Have you ever been in situations in life where one negative thought or experience sends you into a pattern of negativity that ends up messing up your entire day, week or year?
It may start with a friend saying something negative about you and suddenly you find yourself digging up past memories of rejection, begin to question your own personality, looks, and social ability. Next, you begin to heap on negative thoughts about your ability to break out of your rut and now the negative thoughts are becoming more normal than ever before.
This is the real challenge isn't it?
It's never one negative thought or experience that causes us to withdraw, be depressed or unhappy – instead it is a flood of negative thoughts that just seem to come faster and faster while we feel we have less and less control over them.
So, as we point out in Get Unstuck: 4-Step System For Permanently Breaking Out Of Your Rut in Life – one of the most powerful techniques you can learn in life is how to STOP negative thoughts from spiraling uncontrollably into lengthy episodes of negative living.
Two Techniques To Tackle Depression & Negativity In Life
If you struggle with periods in your life where one negative thought turns into another, turning into many more until you find yourself stuck in a rut, then we have found these two concepts extremely powerful for others who want to break that pattern.
1. Turn The Tables, Make Negative Thoughts Painful!
Believe it or not, when we get stuck in patterns of negative thinking it means we have assigned a higher "pleasure" versus "pain" threshold to spiraling down the negative thought tunnel than changing our thinking toward more positives.
Though this may sound non-intuitive – stay with me here…
Deciding to think negative thoughts is usually tied to a belief about pleasure/pain – in other words, many people convince themselves that the pain associated with taking a more positive view (Ex. if they build up home or positive feelings around something and it doesn't work – that will be a long fall, or perhaps if you are positive while your peer group is negative you may be rejected, etc…) .
On the other hand, you most likely have placed negative thinking as LESS painful because you avoid the possibility of failing, being rejected, being embarrassed – in other words, in a rather twisted way you see negative thoughts as LESS painful than positive thoughts.
Before you can REALLY make lasting change in your life and stop these negative episodes you need to get the root of your beliefs around feeling positive versus negative in those situations
2. Use Thought Pattern Interrupts
Use pattern interrupts.
In other words, when you have that initial negative thought that usually begins to spiral into other negative memories and thoughts – have pre-determined "interrupts" in your mind that you can move to.
I used to use a funny saying, funny thought, especially incredible moment in my life that I always had on the tip of my mind and could jump to anytime a negative thought or experience entered my mind. Negative thought patterns are actually neural pathways that are well worn (think of a path through the bush) – to interrupt one path, you need to have another path that you can jump on to in order to re-set your neural pathways controlling your thoughts and thereby controlling your decisions and behaviors.
Each of these two techniques will allow you to take back control over HOW you think in life.
Most of all, you will now have the foundation upon which to change negative thought patterns, embrace the power of interrupting those negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts that (from now no) are associated with pleasure ensuring you have more of them in the future.