4 Tips on Changing Negative Thoughts
Held captive by your thoughts?
Are you enslaved by your thoughts? Do you feel you have no control over your thoughts? Are the majority of your thoughts negative in nature? Do negative thoughts seem to loop constantly in your head and eat away at your confidence? Sometimes these negative and self-limiting thoughts can stop you from experiencing happiness, peacefulness, and success in the moment therefore fulfilling and pleasurable moments will pass you by.
Looping thoughts or what I call thought addiction (TA) is a real condition. I have seen that dark thoughts can keep you captive in negativism and stuck in an endless loop of replaying past experiences or fearful predictions of what might happen in your future.
These types of looping thoughts that flash across your mind can be a barrier to your growth, happiness or success but if you shift to positive thoughts you can motivate, support and drive yourself toward success and happiness.
I came across a very interesting statistic from research that opened my mind even more understanding. A few years back the National Science Foundation estimated that a person produces nearly 50,000 thoughts a day. I feel that this is a very important statistic to understand how your thoughts influence and govern your actions and feelings in your everyday life. They can determine the direction of your life and how you react emotionally. So, one of the most important elements to improving your life is the content of your thoughts and whether we embrace them, ignore them or become overwhelmed by them.
Thinking can be Healthy or Unhealthy
It is very important to discover what the content of your thoughts are because it affects our health - emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Here are some things to think about. What if the majority of our thoughts, over 35,000 on average a day, were negative. Then how would your thoughts influence your behaviors, emotions, and reactions? Negatively of course.
Conversely, if the majority of our thoughts were positive how would you react and behave? Positively? Yes, I believe so!
"Thoughts cause feelings, feelings cause reactions and reactions manifest in behaviors.”
One thing to consider is if your thinking is negative then your life would be negative. Doesn't that make sense to you? Also, if the content of your thinking is negative or self-limiting then your subconscious will look for situations to associate with the way you are thinking and your feelings will follow. Basically, the content of thoughts directly manifests themselves into your life.
Count Your Negative Thoughts
How many negative thoughts do you have within a 15 minute?
Take Your Thought Power Back
Empower yourself by understanding and identifying the problem
Sometimes you get caught in what is called a “thought loop”. In a thought loop, you feel as though you can't stop the thought or break loose from it. The longer it runs in your mind the more the thought can become a habit. As you know that a bad habit is an addiction. Addicted to a thought? Like everything in your life you can become addicted to all kinds of things; such as emotions, behaviors, and substances. Why not a thought? In fact, all addictions first start with a thought of some kind.
An example to help you understand thought looping would be like when we hear a familiar song and it gets stuck in our mind and it seems like the song will never stop playing. There is nothing you can do. Sometimes you can go to sleep and when you wake up it is still there playing in your head. The same thing can occur with a thought. These thoughts can be negative, self-limiting, and self-defeating as well as critical in nature. These thoughts can overpower your mental energy and hold your mind captive.
Do not think you are powerless with your thoughts or you will be. You have to change your mindset from one of controlling your thoughts to having the power of change over them. Don't attempt to control your thinking because the more you attempt to control your thinking the more out of control they will become. Then your thoughts will just loop in your mind and you will not have the ability to stop them.
Instead you need to empower yourself by taking command. Command is about earning respect. Many people get confused between control and command. Control infers lack of power and skill where command infers earning confidence and strength.
4 Tips on How to Change Negative Thoughts
You have the ability and power to shift your thoughts whether you realize it or not. All you need is to learn the skill. How? Here is 4 steps that can help you learn to accomplish shifting your thoughts from overwhelming repetitive thoughts (looping) to motivating and supportive thoughts. You have the power in your own mind. But taking back your power over your thoughts depends on your attitude. If your attitude is that you can't then you can't. Rather empower yourself with a positive "I can do" attitude.
Step #1 Stop
Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and just stop. Sit or stand still as you go through the next 3 steps.
Step #2 Change your posture and breath deeply
Straighten your back, close your eyes and take 4 deep breathes. With each inhalation concentrate on your stomach and as you take the air say "in" in your mind and when you exhale say "out" with all four breathes. When done with the four initial continue to breathe deeply and go to the next step.
Step #3 Create a positive thought
Be creative. Imagination is your inner power. Imagination in your mind that you are looking at a clear slate or white board. Think and create a positive thought you want to replace the negative, repetitive or overwhelming thought you have been having. Then write your new thought with a black Sharpie pen on that blank slate or white board that you imagined in your mind.
Step #4 Focus on the new thought you created
While keeping your eyes closed and vision your new thought you created in writing on your slate or white board. Keep focusing on the new thought you created and repeat 4 times out loud. Once you repeated it four time then open you eyes and it will be in effect.
Now go back to step one and repeat the steps to change the next negative thought you want to change. Before you know it the unwanted thoughts will be a thing of the past and you will be operating on new thoughts.
Thought Addiction Poll
Do you experience looping thoughts or not?
© 2011 Bill Tollefson