As you probably already know, thinking positive and staying in a high-vibe sounds is crucial to your manifesting success. After all, we attract what we put out into the world! And your emotions are your frequency. Since your emotions start with your thoughts, it’s important to train your brain to think happy thoughts instead of defaulting into negativity.
But of course, that’s often easier said than done! Mind management is an inherently trick business. ☺️
As a reader recently wrote to me: It’s a paradox because you are thinking about what you don’t want so if you want to stop thinking about that than you will focus on those thoughts even more. It’s like saying to not think about Johnny Depp. Then who are you thinking about?
It’s true: the Johnny Depp principle (TM!) can really kick your ass! So it’s important to create a realistic perspective on what this mind work really entails as well as to have some solid action steps to use in the moment.
The bottom line is that negative thoughts aren’t fun or helpful. So the more we can eliminate them the better off we’ll be!
Thoughts are just energy (like everything else)–one negative thought has the effect of attracting more of of its negative friends. And obsessive negative thoughts are like a snowball rolling downhill. They start off innocently enough but can turn into a real emotional avalanche. (Ouch!)
So it’s important to have a plan of action in order to not let them take over!
I describe what I do as being a Law of Attraction teacher or coach. But let’s be real: what I’m really doing is to help you train your thoughts to be more healthy and positive. Yes, that eventually translates into tangible real-world results but it all begins on the inside.
Please know that negative rumination is normal and natural. It’s just your brain’s way of trying to make sense of the world. So it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you.
So today I was inspired to put together this quick guide! Because we’ll all have obsessive negative thoughts from time to time! But how you deal with them makes all the difference.
How To Stop Negative Obsessive Thoughts
How To Stop Negative Obsessive Thoughts Step #1:
Recognize It’s A Process
Bad news: by the time you’ve reached adulthood, your brain has gotten very used to thinking the way it always has.
Your brain is really concerned about only two things: 1. Keeping you alive. 2. Saving energy. But it’s the saving energy part that really trips us up! Thinking new thoughts actually takes extra energy from your brain to formulate new neural pathways. Think back to those times you crammed before an exam and how exhausted you felt! That is what your brain is trying to avoid and it does that by relying on our same old thought patterns.
In other words, training your brain to think new thoughts takes effort! So it’s completely unrealistic to think you can just decide to think positive and every negative thought will automatically pack up and go home. You’re going to have to remind yourself over and over again to pick a better thought. You’re going to fall into your bad habits repeatedly before the new ones become habit!
Don’t put undue pressure on yourself to be 100% perfect! That’s an unattainable goal. Realize that this is a process will take the pressure off and leave you the space to make some mistakes along the way.
How To Stop Negative Obsessive Thoughts Step #2:
Remember That Negativity Isn’t Always Bad
Being a human simply means you will experience negative emotions from time to time. And those negative emotions aren’t always the enemy!
That’s not me being unnecessarily negative either! It’s a fact: we need both light and darkness. The darker times of life are simply here to show you contrast: they highlight where you need to make changes. They’re not a punishment! They’re a way to help you correct course.
Unrealistic expectations about how life “should” be are just setting you up to feel worse about yourself! So please don’t freak about every bad thought or emotion! Look for the lesson. Figure out what you need to adjust and keep moving forward.
How To Stop Negative Obsessive Thoughts Step #3:
Name The Problem
As soon as you notice yourself circling around a problem over and over (and over!) again, stop and take notice of what you’re doing. Maybe you’re replaying the events before the end of a breakup. Maybe you’re fuming because a sales clerk was rude to you. Maybe you’re upset with what your boyfriend said to you last night.
Whatever it is, try to identify what’s really setting you off. Our brain is excellent at making mountains out of mole hills! That’s why it’s so easy to believe that you’ll never be loved again after a break-up or that the clerk must have had it out for you. The core thought that’s causing the upset is the culprit here! Ferreting it out to name it will give you some power and allow you to notice it when it happens much faster.
Just remember: you always have to name it to change it!
How To Stop Negative Obsessive Thoughts Step #4:
As soon as you notice your thoughts leaning into obsessive territory, stop, drop and bring yourself back to the present moment. Sink back into your body and try to notice the world around you.
Here are some mindfulness questions to ask yourself: How are you breathing? How does your body feel? Do you need a quick walk or stretch? Or maybe some water? On a scale of 1-10, how hungry are you? Look at the sky outside. Describe what it looks like. Take some deep belly breaths.
Don’t overthink this part! Mindfulness is simply the process of learning to be in the present moment. And your negative thoughts are always either based in the future or past. The more often you can come back to being here now, the better control you’ll have over your negativity.
How To Stop Negative Obsessive Thoughts Step #5:
Change The Pattern
When the obsessive negativity starts to rise up, sometimes it helps to take swift action! So let’s switch things up. Change the scenery or activity. Give your brain something else to focus on: read a book or an article online. Watch TV, put on a podcast or go for a walk. Remember that the more time you spend there, the momentum those thoughts get! So just do what you have to do to stop the negative line of thinking in its tracks.
Alternatively, it’s also helpful to just give your brain the instruction to stop! Tell it to stop three times. Or imagine that you’re driving a car and you’ve come across a stop sign. You’re not going further down this mental pathway so pick a new direction and start focusing on that.
How To Stop Negative Obsessive Thoughts Step #6:
Choose A Better Thought
Learning to manage negative thoughts is simply about choosing a better thought–over and over again! This might feel a bit unnatural at first but it’s the best path forward. So at first this process isn’t about waiving off negative thoughts entirely. It’s about noticing them and replacing them as you go.
The process is just as straightforward as it sounds. When you notice your brain going there, it’s time to reframe. Again, look for the core thought that’s causing you the most pain and then ask yourself if it’s really true. Is the world really ending? Does so-and-so really hate you? Are you really about to lose your job? The negativity we experience is often way over-dramatized and completely unrealistic! (Which means all that suffering is just a result of your own mind!)
Give yourself a reality check and try to give yourself space to see what’s real. Even if you can’t put a positive spin on things yet, coming to a neutral space will do you a world of good.
How To Stop Negative Obsessive Thoughts Step #7:
Love Your Anxiety
The way you view your negativity can make a big difference in the way you control it. Feeling that your negative thoughts mean that there’s something wrong with you is not going to make anything better! It’s a disempowering point of view and will make you feel angry and helpless.
Please remember that you are not your anxiety. You are not your negative thoughts! You are so much more than that. They are simply something you experience, a bad habit that they default back to. Be patient and loving with yourself.
Every aspect of our being contains divinity. Love your negative thoughts for teaching you to slow down and to be patient. Love on them for the reminder to come back to love, always. Love them for showing you where you need to make changes. Love them for proving just how strong you really are. Loving them is necessary for totally loving and accepting yourself.
If you truly cannot keep on top of your negative thinking, it might be time to seek out professional help. Don’t suffer alone! There are wonderful people in the world who can make a huge difference in the way you feel.
Need someone to talk to? Better Help offers affordable therapy and counselling services online, through messaging, phone or video chat. Get the help you need in the privacy of your own home at an affordable rate! Click here to sign up right now with an exclusive 10% discount for readers of The Aligned Life.
So what do you think: do you suffer from obsessive negative thoughts? Do any of these techniques help give you some perspective?
When it comes to mind management, the most important thing is to not expect perfection. We’re all just works in progress! So keep focused on your goals and keep putting in the work. Choosing the helpful positive thought gets easier and easier with time.
Much love to you & thank you so much for reading!
PS Looking for more? You might also want to check out this post about easy Law of Attraction or this one about makeover your money mindset.
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