Coping with Negative Thoughts

Did you know that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day (side note: if you reacted, “that’s one heck of a range!” so did I)? Of those thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts.

Lots of negativity, huh? So, what do we do with all of it, given these types of thoughts are entirely useless, (unless you’re in some kind of danger) can create imaginary drama in our lives, and bring us no good?

This is a quote that initially got me thinking about all of this….

“People seldom think about what they think about. They think about how they feel. They think about what they do. But what is causing what they feel and what they do is seldom what they think about. What do you think about that?” - Dr. Maxie Maultski

I know that sounds a little bit like a Dr. Seuss riddle, but reread it a few times and take a few minutes to digest it.

So, even if we know most of our negative thoughts will never come to fruition, they still boggle us down. What a waste! And, in challenging times (like the ones we’re in now), controlling these thoughts can become even more difficult.

I digress, but before I move on, one bit of advice.. stop watching the news! We have enough negative thoughts without adding more fuel to the fire.

Here’s the story I wanted to share with you. When Cambri was young and wasn’t feeling well, we would either play “I Feel Good” by James Brown or Dori and I would sing it (yes, we’d sing it!).

I feel good. Dadadadada…

Most times, Cambri just looked at us like we were nuts, but other times, she would join in and sing with us. For us, this exercise was a negativity interrupter - replacing the negative with some positive.

Still, to this day, when I have those negative thoughts, I interrupt them. When I look in the mirror and say to myself, “your hair is so white,” instead of thinking I’m old (negative!). I interrupt that thought by reminding myself that it looks distinguished (sort of bullshit, sort of not).

So, try using a negativity interrupter.

“I’m going to fail.” Stop the negative thought with an interrupter about a lesson you learned from a past failure. (more on failure in a coming post)

“I suck at relationships.” Stop the negative thought with a memory about a beautiful moment you have in a relationship.

Breathing is also simple and easy ;) negativity interrupter! Find a breathing technique and do it. I promise it works. Don’t know how? Google it or talk to me.

And, if that doesn’t work, fake it and sing as loud as you can I feel good. Dadadadada…

At least at that ridiculous moment, you won’t be thinking that negative thought you had in your head. If you want to talk through this idea or brainstorm some negative interrupters, you know where to find me.

Once again, life is still good.


Jeff


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