Hello again! So how do you stop a negative thinking loop that's creating stress and upset in your world? In Part 1 of this blog, I suggested the use of questions to open up a different possibility; e.g., What else is possible? What's beyond this? What's right about this (or me) that I'm not getting? Is this the change I've been asking for? What would it take for this to turn out greater than I could ever imagine? If you missed it, here's the link.
Here in Part 2, I'd like to suggest the technique of challenging the truth of your negative thoughts. You can do that in several ways. From cognitive behavioral therapy, you can use the tool, what evidence do I have to suggest that these thoughts are true? For example, with the negative thinking loop of “I always mess it up, I never get it right,” what proof do you have that that's true? Have you really failed at every single thing? What percentage of the time have you actually failed at your attempts? In how many situations have you actually succeeded? How many times have things turned out just fine, or even better? If you asked your best friend, what would he or she say about your “failures?” Would he or she agree that what you are calling a failure is even an actual failure? What does failure even mean? How subjective is that concept? It's a concept based on judgment, and what if judgment is just an interesting point of view and not even real? Try saying to yourself, “interesting point of view I have this point of view,” about your judgments and keep repeating it. Notice if that changes anything.
This is a form of reality testing. Reality testing is really helpful to gain more clarity and bring things into perspective. Perhaps you're seeing things through a distorted lens, rather than seeing things as they actually are. It's rarely just black or white, all or nothing; typically the truth lies somewhere in the middle, in the gray area. What's true and what's a lie here? If you're not sure, ask a trusted friend or mentor. Notice as you start to challenge the truth of your judgments and conclusions and find the evidence that doesn't support your assertions, does that change the way you feel? Does it lower the level of stress and upset?
Another way to challenge yourself is to ask where are these thoughts coming from? Who does this belong to? Who am I being when I'm thinking and feeling this way? We learn so much from our families, friends and others around us, especially as we are growing up. In the case of worrying about not having enough money, for example, you could ask, who does this belong to? What is my financial reality? Have I really had such a hard time with money, or am I acting like my mom, who was always scared that there would never be enough? Return the energy of mom's worry back to her; you don't need to make it yours or hold onto it anymore. This tool (along with interesting point of view) is from Access Consciousness® and it's called return to sender. You send back whatever energy (thoughts, feelings, beliefs, even physical pains and discomfort) isn't yours back to wherever it came. You don't even need to know exactly who or what it came from. Just return the energy and notice if things lighten up. I've been able to create so much ease for myself and for my clients with this tool – it's really powerful!
So I've given you a few more strategies for getting out of the insanity of the negative thinking loop. Try them out and let me know how these work for you. This is such a rich topic, I've got even more pragmatic tools to offer, but will share those in the next installment of this blog, coming soon!
Thanks for reading. What would your life be like if you were no longer at the effect of the negative thinking loop?