Hello again! I've shared with you a number of pragmatic tools you can use to stop a negative thinking loop in parts 1 and 2 of this blog (Part 1 here; Part 2 here). So what else can you do to get out of a negative thinking loop? What about switching the channel with your thoughts? Just like you can change the channel on a bad TV show, you can change your thoughts as well. You can do this with actual distraction, i.e., go outside for a walk, check your email, or get involved in a project that requires your mind's attention. Or, instead of just focusing on the negatives of a situation, what can you be grateful for with it? Gratitude is a huge energy shifter. Gratitude and judgment cannot coexist in the same space. And it's judgment that's typically creating all the feelings of stress and anxiety (e.g., “I'm so stupid,” “What's wrong with me?” etc.). When you invite in the energy of gratitude, you can pull out of the negativity.
Many people use a gratitude journal, or make some practice of listing what they're grateful for every day. I do this ritual at night. I come up with 5 things for which I'm grateful, and I mix it up and keep looking for new things to name each night. I also include myself in the question; what am I grateful for with myself? For example, “I'm grateful that I didn't get all worked up in that intense meeting today, I'm grateful that even though things have been hard, I'm not giving up and I keep going.”
The other thing that gratitude does is that it lets the universe know that you like what you're receiving and that you'd like to have more. “How does it get even better than this?” is a question that you can use to acknowledge the gratitude for what you are receiving and to ask for more of the same and even greater than you could ever imagine. “That's so great that I got paid today; how does it get any better than this? What would it take for even more money to show up?” Or, “I had such a great conversation with that person today, what would it be like if more people like that came into my life?” Notice how that feels when you ask those questions.
The energy of judgment is a contracted one, whereas the energy of gratitude is an expansive one. If you are feeling contracted with judgment, expanding your energy field out can help to change it. Try it now. Imagine your energy field expanding out in all directions until you fill up the room. Now go out a mile (or kilometer) in all directions, including up into the sky and down into the earth. Now keep going out even further, 100 miles in all directions. Now 1000 miles, and 10,000 miles, and 25,000 miles (about as big as the earth). And keep going, beyond the earth, 100,000 miles, a million miles, and more...on and on into the ever-expanding infinite universe. Notice how you feel now. Does the judgment seem as significant anymore?
Alternatively, you can expand out the upset itself; i.e., the negative thought or feeling. Take a stressful situation and expand out the energy of it; all the upsetting thoughts and feelings. What happens as you make it infinite? It tends to go away, as if it was never real. Which it isn't; it's an invention. Judgment is an invention, it's not actually real. It doesn't exist anywhere except in the human world. Animals and plants don't judge themselves or others. So you can also ask yourself, is this negative thing I'm thinking actually true, or is it an invention? And if it's an invention, what's actually true here? What do I know to be true, rather than, what am I thinking is true here that isn't?
And finally, there are a number of Energy Psychology tools that I use with clients to stop the negative thinking loop. Techniques like TFT (Thought Field Therapy), EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique), BSFF (Be Set Free Fast) and more are all simple tools that clients can use on their own as well as in sessions with me. All these tools work to lessen the intensity of negative thoughts and beliefs for immediate symptom relief, and can also be used to go back to the original events when these upsets first occurred and release them at the root level, which allows a person to stop getting unconsciously triggered to unresolved traumas and upsets from the past. You can find out more about those techniques here.
I hope that these blogs have been helpful to you. Please try some of these tools and let me know how they work for you. If you'd like to hear more or receive some personal facilitation on this topic, please join me on Lauren Polly's internet radio show “Beyond Speech: Limitless Communication, ” which we are pre-recording on Tuesday June 14th at 12pm PT. The call-in number is 815-880-8255. We'll be taking live callers and answering questions. This recorded show will air live on Monday June 27th at 7pm PT at a2zen.fm.