Brain image for blog post

7 Simple Steps to Diminish Negative Thoughts

Did you know that your  behaviour is controlled by circuits in the brain that can operate without your conscious awareness?

The majority of our decisions, emotions, actions and behaviour depends on the 95% of brain activity that is beyond our conscious awareness.

That means that 95% of the way you live your life is programmed by your subconscious.

Feel good to reach your goals

A meaningful reward triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter known as the “feel good” hormone. The release of dopamine raises your conscious ability to develop strategies to achieve your goal. Without the association to pleasure, your brain couldn’t care less about helping you achieve it. When you imagine hitting the mark and how you’ll feel when it happens, your brain interprets this as reality. Same thing happens when you tune into your negative chatter.

Negative chatter and your prefrontal cortex 

The prefrontal cortex in your brain does some pretty incredible things. Although it helps you plan, organize, and think abstractly,  it’s also responsible for the endless chatter in your brain that is typically negative.Thoughts about how you are going to get through your growing list of tasks, how you’ll pay the bills, or when the other shoe is going to drop are just some examples of the unproductive, negative chatter that goes through your mind.  You’ve got to be dedicated to shift your focus.

Commitment, discipline and action

You might as well throw in the towel right now if you’re not truly committed to reaching your goals. In order to complete what you’re started, you’ve got to keep a constant willingness to persist and persevere alive. And you must get in ACTION!

7 steps to dismiss negative thoughts

  1. Be a curious, objective observer: Notice your thought patterns as if you’re overhearing a conversation.  Listen with curiosity and without judgment for a few days.
  2. Find the repetition: Look for recurrent thoughts, both positive and negative.
  3. Write them down: Carry a notepad so that you can easily jot down repetitive thoughts that jump into your noggin.  Capture a minimum of 1 week.  You’re not going to write down every single thought, just those that keep returning.
  4. Debunk the culprits: Shoot holes in the negative stories because you’ve made them up.  Thoughts, worries and fears about the future have nothing to do with reality.
  5. Interrupt the pattern: When you catch yourself leaning toward negative thoughts, DO NOT push them away or attempt to force them out of your mind.  Resistance breeds persistence.  Instead, gently turn toward thoughts that support what you’re up to.
  6. Give yourself a break: Set reasonable expectations – this doesn’t happen overnight. Expect to fall off the wagon from time to time.   Remember that your repetitive thoughts have created neural pathway as neurons that fire together and get wired together.
  7. Reward yourself: Get your brain on your side by associating the results of your efforts with pleasure to flip the switch to motivation.

Your powerful brain has the ability to change its synaptic wiring and therefore your point of view. Amplify thoughts that fuel your goals and dreams and tune out the culprits that hold you back!

 

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