3 Quick Steps to Sideline Negative Thoughts
You’re in the Express Line at the supermarket and you find yourself counting the items on the conveyor belt of the person in front of you. You think, “Do they have more than 15? That isn’t acceptable! They’re breaking the rules! I’m going to say something…” Does this sound familiar?
How many times a day do you think negative thoughts? Sometimes they’re not about others, but about yourself – how you look, how you feel, what others think of you. If you’re like me, you can find yourself sliding into negative thought processes all too quickly. Sometimes these thoughts can start to dominate your mind.
What if I told you that I discovered a quick way to change that - a way to easily change the conversation in your head into something different, something positive.
I use what I call the “3 R’s Method” (much like “Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic,” but for negative thoughts). Here it is:
1. Recognize it. The first step is to become aware of the negative thought and gain some practice identifying it as soon as you can after it surfaces. As soon as I find myself counting the items on the conveyor, I recognize that this is part of my negative thought pattern and stop my thought. The idea is get better and better at noticing negative thoughts before they totally hijack you!
2. Release it (or Relax). Once I’ve stopped that negative thought mid-stream, I imagine pushing it away from me, up to the sky, down to the earth, any way that feels right. By releasing it this way, you’re letting it go – imagine letting go of a bright red balloon and watching it drift up and away, if that helps! If the negative thought is more stress-related, for example, it’s a person I work with or a close relative that has me in the negative thought zone but that I still have to continue dealing with, I may need to Relax instead, in order to de-stress a bit before moving on to step 3. Sometimes doing a slow roll of the shoulders or deep shrug with a slow release does the trick.
3. Replace it. Here’s where it gets interesting! The last step is to replace the negative thought with something positive – a positive thought (Oh my, that person must be having a bad day! I guess I’m lucky to not have so much to deal with right now.) or an act of service or small kindness (I’ll just let the person behind me in line go in front of me, since they have only an item or two…). Either strategy quickly changes the negative thought pattern entirely and helps to reduce everyday stress and negativity. I often choose the act of service, because it not only banishes the negative thought, but helps me feel like I’ve done something good to help someone else. And, if you’re like me, you feel that there’s just not enough kindness in the world!
I hope that this method can help whisk away some of those everyday negative thoughts and even better, replace them with something that restores your peace of mind. I know that it works for me and others with which I have shared it. And, it’s practical enough to do while standing in the checkout line!
Thanks for stopping by!
Dr. Carol Pollio
Director, Intuitive Investigations®