It is estimated that we have between 60-80,000 thoughts running through our minds each day, and of those thoughts, 80% are repetitive, and a large percentage are negative. The reasons for this are probably evolutionary, in that we had to keep protecting ourselves from danger. However, if thoughts determine how we feel and live our lives, it seems pretty important to screen for the negative, look at what’s important, and get out of repetitive cycles.
Here are 3 ways you can extricate yourself if you find you are caught up in an all-too-common negative thought spiral.
1. Change your environment. Get outside, look at the sky. If you can’t do that, change rooms, change the view.
2. Breathe into your body and relax. Negative thoughts turn on our fight-or-flight response, creating tension. Rather than addressing the thoughts directly, try softening into the body. It’s hard to have a stressed mind with a relaxed body!
3. Slow down what you are doing. If I’m stressed, I walk slower, feeling each step. It’s amazing how this simple act slows the mind down as well. Focus on the task at hand with such alert attention, as if your life depended on it.
Each time you re-route your brain, it will get easier over time. Try it today!
Have a great week,