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Defuse the Power of Negative Thinking

Defuse the Power of Negative Thinking

by Linda-Ann Stewart

"We are what we think about all day long." Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are what we think about all day long.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

What do you tend to think about all day? Is your awareness focused on beneficial, enriching thoughts or are you mainly thinking discouraging, undermining ideas and telling yourself that “I can’t?” The subconscious follows the tendency of your thoughts, and manifests the average of what you ponder during the day. If the overall quality of your thoughts is positive and uplifting, then the subconscious moves in that direction, and the converse is true.

It’s not easy to think positively every moment of every day. I’m not even sure it’s possible. But the subconscious doesn’t need you to be continuously constructive. It just needs you to be more positive than negative for it to create more harmony. But many people fear their negative thoughts, and that very fear gives those thoughts more energy.

Thought Is Creative

Each thought is potentially creative and is formed of energy. When a person recognizes they’ve considered a negative idea, many times they feel guilty for doing so, and become afraid that it will overcome any positive thoughts. Instead of simply switching their attention to something more beneficial, they continue to spiral downwards, and the negative thought takes on a life of its own. 

For instance, consider a baseball player who has missed every pitch in a game. Instead of figuring he just had a bad game, or the pitcher was especially good, he might begin to doubt his abilities. During practice, and the next game, he’ll tense up and worry too much about hitting the ball. He may recognize the tendency of his thinking, and try to overcome it. But now he’s fighting on two fronts. He’s concerned about not hitting the ball and fearful that his thinking is going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once he begins to worry, and not trust his abilities, problems arise.

Your Subconscious Programs

Many times, the limiting, negative thoughts are simply a part of the subconscious trying to protect you and keep you safe. You might hear that little voice in your head saying:

  • If you don’t try, then you won’t fail, right?
  • By expecting the worst, you won’t be disappointed when it happens.
  • If you don’t succeed, then people won’t expect more of you.

This little voice is part of the subconscious mind using fear, doubt, and worry as a way to keep you from growing and moving forward. As long as you’re in familiar territory, then it figures nothing bad will happen.

It’s simply doing its job, repeating what it’s been programmed to do. So instead of vilifying it, resisting the negative thoughts and fearing their power, change your way of responding to them. When you become aware of a negative idea, simply say, “Thank you.” This immediately defuses the power you attach to the negative thought. You’re acknowledging its attempt to help, instead of rebelling against it. State, “Thank you, but that’s no longer helpful,” and respond with a beneficial concept.

How to Deal with Negative Thoughts

A long time ago, I learned a powerful way of dealing with negative thoughts. Divide a paper in half, write your affirmative goal on the left side, and record any objection that comes to mind on the right side, and then reply with “Thank you.” By writing down its concerns, and then acknowledging it with a “Thank you,” you’re letting the subconscious mind know that you recognize its distress. On the next line, write your goal again, and then any negative response, and “Thank you.” Continue until you don’t notice any negative thoughts about it coming into your mind.

Eventually, it will cease to bother you with protests, because you’ve let it know you’ve heard it, but are still going to move in that new direction. You’ve taken back your power. It will respect that, because that’s its true goal. As long as you accept your own authority in directing your life, the critical voice will quiet down. And you can now put your attention on what it is you want in your life, without wasting your energy resisting your negative thoughts.

Affirmation:

Negative thoughts are simply outdated ideas that I accepted sometime in the past. They are no longer valid or necessary to help me. Whenever I recognize myself dwelling on a negative concept, I remember that it’s simply my subconscious mind concerned about me. I respond with “Thank you, but it’s safe for me to experience progress.” I accept that I am the authority in my life and now take back my power.

As a focus mentor, hypnotherapist, and writer, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity.To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Find the Good in Your Life

Find the Good in Your Life

Linda-Ann Stewart

Have you ever had someone rudely jump ahead of you in line at the grocery store, and it soured your mood for hours? Or had someone make a spiteful remark, and it ruined your day? Even if the rest of the day was pleasant, you likely dwelled on the annoying encounter and were sensitized to notice more irritations afterwards. This is a natural occurrence.

People are primed to notice more negative things than positive. Your brain was designed to help you survive, and does so by detecting threats to your life. If your ancestors hadn’t registered that the tiger was about to pounce on them, they wouldn’t have survived to pass their genes onto you.

Nowadays, there aren’t as many physical dangers, but the mind doesn’t distinguish between what might kill you and what disturbs you emotionally or mentally. The brain perceives them all as potential threats and spotlights what’s upsetting to you so it can try to help you survive.

The Negativity Effect

Scientists call this the Negativity Bias or Effect. Humans are more inclined to recognize and remember the negative, and brush off the positive. It’s the brain and subconscious mind’s effort to keep you safe.

It’s not an issue if it only happens once in a while, such as from an unpleasant encounter. But if you get stuck in viewing the world through this dark lens, it adversely impacts how you think and react in other areas. You only perceive what’s wrong, and can become cynical, irritable and depressed.  

You need to be careful as this primal characteristic can overwhelm your life. If you’re always braced for something to go wrong, you’re predisposed to overreact to minor upsets or annoyances, and you notice them more. At the same time, you don’t recognize the good in your life.

You’re always in a fight or flight mode, stressed, anxious and exhausted. If this is the case, you don’t have enough resources to think clearly or be creative. You automatically react like you did in the past, without considering other alternatives.

Why It’s Important to Overcome This Tendency

The more you focus on what bothers you, the more incidents you notice, and this mindset becomes a habit. This ingrained attitude can lead you to expect the worst in people and situations, and can adversely affect your relationships. Your actions follow your beliefs and attention, so you could unwittingly create the very conditions that would confirm your pessimistic expectations.

Fortunately, you’re not a captive to this ancient bias. You can counteract your brain’s predisposition to lean to the negative by training yourself to pay attention to what’s good in your life. This will balance out that primeval tendency to always be on alert for threats. You have the power to decide how much of an impact unpleasant situations will have on you.

Instead of getting sucked into a negative frame of mind, you can train yourself to notice what’s good in your life. It takes time and practice, but when you persist in developing this skill, annoyances will bother you less overall. You may be aware of the irritations, but they won’t trigger you to fall into a well of cynicism.

What You Focus on Grows

As you begin to pay attention to what’s going well in your life, you’ll discover there’s more that’s good than you originally thought. What you focus on grows in your awareness and your subconscious mind will begin to scan your environment for other positive aspects.

Scientists say that “neurons that fire together, wire together.” If you dwell on the negative, you grow more brain cells that create discouragement, depression and helplessness. This is how pessimists are created. However, when you focus on the positive, brain cells grow in the areas for happiness, wellbeing and resourcefulness. Doing this develops optimists.

The One to Five Ratio

Scientists say that, in a relationship, it takes between four and five positive interactions to overcome a single negative one. If you’ve had an unpleasant disagreement with a friend, you’ll need several amicable exchanges with them to feel comfortable with them again. I think the same might be true of events. When you’ve experienced a distressing situation and it has soured your mood, it may take four to five pleasant incidents to improve your outlook.

You can be more proactive to start to feel better. Shortly after you’re upset, irritated or annoyed, find five things you’re grateful for in your life. Or seek out five items that make you happy in the moment. They can be small pleasures, like a flower, clouds floating in a blue sky or a child’s laugh. This will balance out the negativity, and help you shake off the unpleasantness you encountered.

Creating a New Brain Pattern.

You don’t have to let upsets or irritations control your overall mood or mindset. As you deliberately seek out more of the positive, you establish a new pattern in your brain. You create more positive leaning brain cells. By training yourself to pay attention to what’s positive, negative situations will bother you less. You won’t waste mental energy on minor negative incidents. They’ll reduce in importance, and you’ll increase your ability to handle them.

Not only that, you’ll be able to recognize more possibilities that you would have ignored before. Because you’re more open to them, your subconscious will search your environment for opportunities that benefit you. To uplift your entire life and overcome your ancient bias to be negative, spend time to enjoy pleasant moments and rewire your brain to be happy.

Affirmation:

I have the power and ability to choose where to put my attention. When I focus on more positive thoughts, I know that it impacts my life in a beneficial way. I become aware of when I start to slide into negativity, and decide to notice what’s good in my life. As I seek out the positive, I establish a new pattern within my mind that leans to optimism. This opens my mind to greater wellbeing and happiness.

Watch the accompanying video, Train Yourself to Be Positive.

As a focus mentor, hypnotherapist, and writer, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity. Register for her FREE guide to Design Your Best Day at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/guide.html. You can also contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Book Review-Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Book Review-Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
by David Burns, MD

Here’s a book that gives specific instructions on how to change the way you think about your life. It was created to help people erase depression, anxiety, procrastination, guilt, pessimism, as well as perfectionism, anger, stress and low self-esteem. And it works. In a study of people with clinical depression, 70-75% of them were “cured” three months after reading this book and following the exercises.

By becoming aware of what you think, and then either addressing it or disputing the reasons, you begin to change the mental processes that have sabotaged you. Many people resist writing down their thoughts, for various reasons, but doing so allows you to view them more dispassionately. No longer are you controlled by your moods or negative thinking, you are empowered to confront it and change it.

Awareness and claiming your authority are key. When you take the time and effort to pay attention to what you’re thinking and write it down, you’re taking control. Then, by responding to it rationally, more positively, you’re accepting your authority over your own thoughts. This will begin to change your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Why do I attract negative people?

Why do I attract negative people?

Question about affirmations

Question: Why do I attract negative people?

Answer: Are you an upbeat or downbeat personality? If you tend to be more negative, then you’re attracting people who are similar to you. You’ve heard of like attracts like? Where people who are similar tend to drift together? You could be drawing people to you who are reflecting that aspect back to you.

On the other hand, if you’re more optimistic, there’s also a principle of opposites attracting. Negative, as well as positive people, are attracted to those with a positive personality. The upbeat person is stronger, more optimistic, inspirational, and tends to uplift those around them. People like to bathe in the warmth and radiance. A negative person may want to be more positive, and therefore be attracted to the characteristic they want.

But there are also those people who want to tear down those whom they see as more gifted, optimistic, and happy. It’s not personal. Remember, “Misery loves company.” If they’re dismal, they want everyone to join them there. It’s not so much that you’ve attracted them, as that they’ve been attracted to you and your warmth. If you’re beginning to feel depleted by the negative people, gently send them on their way. You aren’t obligated to heal them.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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~ Linda-Ann Stewart