Dealing with Negative thoughts!

Janoah van Kekem

 

Something I've dealt with heaps of in my life, and I know

for a fact everyone deals with at some point is; negative thoughts.

It seems any time we actually get some rest from these thoughts is when we are either drinking or at the gym or doing something that takes all our attention away from what's going on up in out heads.

Heaps of people say "oh, you know, my mind's crazy" and everyone seems to think they have the most craziest mind, but unfortunately it just the nature of being a human being.

As part of our Evolution it's part of our survival mode.

So, what happens is when we see something that's potentially dangerous or something to be scared of what our body naturally does is it starts looking for all the past experiences that are relevant to to the current situation that may give you some insight as to how to best navigate it and pick out all the possible negative outcomes. 

So if you think of back in the day when we were hunters and gatherers, you would hear a sound or see something and your only Instinct was to survive. Just about everything was a potential threat to you and your mind was created to SURVIVE.

But now life is about more than just survival and this mechanism has become  almost maladaptive. So now it's things like, having an argument, with a partner or a friend, being overwhelmed at work or maybe you like someone and suddenly what happens is we look at these situations and naturally this old Instinct kicks in to be like, "okay so what are all the possible outcomes here? So they could not like me because of this and that ... blah blah" and we ed up going through all the negatives of what could happen. This one little thing that may or may not even happened. We've reeled off all the potential negatives that are going to happen to us.

It turns into all doom and gloom, what happens is this this can become a running program because we get to wire how our brains operate. It's a model of our psyche that we have evolved from that helped us to survive.

We don't realize how much time we spend in that negativity and that fear state of "what if what if what if" and this is where a lot of our suffering comes from and so much about energy and mental energy goes towards this negative thinking.

so what we want to do is try and shift our mindset. The beauty of neuroplasticity is our brains can be rewired. Meaning we can change this negative thought pattern that has become an ingrained behaviour.

I remember one of my teachers Jeff used to say "imagine someone spoke to your child or your partner or someone really close to you the same way you speak to yourself. There would be hell to pay."

I was like, "yeah no sh!t" the way we chat to ourselves is often absolutely horrendous. So what we want to do is be aware of how we speak to ourselves and creating awareness around our internal dialogue. What can help with this awareness is meditation, but another key thing to do is you can check in every now and then, literally say to yourself "You know, how am I feeling? I'm feeling a bit down what's actually going here", and you when you startoff you can use an alarm clock to help. A once a day alarm, that goes off and reminds you to check in with yourself and if you find this negative chat going on the best thing to do is a little sensory check to get you back into the present moment and out of that speculatory mindset.

where are you? What are you actually doing?

What can you smell? What can you see?

What is actually happening right now?

That will bring you back into the "now" and a good starting point to retrain your brain into doing this check-in more regularly.

And then from there you can ask yourself some more questions like...

Okay. What is this?

"What am I over analyzing? What is this negative story I'm telling myself" and you can reframe it.

For example your thought process may be "oh this person doesn't like me, why would they like me..." Step 1. catch yourself. Stop yourself and then re-frame it in step 2. "They do like me because I'm worthy, and smart and kind.." or whatever it may be.

You can just flip it at any time. Another tip is through the use of gratitude.

"Thanks for the relationships that I have had".

These tips are quite simple yet effective and powerful in re-wiring your brain away from negative though patterns.