How do you know if you have an attachment to negative emotions?
What are the three most prevalent emotions that you carry around all day? If people would use emotions to describe you, what would they be? How do you describe yourself using emotions?
First of all, it’s normal to have negative thoughts and emotions. It means that you are human. In fact, negative thoughts and emotions do serve a purpose. I mean, it would be really weird to greet devastating news with a smile and joy.
So what’s the big deal then?
It becomes a big deal when we get attached to negative thoughts and emotions and we wear them like a cozy robe and fuzzy slippers and we use them to describe who we are.
Literally! It becomes a big deal when we feed our negative thoughts with comfort food and a yummy bottle of wine. Before long we go shopping…online, in our robes, eating our comfort food, binge watching Mad Men or Orange is the New Black.
Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes that is the best way to spend a cold winter day, on purpose, not at the effect of our thoughts and emotions.
So, what to do…
Remembering the Model:
- Thoughts Trigger Emotions,
- Emotions Fuel Behavior, and
- Behavior Drives Results
Question your thoughts! Be very curious about your thoughts without judging. Just because you believe something is true, even if you’ve believed it for a long period of time, that doesn’t mean that it is actually true or that it has to be true for the future.
You don’t have to believe your thoughts!
Your rain wants to prove your thoughts true, all of them, even the wrong ones.
But here’s the thing: When you believe something is true, you tend to look for things that support those truths and ignore what does not. Beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies. So if those beliefs are helpful, then YAY! But if you want to experience something different, you have to prove to yourself that something different is possible.
Replace your thoughts! There’s nothing wrong with choosing to have a positive thought. Just know that the negative thought didn’t matter in the first place, it probably wasn’t true and it doesn’t “mean” anything about you.
When you jump on “negative” thoughts and reject them in a knee-jerk way, you’re saying to yourself, “I’m not good enough. If I were good enough, I wouldn’t have had that thought in the first place.” This is as negative as the initial thought.
People think that “thinking positively” is the first step, but first we must become aware and accept that the only reason we feel bad in the first place is because of our thoughts. Then, try some new thoughts on for size.
New truth! I love positive affirmation but you have to ease into it. The last thing that you want to do is tell your brain more lies. Your brain will reject the information and then you will be back where you started.
Start with the original thought and build bridge thoughts. Over time, you will have transformed your thoughts and emotions.
For example; if you have a few pounds to lose, it does no good to look in the mirror and say, “I am never going to have the body of my dreams.” It also does no good to say, “I have the body of my dreams”. There is too much of a gap between those two thoughts and your brain will reject the new thought. Your thought bridge might start with, “I am working on the body of my dreams.” Building a thought bridge will take time and practice but you will be amazed at how quickly you will replace old thought habits with new thought habits that better serve your purpose.
Now, go get some thoughts that serve you!
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