3 Simple Steps to Break A Negative Thoughts Cycle

by | Aug 24, 2018 | Entrepreneurship |

“I am such a bad person”. “I can’t do this, I am not strong or smart enough.” Have you been letting destructive thoughts take the lead recently? Here are 3 simple steps to break the negative thought cycle from having a picnic festival in your head.

If you get into negative thoughts very easily, your brain has developed it into a habit. So the solution is actually quite similar to correcting a physical (bad) habit – which may help you in your pursuit of a better state of mind.

I have written on such topics before, and mention other useful resources throughout this post, so do look them out if you need further assistance.

You will need:

Affirmations

I AM. The I AM principle of affirmations can be very powerful in correcting negative thoughts as they amalgamate in your mind.

Take the direct opposite of what you are thinking about yourself, how you handled a situation, or how others think of you and place I AM in front of it.

Example:

From: “I am not smart enough”

To: “I AM smart enough.”

Pro tip: repeat the positive thought out loud 2-3 times for maximum reinforcement.

Postive thoughts = more solution-based thinking, better overall health and internal tranquillity. Excellent.

Further (easy) reading on Affirmations from Psychology Today.

Positively Productive Habits

Harmful habits tend to develop as a coping mechanism when you are feeling down.

If you’ve got self-destructive habits that need correcting, such as overeating/emotional eating, you’re going to have something else that you’d rather do instead to replace it.

Let me reinforce that: something else that you WANT to do, instead of the habit that’s bringing you down.

Perhaps putting money into a holiday fund, or going for a walk, a drive. Find something small that brings you joy and is good for your wellbeing. Let that be your new habit, your reward.

So, can forego your reflexive consolation habit stemming from your thought patterns. Instead, you’ll be reinforcing the positive with something positive, compounding the effect.

Once you have that, you can break it down into an actionable plan. If you need some guidance on this, take a quick look at these articles on setting new, actionable goals and habit changing.

Ready? Now, in 1, 2, 3 – here is how to break the negative and insert the good.

  1. Interrupt
  2. This step was inspired by Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. It’s an efficient way to interrupt your thoughts every time: count backwards from 5 to interrupt and create a break in the thought pattern.

    Doing so gives you a window to act in a way that is contrary to what’s “usual”, such as spiralling into negative thoughts.

  3. Affirmative Action
  4. Once you have interrupted, immediately do the positive action.

    Tell yourself in no uncertain terms:

    “No, that is not true.”

    Speak aloud your affirmations.

    Take out a notebook if you’d rather not speak aloud. Write your affirmations down several times within, slowly.

  5. Meditate
  6. Reflect on the affirmative action. Notice it helping to reshape your mood, your thoughts.

    Now, rather than your bad habit that was making your negative thoughts a more or less self-fulfilling prophecy, you can reward yourself with the new habit you have already prepared.

    Well done!

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