Whilst positive thinking, affirmations and mantras go a little way to help us limit and remove negative thinking, they are easily overridden by our unconscious minds and we revert back to the negative mental chatter once more. The changes we are striving to make can only have permanency if we decondition the unconscious mind by replacing the thoughts with far more compelling alternative ones. The conscious mind – the part of the mind that is everything we are thinking about right now – and the unconscious mind – the part that is everything we’re not thinking about right now – need to communicate well. The conscious mind is the goal setter, the unconscious mind is the goal getter; when they work in synergy, the negative thoughts are vanquished. Here are a few easy steps to start thinking differently.
- As you mind chatters away, limit the importance of these unhelpful thoughts by imagining it’s a cartoon or children’s character talking, or even someone with helium-infused vocal chords; hearing the thoughts back as Donald Duck, Miss Piggy or Bugs Bunny starts to break down the issue. Maybe learn self-hypnosis or learn more about how hypnosis could help you https://www.traceycolenlp.com/7-reasons-why-hypnosis-would-work-for-you/
- Think – what is the problem? What is the problem not? How do you know what the problem is not? What is it that you need to not know to know this? What are you not deciding when you don’t do the problem? How is that different from how you were? Questioning the unconscious level and giving the mind a moment o give you an answer can be revealing. For more ideas see https://www.traceycolenlp.com/questioning-techniques-help-mind-find-answers/
- Use peripheral vision whenever a negative thinking creeps in. This is the hazy, defocused vision we have when we daydream. When the negativity surfaces, you drop out of peripheral vision and become focused on a point. Just like chastising a naughty child by firmly saying, “No, no,” tell yourself to push that thought away by assuming peripheral vision once more. Our minds cannot hold negative thoughts and peripheral vision simultaneously. For more information on how to do this technique see https://www.traceycolenlp.com/getting-into-the-zone-for-sport/
- Anchor something positive. This is a visual or auditory cue that can be used to bring us out of negativity. It may be a favourite song or a mind’s eye picture of a happy event. Think about feeling relaxed, calm confident and positive as you listen or see your cue. Intensify the positive emotions in your mind and press you thumb and forefinger together. Really turn up the great feelings; when they subside, release your finger and thumb. You can now use this as a resource anchor, each time negative thought comes forward, fire the anchor by pressing your finger and thumb. For mindfulness and triggering by breathing or transitioning to a more relaxed state listen to my free recordings https://www.traceycolenlp.com/meditation-mindfulness-hypnosis/
- Don’t play the victim. By acknowledging that only you can change you, that you are the architect of your life, you recover your power. It may mean very tough decisions, but knowing that you have a choice in all things allows you to move forward and not remain in a rut. In the same vein, you can manage the type of internal self-talk you wish to hear! For more uplifting ideas see https://www.traceycolenlp.com/have-you-ever-felt-broken/ or https://www.traceycolenlp.com/live-in-the-moment/
- Learn a set of strategies to get you through tough times now and in the future. Many people who train in NLP or hypnosis want to help others and are sympathetic to others’ plights. However, one of the great benefits of a training in NLP or hypnosis or Time Line Therapy® with me is that you also remove all your own negative thinking patterns too! It’s not that we do group sharing, but we do remove one another’s negative emotions as we master the techniques. You’ll also find, that as a therapist something strange and wonderful happens: as you take your clients through the techniques, somehow, you get some of that mind-training too. This makes being a qualified coach so doubly rewarding! https://www.traceycolenlp.com/nlp-ninja-training/
- Did you know that having a constant ticker-tape of thought running through your mind can be inefficient at best and harmful at worst? Do you have constant thoughts running day and night and when you least want them? Is it like the BBC/Sky/CNN News subtitle headlines running away with themselves? Be aware of your thoughts. Imagine this: you are at a railway station, there are trains every few minutes, so you can take whichever train you like and there are plenty of trains homes again too. You may or may not know where you want to go, but you feel that a train journey could be fun. You see a couple of trains enter the station and you don’t board, you let them pass through. When you’re ready, hop on your train. Now, if you like this train and where it’s going, you can stay on it for as many stops as you like before getting off and then returning home. If you don’t like the journey or you feel like it’s the wrong destination, simply get off and go back home. This metaphor is a little like our thoughts. Many thoughts come along just like trains. Some you can ignore, they are not good trains of thought. Some you like and you get on, if you start to feel that this train (thought) isn’t taking you to somewhere good, get off. There’s always another train of thought coming along. And if you have a whole raft of not-so-good trains of thought, get off, don’t get on, because the destination is not worth your energy. Another train of thought that’s far better will come along, all you have to do is sit in the waiting room, you don’t have to pay those other trains any attention. And psychologists are now starting to appreciate that negative thoughts can be left to ticker-tape into your mind like the news reels and ticker-tape out. Thoughts are not real, those that run like this are not really worth much. It’s those light-bulb thoughts, inspirations and eureka moments that are the ones we should aim to pay attention to. These may seem few and far between. That’s because our mind is stuffed full of the trains of thought that do not serve us. So, what can we do? Spend time not paying attention to thoughts. See how it goes. Allocate 5-10 minutes a day (you can do it!), having as little train of thought as you can. Sit comfortably and empty out; each time you get onto a train of thought, alight again. You can give yourself great self-care in doing this and the space for really enlightening thoughts to enter your mind. See if you can do 2-3 minutes per hour, it works wonders. Have a read of this article from Psychology Today to understand more about ‘inside-out’ thinking Read more
Let me know how you get on!