Managing the Negative Thinking


Have you ever noticed those teeny-tiny particles that float in the air? They kind of twinkle as they move and when they hit each other, they repel away like mini-shooting stars. There is no rhyme or reason to what they are doing or where they are going. But when you see them, it doesn’t really matter, because it’s completely fascinating.

That’s kind of the same way I look at our subconscious. Just a bunch of random ideas running around in your brain, occupying space with no agenda or direction. And like shaking out a sweater can add particles to the air, a bad scolding from your childhood, or eating ice cream after your first break up can create these sticky, hyper-active thoughts in your mind. However, unlike the particles, focusing on them for too long and making decisions based off of them can be no bueno.

See, when your brain is working out a problem, it actually uses both subconscious thoughts and intentional ones. The intentional ones say, “I really want to cook dinner for my friends. I want to make tacos.” The subconscious ones say “No one will come. You know you’re a terrible cook, right. You’ll loose all your friends and some may die from taco poisoning.” The latter is obviously not true, but in the heart of the moment, we sometimes believe thoughts like this anyway. They catch us unaware and strike the emotional chords like vipers, hitting where we’re already too weak to fight back and discredit them. However, if we can recognize these negativity agents before they attack, we give ourselves a better chance for a happier outcome to our problems.

To tell the difference between the two, I always tell people to write down what they’re thinking. Every single thought that comes to mind, write it down. While our minds can think of 80 things at once, our hands can only write one thing at a time. Writing helps slow the mind down and lets you look at each thought, one by one, to consider their validity.

The ones that don’t help your situation, you can chuck. And thoughts that are constructive to your goals, you can keep. In fact, you should maybe rewrite them a few times more and plant some positive subconscious seeds — so that the next time you have a goal, the memory of you choosing to believe in yourself comes back to mind even quicker than your doubts.

More than anything, what this simple activity does for you is puts your intentional thoughts back in the driver seat. And with conscious and deliberate thinking, anything you are trying to achieve can become even more possible.

If this tip was helpful, check out some of our favorite journals. Or even just using a Google doc can be great for getting the venom out of the system. Which ever you choose, so long as you are using the conscious side of your thoughts, you should be just fine.

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