How to Stop Negative Thoughts
Be careful what you think about, because …
What you think about will come about!Mark Victor Hanson, Chicken Soup for the Soul
As I have prepared to return to active coaching, I sought the advice of a business coach. I also got some additional & intense coach training. I was both encouraged and inspired to create my own unique coaching program instead of teaching or using any of the other programs I’ve been through. I will begin with a 90-Day Pilot Program I will launch in a few weeks.
What I had NOT prepared myself for during this preparation and training period was an intense coaching experience as a client. I had some old wounds that came up that needed healing; this personal work needed to be done as part of the process of creating my own program. Sometimes having all of these emotions coming up can be quite uncomfortable and messy. It turned out, this work was not “OPTIONAL” it was “REQUIRED” if I were to take myself to a new level not just as a coach, but in my own personal & spiritual development. The Healer must Heal herself first. I had been carrying some excruciatingly painful emotions around some very traumatic events for a very long time. I had not realized how they were affecting me, the way I had been showing up in my world, and that they were actually causing me to continue to create more of the exact thing I did NOT want in my life! Old programs and old stories, caught in a very messy feedback loop, were attracting more of the things that were painful that I DID NOT WANT, and less of the things I truly DO want. Gee, I thought I was smarter than that. I wasn’t.
I believe in, and have experienced the miraculous power of thoughts and intentions creating my reality. As I have become more and more in-tune with the power of Infinite Intelligence, my instincts and my intuition have grown stronger. I know my thoughts are powerful creating mechanisms. I don’t just believe, I KNOW that we literally dream our lives into existence with our thoughts. Only it’s more than just our thoughts—It’s our emotions that really kick our thoughts into over-drive! Thoughts fueled with intense emotion will powerfully manifest an experience with lightening speed, whether it is good for you or not.
“I do not allow my mind to think a thought without my permission!”Rama Berch
The more time I’ve spent nourishing myself, connecting with my higher-self and inner being through daily practices, the more I notice synchonicities show up, and I have been able to draw things into my life that I want. My intuition has heightened and I get those little messages in my body or that come as a thought. I call it being “in flow” with the Universe. Then—there seemed to be some areas or at some level I was feeling my experiences were … blocked. I figured it out!! I wasn’t blocked at all! In fact I was creating those experiences by stuck in old patterns and stories. The first step in creating change is always awareness!! Damn! I finally realized I was just as good at creating the things I DON’T want in my life as I am in creating what I DO want. I was allowing my thoughts around negative events, about which I had intense emotions—emotions of anger & sadness— to attract more of those experiences and feelings. Geez, it was time to let all of that GO, because it certainly was not serving me, my mission and vision in life, and the people around me.
I have dealt with a lot of heart-break and trauma in the last decade—since the end of my marriage in 2007. Along with those difficult experiences, I have also experienced immense growth, both spiritually and personally, during this same time. I’ve had some truly amazing experiences that I have so much gratitude for. I’ve been able to travel and have lived in several very beautiful places on multiple continents. I’ve also had the opportunity for a great deal of personal and spiritual experiences through workshops, mentors, and the study ancient wisdom spiritual & healing traditions throughout the world. Still, there was an underlying heart-ache that I was living with, and not dealing with in a very positive, productive or healthy way. With my “glass-half-full” attitude, I was ignoring those emotions, sort of …
So on the one hand, my life has been so full and blessed and I feel I have so much wisdom and inspiration to share. Then on the other hand, I have been carrying some very intense grief, sadness & wounding. Our experiences give us fertile ground and opportunity for growth. Most coaches, healers and counselors have become who and what they are because they have been through some painful and challenging life experiences. Those experiences REQUIRE us to grow and transform in order to move past them, and give us both empathy and wisdom for others during their life challenges and transformation.
My big “A-ha” moment came as I was studying a combination of psychology, coaching techniques, and correlating some of the techniques and practices with what I have learned from the ancient spiritual wisdom teachings and practices. As I began to process and bring to the surface some of these painful experiences, that I realized I had not fully processed, I realized exactly WHY I had been feeling stuck, and how I was actually manifesting MORE of what I didn’t want in my life experiences and relationships.
You see, the Universe has laws that work in the unseen realm just as surely as there are laws that work in the physical realm. The Universe doesn’t see emotions as “good” or “bad” and will give us whatever we ask for, whether it is good for us or not. It will deliver what we ask for, whether it will make us happy or not. All we have to do is have a thought and send it out charged with emotion, and Source Energy will respond. Well, my emotions of trauma, sadness and grief were very strong emotions and instead of processing them and releasing them, I had allowed myself to get into a “thought loop” or story of how unfair and sad and hurtful those (rightly) very painful experiences had been, and how ANGRY I was about having been treated in a way I was certain I had not deserved. By continuously staying in that thought loop and replaying those stories and emotions, I was staying in the past. I was sending those thoughts, emotions and vibrations out into the Universe over and over, and was attracting MORE of the exact thing I did NOT want. I was perpetuating my painful experiences.
Okay, I’m going to make a distinction here. It is perfectly FINE to experience sadness, grief, anger or any other emotion that comes up. Stuffing it down or denying those emotions is not helpful at all. Our society seems to over-medicate sadness and grief. It is perfectly “normal” to feel sadness and grief over the loss of a relationship or the death of a friend or loved one, or any other emotion over an unfortunate or challenging experience. However, when those emotions get “STUCK” and we dwell on them and the experiences that created them—we are sending an order out to the Universe just as certainly as when you send a positive intention, desire or affirmation out to the Universe to create a positive outcome. So what do you do? What is the trick to processing negative emotions and not letting those emotions and thoughts get “stuck” in your mind and body?
“Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”James Thurber
So what can you do if you find yourself in a pattern of negative self-talk and criticism? Or possibly you realize you are dwelling guilt or regret over an experience in your past. We all have this happen from time to time so don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, with awareness, you can more consciously create something else that is more in line with your higher self. In order to interrupt a loop of negative thoughts and emotions, you can use any of several “diffusion techniques”:
- Meditate The first step in making any change is awareness. Recognize your negative thought patterns. Meditation expands your awareness. In the field of pure awareness and unbounded consciousness you have the ability to witness your thoughts instead of reacting to them. Once you have that witnessing awareness, you will be able to choose a new thought about the situation and release the emotions and thoughts that are no longer serving you. With practice, that witnessing awareness will extend throughout your day and your life. That’s why they call meditation a “practice”.
- Interrupt the Pattern Negative thinking is like a feedback loop that attracts more thoughts that are similar. Interrupt the pattern by changing your physiology. Try going for a brisk walk. Do some Yoga poses or breathing exercises (Pranayama), or use mantras or affirmations. Intentionally break the pattern of the negative thoughts. Change your focus by substituting more positive and uplifting thoughts for the negative ones. Remember, where focus goes, energy flows!
- Ask Yourself Productive Questions When you notice you are having negative thoughts try asking yourself any of the following questions: Is this thought true? Do I absolutely KNOW that it is true? What is my deepest truth about this situation? Is this thought in any way useful or helpful? Is this just an old story that my mind is continuing to play out of habit and is it time to let this go? Does this thought help me take any effective action? What do I really WANT to feel or create in this situation? How can I move towards that? Who would I be without this thought? What new thought or story can I focus on? How can I see this experience in a new way? What can I learn from this experience? What can I be grateful for in this moment?
- Gratitude Cultivating and attitude of gratitude is one of the most powerful tools you can use to attract more of what you want in your life. You can use gratitude to help you rewrite negative programs that run in your mind. Negativity is always about fear and lack. Gratitude is the polar opposite because its focus is on abundance and well-being. Gratitude dissolves negativity by shifting your attention away from what you don’t have, what may or what has gone wrong, or any other grievances. Instead, in gratitude your focus is on all that you DO have and everything that’s going right in your life. Cultivating gratitude is so powerful that I include it in my morning rituals.
- Change Your Perspective Instead of saying to yourself, “I’m unlovable” or “I’m unattractive” say “I am having the thought that I am unlovable.” This will give you the perspective that you are not your thoughts. Instead, you are having thoughts … and of COURSE you are lovable! You can label your thoughts and when they come up just tell yourself, “Oh that’s just my old ‘I’m unlovable’ story.”
- Visualization Imagine the thoughts just floating away … like clouds. Imagine how light and free you feel when you watch them float away from you as you make room for more nurturing and empowering thoughts.
If you would like more information about my 90-Day Turn Around Pilot Program, please click here. You will find the details as well as information on how to apply. (Button to the page is coming soon!)