Photo by Andrew Neel: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-man-leaning-on-wooden-table-3132388/
There are times when our brains give us a lot of negative thoughts. These thoughts spend around and around and around and cause us a lot of distress. Another term for these negative thoughts is cognitive distortions. In an earlier article Post it above, I listed the ten cognitive distortions. For example, some cognitive distortions are all-or-nothing thinking, discounting the positives, jumping to conclusions, and blaming. We have a lot of negative thoughts when our stress is high, our anxiety is high, and our depression is high. One of the things that we can do to lessen these negative thoughts is to become aware that our thoughts are not facts. They are just thoughts.
I often use the expression rewire the brain. What does this mean? It means that we replace a negative font with a positive thought. When we replace a negative thought with a positive thought, we are telling our brain to stop focusing on negative thoughts and to focus on what we want to focus on. For example, you can focus on a positive event that you experienced at some time in your life. It can be something that happened years ago, it can be something that happened this week, or it can be something that you are planning in the future, like your vacation. When we give our brain a positive thought, we are telling the brain to focus on what we want to think about right here and now.
Negative thoughts can keep us trapped in the past. But when we tell the brain, I want to focus on this positive thought right now; we are putting ourselves in the present moment. When we put ourselves in the present moment, we let go of the blame, shame, and fear that the negative thoughts give us. So, the next time you have a lot of negative thoughts spinning around and around in your head, remind yourself that there are many positive things you can think about. Find a pleasant memory and take some time to sit back and think about that positive experience. Use this experience to replace negative thoughts!