We all spend a lot of time inside our own mind — replaying past experiences that were not good, worrying about the future, in general all the things that can go wrong in our life. It starts with just a thought or a feeling. Or maybe with a sentence spoken by someone else. And then it starts to drag you down. I have realized that it’s really easy to work oneself up into a tizzy. One negative thought leads to another, and another, and next thing we know, we are spiraling down a rabbit hole of stress, negative thoughts, and sleepless nights. (Sound familiar?)
But, let’s take a pause: All of this chaos was created in your mind. And that too based on one teeny, crazy idea you had. Most often, this anxiety we experience is based on imagined circumstance rather than reality. We tend to forget the difference between a negative thought and things actually going wrong! Psychologists have estimated that we have over 60,000 thoughts a day—with 95 to 99 percent of those thoughts repeated. Because of this repetition, we end up over-analyzing and become hooked into a fearful loop of thoughts that not only block us from the experience of peace, but also the true nature of real life.
One trick that has genuinely helped me escape this vicious circle is to proactively choose new thoughts that are positive. And while it take some practice and effort, it is so worth it.
Here’s how to deal with repetitive negative thoughts and break the stress-inducing cycles.
Every time your mind starts to wander toward negativity, turn each thought over and reach for a higher, more loving perspective—one thought at a time.
For example: Your boss comes to work in a bad mood and your fear of getting a shouting or loosing your job (worst case scenario!) is triggered. Instead of veering into crazy town immediately, reach for a positive perspective.
Your next thought can be something like: “I know that boss might be in a bad mood, but it’s probably his own stuff. I’m going to send positive thoughts to my boss so he can release what’s pissing him off. I trust that my positive attitude and empowering approach to life will help me keep this job secure. I know I’m a great worker and that people love to be around me. I feel confident in my skills and I trust in my credentials. My job is secure. I am at peace. All is well.”
“It’s better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right.”
This habit will not come naturally to you at first. But you will realize that this way of thinking is significantly more constructive and can change your entire life experience. As you shift your thoughts from negative to positive, your energy will raise, and your life will attract more desirable experiences.
Trust in the power of your thoughts and take them very seriously. If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you will never think a negative thought.
In less than one minute, you can think your way out of stress and back to peace. In fact research shows that feeling grateful has a big impact on your levels of positivity and happiness. So even when you are experiencing a challenging time in your life, you can usually find things (even small things) to be grateful for.
Practice this exercise whenever you catch fear sneaking in. And do share the experience with us!!
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