Mental & Emotional Health
7 Ways to Banish Negative Chatter Forever and Reclaim your Life
Most of us received plenty of negative messages growing up, which now manifest as incessant chatter inside our heads. Is there a way to make it stop? Is there some escape from the negative criticism? The answer is yes!
I have developed a special way to help people through the various difficulties and challenges we all face in life. I call it Creative Positive Reframing (CPR) and it’s a process that actually changes the neural pathways in your brain so that limiting beliefs such as I’m not good enough, young enough, smart enough, thin enough, or whatever-enough are transformed and actually become supportive rather than destructive.
Here are the seven tactics that you can use anytime to get control and banish the negative thoughts out of your mind:
- Pay attention to your thought processes.
Action: The best way to pay attention to your thought process is by focusing on how your body feels. Is there a knot in your stomach, a lump in your throat, a clenched jaw? Once you identify this negative feeling in your body, pause to notice what you’ve been saying to yourself. Negative thoughts such as, “I can never make ends meet!” Or “I’m too fat, old, poor or stupid!” are self-sabotaging. This may not be obvious at first, and may require you to be quiet and check in with yourself consciously.
Practice: Interrupt it! Once you’ve identified those tight areas and the negative messages, shift your focus. Take a deep breath and interrupt your own train of thought. Then insert something positive, such as something you’re grateful for: The warmth and safety of your home; the positive relationship with your spouse, kids, pets, or anyone you love. Interrupting the thought process of “not enough” and focusing on gratitude stops the negative spiral from spinning out of control. But it is only the beginning.
- Get the negative out.
Action: Nature abhors a vacuum. When you are caught in a negative thought spiral, it’s time to get rid of the negative to make room for the positive.
Practice: Get rid of it! Pull out a pad of paper and write out all the garbage spiraling in your head. Write about not having enough, not being smart enough, pretty enough, good enough. If you feel stuck, write about feeling stuck. Keep writing until the thoughts stop coming. And then tear that paper up or burn it!
- Replace the negative with positive statements.
Action: Negative self-talk can be replaced by positivity with the help of a series of deliberate affirmations or questions. This creates new neural pathways and frees you from the negative spiral.