Pull up Google and you’ll find hundreds of articles about the power of positive thinking.
- mend your relationships
- manifest money
- improve your health
You name it, positive thinking can help.
Despite sounding like snake-oil claims, I think it’s true. Or, at least, I think the mind is the most important factor in creating the life you want.
Focus the mind on what you desire and let life work it’s magic!
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds…
Not because it doesn’t work that way – in my experience it does – but because you also have the power to think negative, unfocused thoughts.
And negative, unfocused thoughts are like germs in a kindergarten class – easy to catch and hard to eradicate.
Negative thoughts block you from feeling the positive emotions that magnetize positive experiences to you. Whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, you can’t deny it’s more pleasant to sit with a cheerful friend than a dreary one.
Plus, they’re like the equivalent of stubbing your toe getting out of bed and proceeding to have an awful day – a few bad thoughts can set the tone for a chain of negativity in your life.
So if you’re going to bother aiming for something you want, it’s worth learning how to minimize your tolerance for negativity at the same time.
Personally I’ve been actively trying to outsmart negative thinking for a decade.
I’ve read The Secret, tapped acupressure points, made gratitude lists, and listened to Abraham-Hicks ad nauseam. But, ten years on, I still find my mind spiraling into disempowering thinking.
Oddly enough, lately I noticed the negative stream is particularly intense when I drive a certain local route. Luckily I’m a curious yogi, so last month I decided to use the drive as a testing ground for different “self-help” techniques to see if I could finally break the cycle.
I tried books on tape, empowering talks, uplifting music, calling a friend (hands-free, of course), and singing. They all worked temporarily, but the next time I made the drive, I’d be back at square one and overwhelmed by negativity.
That is, until this weekend. I finally made a breakthrough – and it’s ridiculously simple.
Think about something else.
Abraham-Hicks has talked about interrupting the downward spiral of negative thoughts by distracting yourself for years, but I didn’t get it until now.
Previously I’d tried to replace upsetting thoughts with positive thoughts, or thoughts about another person or experience, which just led to more frustration.
But the trick is NOT to think of something positive, or even try to seek out an “unemotional” topic.
It’s literally just to focus entirely on ANYTHING else.
Here’s what I thought about on my drive that saved my mood and stopped my emotional spiral: “red stop sign”, “brown marsh reeds”, “new housing development”.
I didn’t try to counter my negative thoughts or argue with them. I simply named my surroundings.
“Blue road sign”, “beautiful sunset”, “deer in the field”, “orange car”.
AND. IT. WORKED.
In just two drives, I already improved the pattern so dramatically, I no longer dread making the trip again today.
More importantly, I’m over the moon that I finally found the key to mastering my thoughts.
It’s so obvious, it makes me want to roll my eyes – be here, now.
That’s it. Be here, now. And name everything you see while you’re at it.
Try it for yourself and see how it goes.
I’d love to hear your experience.
Until then – be free, be brave, and be YOU.