Delete, delete, delete: A better way to break free from toxic thinking

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The other day I sat in a messy space of negativity. You could say I wallowed in it (not a pretty picture). The following morning, I began writing an email to a friend listing all the moody details. After about 20 minutes of spewing onto the “page,” I backspaced through the majority of the conversation. At the same time, a lightbulb popped on to reveal an ah-ha moment: If we could visualize ourselves backspacing (or deleting) over a negative script in our minds—hurtful comments received or spoken, limiting beliefs that continue to bombard our thoughts—how would that affect our moods, our days…the quality of our lives? Personally, I prefer to live without any reminders that I “screwed up again” and to focus on the clean page. To fill that space with positive affirmations, words of gratitude and encouragement (to myself and others). And to quickly “backspace” whenever I find myself trapped in another endless loop of toxic thinking.

How do you keep from rehashing negative thoughts?

Validation 101: how to bring out the best in yourself and others

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Wherever you are,
at any moment,
try and find something beautiful.

~ Matt Haig

Last month, I viewed a 17-minute YouTube video about “validation.” If you can’t afford the time, I recommend watching at least the first four minutes of the professionally rendered film. Because though our conscious minds comprehend that the positive words we speak volumes—and that negative-speak belittles and strips away our humanity person by person—the opportunity to observe these truths play out in black and white serves as both eye-opening and inspiring. In fact, for the entirety of August, thus far, I’ve made it my mission to “flood” social media each morning with optimism and encouragement. The process has also served to boost my own serotonin levels (our bodies’ feel-good chemicals)—a well-known byproduct of positive thinking. Even within the midst of global and political strife, it takes very little to make a big impact in the lives of others. Take a moment. Look around. Find something beautiful.

Who can you validate today?

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Are you an energy drain? Check your attitude at the door.

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Gratitude and grumbles cannot co-exist. Two words: self-fulfilling prophecy. And it works for both the big and the small stuff. Think about it: When we adopt an attitude of gratitude, we automatically align ourselves to receive a positive outcome. I’m sure you’ve heard this advice: You attract more flies with honey. Same concept. Conversely, grumbling and focusing on everything wrong obscures many of the joys of life and invites cynicism and negativity into our heart space. Plus, it can prove an energy drain on those around us. As with any new habit, or lifestyle change, we must allow ourselves time and patience—beginning with baby steps. For example, start by expecting light traffic… an ideal parking space… a short wait in line… a waived service fee… and give thanks upon receipt. With consistent use, our gratitude “muscles” will grow stronger and it’ll become easier to expect the big(ger) stuff: the job promotion… a healed injury… the published short story… Consistency is key.

What are you grateful for today?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part VI, the glue + tip #2

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Words we speak about an experience become the experience.
~ Derek Hough

In my post, “…Part V and thinking SMART,” I review nighttime routines and working smarter. Plus, I promise to reveal the glue that holds it all together: consistency. If you’re not seeing results, crushing your goals or manifesting your dreams, try sticking to a consistent habit, goal or practice until 1) either change occurs or 2) you need to try something new. Oh, and tip #2 that KM gave me at the start of my 45-day challenge? Quit complaining. The hard truth: complaining attracts negativity and misfortune. Don’t believe me? Try this at home (aka everywhere): Wear a rubber band on your wrist, snap it each time you complain and then switch wrists. But attempt to keep it on the same wrist for 21 days and watch what happens. Bonus: incorporate five minutes of focused gratitude into your morning routine. Check out these other resources: James R. Doty, simplemind.eu/how-to-mind-map/examples/goals, zapier.com/blog/smart-goals/.

Are you ready to attract abundance?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

How to excel at this one life

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how-to-excel

Many self-help articles share a common theme on how to grow and excel at this one life: stop complaining. This doesn’t mean we can’t vent our frustrations, but how about a new approach? Rather than spew negativity to those around us, let’s try writing it down; i.e., spend a few minutes daily journaling our angst. Maybe your partner behaved inconsiderately or you forgot to fill up your gas tank for the week. Or perhaps the first work email of the day rubbed you the wrong way or your alarm went off much too early this morning (it can’t be Monday already, can it?) and your stomach is in knots—knowing that after an eight-hour day, a 2 ½-hour HOA board meeting follows. Once you’ve written everything down, release these thoughts and mindfully replace them with thankfulness: It’s a new day. You’re breathing. Friday’s coming. Everything is temporary. Most on-point quote (by Heraclitus): There is nothing permanent except change. #truestory

Is your MO to complain or to be grateful?

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Turn your frown upside down

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Pessimism

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

In a Men’s Health February 2014 article, negativity is likened to parasites that eat away at your health. That’s because pessimism begins in your brain and works its way down the spinal cord to the lungs, heart, liver, adrenal glands, kidneys and gut, which can cause long-term damage. It’s even possible to experience benign pain as a result of stress (Tension Myositis Syndrome). Conversely, if your state of mind is happy and hopeful, you’re apt to be more cognizant about fitness, as well as healthier food choices; you’re also likely to either quit or refrain from smoking tobacco. While negativity breeds negativity, you can pump up your optimism by exercising it on a regular basis. Increase your outlook with these three simple activities: 1) reflect on accomplishments and events that made you proud; 2) recognize gratitude by citing three good things that occur each day and 3) picture your perfect life, detailed, five years from now, and focus on what’s attainable.

How do you exercise your positivity muscles?