How negative thoughts can be changed
Too often, we’re bogged down by our very own negative thoughts ... and you don’t even realize it. Research indicates you have 60,000 of these a day! These thoughts, leftovers from your past, can really damage your self-respect and self-esteem … and negatively hurt your relationships.
But there’s good news! These thoughts can be changed once you’re aware that you’re having them. Whenever you’re feeling upset, you’ll also experience a physical sensation like tightness of tension in your body. (A fuller description of how to change old patterns and re-wire can be found more fully in my book, Mindfulness and The Art of Choice: Transform Your Life.)
If you notice that your body is feeling something other than relaxed, it’s a good time to check in with what you’re thinking. This is what starts the awareness process. And although you can think up to 60,000 thoughts a day without realizing it, when you consciously have a thought in mind, you can only think one at a time.
So, once you tune in and realize what you’re thinking, it’s time to stop the thought. Since, as I said above, you can only think one thought at a time, replace the negative thought with any other neutral thought. For each of you it will be different.
For me, a picture of a flag served as my neutral thought – it had no meaning to me. But if you’re a veteran, a flag would not be neutral. I suggest something neutral rather than positive because often a positive thought will start leading to other images.
The old negative thoughts you’ve been having have been “wired-in” for a long time. Therefore, expect that they are going to come back automatically, and you will have to keep working at replacing the thought with your neutral one. That’s why I recommend using the same neutral thought each time; it will be easy to access.
So, every time you become aware that you’re having a “garbage thought” replace it with your neutral one. Though this will take time since no change happens immediately, the process will get faster and easier.
I want to assure you that soon, you will no longer be weighed down by negative-impairing thoughts and you will be moving to a more Empowered YOU!