How To End A Negative CycleJanuary 25, 2019
Many people get caught in the habit of negative thoughts, which unfortunately don't stop there. Negative thoughts will inevitably evolve into negative emotions, and those negative emotions have the potential to turn into harmful actions—this is what we call a negative cycle. Getting caught in a pattern like this will lead to many mental, emotional, and even physical ailments. So, how do we break this sequence of thinking, feeling, and doing? With any cycle, there is a beginning, and the key to breaking out of it involves a little foresight.
Understand What Begins The Cycle
Things don’t just happen without a cause. Every negative cycle can begin with an innocent mistake, an unfounded hatred of oneself, or an uncontrollable turn of events. Either way, these things have the potential to set this miserable machine into motion. Next time you punish yourself for taking a wrong turn on your way to an important meeting or blame yourself for another person’s decision, recognize the negative thought as soon as possible.
The point at first is not to stop the negative thought—the thought will occur whether you like it (or know it) or not—but to instead catch yourself in the act before this thought can do more damage.
Strengthen Your Potential For Positive Thought
Now that you see when your energy immediately turns to the negative, use this as an opportunity to replace that thought with a positive affirmation about yourself. Imagine your negative thinking as an object—something you can keep in your hand like a small stone. Once you visualize this and hold this thought in your hand, it is much easier to discard it. Examine this object, feel it’s weight, move it around in your hand, but when you are finished with it, leave it behind.
It is important to note that the negative thought or emotion is very real—yet, you should recognize its power to distort your reality. It is not healthy to pretend that these negative thoughts aren’t real—you are experiencing them and that validates them; however, they are tricky in that they will warp all other feelings and actions to follow.
Once you've discarded your negative thought, repeat a positive mantra in its place. This mantra can be something like “I love and approve of myself,” or “I replace my anger with understanding and compassion.” This exercise will disrupt the pattern and hopefully throw the negative energy off course. When you extract power from negativity, the potential for positivity will take its place with genuine intention, support, and care for yourself.
It will often be challenging to address the invisible. Thoughts are invisible things we all experience, thousands of them a day, and they hold a tremendous amount of power. To shape your thoughts into ideas that work for you instead of against you, make sure to tune in with your thoughts as they occur. With this awareness, the power is now within you to control your destiny!