Most of us received plenty of negative messages growing up, which now manifest as incessant chatter inside our heads. Is there some escape from the negative criticism?
Patti Clark, author of This Way Up: Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life has explores ways to help people through the various difficulties and challenges of life.
Here are some tactics that you can use anytime to get control and banish the negative thoughts out of your mind:
▪ Pay attention to your thought process: The best way to pay attention to your thought process is by focusing on how your body feels. Is there a knot in your stomach, a lump in your throat, a clenched jaw? Once you identify this negative feeling in your body, pause to notice what you’ve been saying to yourself. Negative thoughts such as, “I can never make ends meet!” Or “I’m too fat, old, poor or stupid!” are self-sabotaging. This may not be obvious at first, and may require you to be quiet and check in with yourself consciously.
▪ Get the negative out: Nature abhors a vacuum. When you are caught in a negative thought spiral – it’s time to get rid of the negative to make room for the positive.
▪ Replace the negative with positive statements: Negative self-talk can be replaced by positivity with the help of a series of deliberate affirmations or questions. This creates new neural pathways and frees you from the negative spiral.
▪ Create an ideal scenario and know why it is important to you: If you have a negative loop about financial fear or sadness about being alone, start thinking about the flip side and write about the ideal.
▪ Creative visualization – Picture the ideal and embed it in your brain: This next step takes the previous step and solidifies it; it is a powerful process. Creative Visualization is a technique which uses your own power of ‘seeing’ to attain that which you most want or want to change. You already use this technique every day. Unfortunately, we often use it in the negative by imaging all the things we DON’T want.
▪ Stay positive – Keep a positive attitude as you practice: Happy people usually feel like they are in more control of their lives and therefore feel more confidence and optimism. Unfortunately, our brains are wired to look for and focus on threats, based on when we were hunters and gatherers. but times have changed so it’s time for a reboot.