I think we all KNOW how negative thinking does more harm than good on our overall outlook on life.
We KNOW that it steals our joy and creativity and can even hinder us from achieving our goals and doing what we say we want to do in life.
We also KNOW that negative self-talk is a habit and is easy to get into but seems hard to get out of!
One of the things I like to do is find creative ways to help me think more positively not just about myself and my abilities, and desires but also about other people and situations.
I used to always wonder why we seem to be more negative about EVERYTHING and how, at any given moment, our minds can find something negative to think about!?
My question was answered while I was watching one of my fav shows, Perception, and the lead character, Eric McCormack, an eccentric neuroscience professor with paranoid schizophrenia who is recruited by the FBI to help solve complex cases, says this:
It doesn’t matter how well your day is going, all it takes is one little off-hand comment to ruin it. That’s because the brain is hard wired to remember the negative interactions better than the positive ones. But recent discoveries suggests that the higher regions of the brain can actually modify how the lower regions function, that we can use our intention and our attention in sustained, focused ways to overcome the brain’s negative bias so that it can be in our control to determine how bad experiences affect us. In order words, unless you’re clinically depressed, being unhappy may in fact be a choice.
(I love how each episode includes a thought provoking, mind boggling, aha-garnering statement or question in the opening scene!)
So if being unhappy (or happy) is a choice, then why does it seem people choose to be UNhappy?
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that people wake up everyday and CONSCIOUSLY choose to be unhappy. They just don’t CONSCIOUSLY choose to be happy nor choose the actions that go along with that (i.e. showing gratitude, being of service to others, positive self-talk, etc.). It’s a huge difference between the two. 🙂
So would you like a simple way to really change your life for realz? It begins with paying attention to and decreasing the extent and length of negative thoughts.
10 Day Negative Thought Fast – The Rules
The concept of the negative thought fast was originated by Emmett Fox, one of the most influential and popular new thought/self-help authors of the 20th century. It’s an adventure you’ll reap many benefits from!
Here are the rules:
- If you break any of the other rules, you must start the 10 days over from the beginning. To get the full effect, you must complete 10 consecutive days. Giving up negative thoughts is a little like giving up a drug; you’ve got to stop using them completely, otherwise you haven’t truly quit.
- You cannot focus on a negative thought or remain in a negative emotional state for more than five minutes. Ideally, the time should be much shorter. Five minutes should be plenty of time to recognize what’s going on and put a stop to it. Remember, even one instance of lingering for more than five minutes means starting over.
- You must focus on solutions. When the negative thoughts start, the idea is to immediately start contemplating possible solutions. Spend your time solving your challenges instead of focusing on them.
Note: If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had the same challenges/thoughts for quite a while without resolution. It’s time to try something else instead of dwelling on what’s wrong. This sounds deceptively easy, but you may be surprised how difficult it is to “give up” negativity.
When you’re faced with a negative thought (and there will be many!), the best response is to think to yourself, “How can I solve or improve this challenge or thought?“
The point is to immediately begin focusing on solutions.
For example, one day, I had 10 items on my to do list. By the end of the day, I had only completed 7. What was my first thought? “I FAILED!” I was actually about to write in large letters the word “Fail” on the notepad. But I didn’t because I turned that thought around. I’m not a failure because I didn’t finish 3 items on my list. I’ve succeeded in finishing 7! Once I changed my thought around my to do list that day, I felt better instantly and CHOSE to not see myself as a failure. See how this can apply to practically anything, large or small?!
Over the 10 days, you’ll begin to form a habit of immediately recognizing a negative mental state and then focusing on solutions for what you feel negatively about. If you continue the process after the 10 days are completed, you’ll develop a permanent habit that will only require a minimal amount of maintenance.
You might need several attempts to complete the full 10 days. It’s common to have numerous slips on day one and then a few others later in the process. Refrain from beating yourself up over it. Remember, you’re focusing on solutions.
Taking Your Focus Away From A Negative Thought
One way to help keep the negative thoughts at bay is to ask yourself positive questions like the following:
- What’s great about today?
- What do I like the most about this?
- What am I most proud of?
- What am I most looking forward to?
- How can I make this work in my favor?
- How can I turn this around?
…or create your own question that gets you in the proper frame of mind.
If you’re filling your mind with positive thoughts, there’s no room for the negative stuff. And since we can only consciously think about one thing at a time, making the most out of your thoughts makes sense!
And while you are at it, smile! 🙂
Over to you…
Okay, I admit, this negative thought fast thingy sounds easy enough right? WRONG! It can take some time to get used to this but I promise you if you keep at it, you’ll find that your mind will start to be filled with more positive thoughts which only helps to make your day even better and your soul even brighter! 🙂
Who’s with me??? How do you currently deal with negative thoughts? Chime in below and let me know if you’re up for the challenge!