speck of dust on your shirt sleeve.
Usually, when you’re thinking negative thoughts, your body language will change. You may be hunched over, frowning, tightening your shoulders or looking down.
To stop negative thinking, you also need to shift the physical portion of the pattern as well. Do something to realign your posture. Take a deep breath, stand up straight and relax the muscles in your face.
Then, once you’ve changed your posture physically, say yes to yourself. By recognizing the thought, saying no and changing your posture, you have successfully completed shifting an old pattern. Congratulate yourself. When you say yes, put a lot of feel-good passion in it. Reinforce this new behavior with positive emotion. It not only helps you to feel better, but also gives you a burst of positive energy.
You’re training your mind and body to shift from one pattern to another by creating a new habit.
Ask a Question – Control Your Thoughts
But there’s more. Now you need to take back control of your thoughts by giving your mind something constructive to think about.
The easiest way to do this is to ask your mind to help you get something that you want. Think of something you want to do or have – something positive.
For example, how can I add more fun to today? Or what can I do to get healthier today?
Challenge Your Mind
To give your mind even more of a challenge, give it more to think of. For example, what are 5 things that I can do to get healthier over the next week?
Think of the end goal of something that you would like to accomplish, preferably something tangible and easy to visualize. Then ask yourself to come up with specific steps to take to accomplish the goal.
This works best with something that you are excited about or interested in doing. Use something fun or meaningful to you. If you use this to think of ways to do something you dread, you’re just creating more thoughts that are negative and more ways to feel bad.
Put Your Mind to Work
Put your mind to work for you. Your mind wants to think thoughts, any thoughts. Negative thought loops are old habits and patterns. When you change the pattern both mentally and physically, you can then change your thoughts and your emotions.
Don’t be surprised if you begin to notice that you start manifesting even more negative thoughts when you first start to practice this. That just means that it’s working! You’re simply becoming aware of your thought patterns and, with that awareness, comes the power to change them.
Don’t let a few things like old negative thought loops waste any more of your time. Follow these steps to break the habit of negative thoughts.
- Notice them and just say no.
- Make a small physical change by adjusting your posture.
- Reward yourself for noticing and changing your perspective by saying yes.
- Then put yourself on a better path by giving your mind something positive to work on.
You can stop negative thinking and get rid of old, negative thought patterns. Just practice the exercise, make it a new habit, and you’ll be well on your way to take back control of your thoughts.