I’ve noticed lately that when I have trouble going to sleep it’s usually because my mind is very active. It’s as if a thought or story has triggered it into a hyper state that keeps me from relaxing enough to fall asleep.
As I became more aware of this pattern, I could actually feel the moment my mind clicked in and grabbed onto something that would take it, and me, down the rabbit hole.
I decided to practice letting go of the thoughts in that moment and not let them become fully engaged. It’s working really well.
Your brain is a great tool, but sometimes your mind can drive you crazy. It can get into repetitive loops with the kinds of thoughts that bring you down or hold you back. Or, it can just spin out of control. If you are like most human beings, you are experiencing both.
Here is a simple way to retrain your brain and let go of these negative patterns of thinking: Continue reading
It is easy to fall into the quicksand of negative thinking. You only need to have two negative thoughts in a row to settle into old remembered patterns that trap and pull you under. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
It’s all about brain grooves. The grooves are like default settings created by past negative thoughts. For some of us those grooves are pretty deep.
According to brain scientists and experts in the field of positive psychology, we can reverse this process and rewire our brains by repeatedly feeding them positive input. It is not easy and will take time, but the rewards are definitely worth it. Besides, you will be thinking anyway. Why not choose thoughts that will make you feel better?
The following Positivity Practices have supported my clients and I in rewiring our brains. I bet they can help you, too.
Observe and Record Positive Moments – there are wonderful things happening around us every day that we just don’t pay attention to. Open your eyes and heart to become more aware and then ground in these moments by recording them in some way. Once you open to them, you will start finding them everywhere. Here are some ideas my clients enjoy:
- Writing daily about what opened your heart or magical moments you experienced
- Creating a gratitude journal
- Photographing things you find beautiful or that warm your heart
- Looking for heart shapes around you as you go through your day
Embrace Positive Input – take a break from news, books, movies, and people that bring you down or feed a negative mindset. Choose things that lift you up instead:
- Books or movies that inspire you or make you laugh
- Happy people
- Beautiful or fun music – you might enjoy the Grateful song
- Meditation or prayer
- Positive visualizations
- Sign up for daily inspirational emails or fun videos – I enjoy ones from Martha Beck
- Try affirmations – if you sign up at Mind Movies they will send you 6 affirmation videos that are about 3 minutes long. They are nicely done and free.
Reverse Your Psychology – when you have a negative mind loop around a specific subject, you can shift it by building evidence that it is not true. Write at least 3 things daily that are going well in that area. Don’t just list them. Anchor them more deeply by writing at least a couple sentences.
- If you are concerned about money – write three ways money came to you or that you felt abundant
- If you are worried about health – write about three ways you are healthy or your health is improving
- If you don’t like your body – write about three ways it serves you or three parts of it you can appreciate
You get the idea …
Shifting out of negative thinking is one of the most empowering gifts you can give yourself and playing with these ideas will help your brain start to create new happier grooves. Soon you will find yourself walking around the quicksand of negative thinking without getting stuck in it.
Your turn: What positive thinking practices do you want to bring into your life? You can respond by commenting below …