I’m beginning to think that human beings are hard wired to focus on what is wrong. We have high expectations of ourselves, others, and the world in general and these expectations set us up to feel disappointed when they don’t come true.
Our minds are programmed to always look for what is wrong or what is missing and this keeps us grounded in the negative. When we think negative thoughts we feel bad and are not as effective as we could be.
There are a lot of disappointed and unhappy people out there. Are you one of them?
It has been clear to me for a long time that the words we use impact our feelings and actions. I write about it, coach it, and practice re-framing limiting language in my own life. But, studying to become a Certified Hypnotherapist brought my understanding to a whole new level. 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 …