Why do you keep repeating negative thoughts?
There is a certain draw to them. Almost like watching a car accident…
That semi-compulsive feeling comes from somewhere. And it has roots in some very important survival skills.
When you notice yourself in a pattern of negative thoughts, mugged by your own mind: Congratulate yourself on noticing! Just being aware is a big step forward.
Now let’s look at the reasons you might be turning to these thoughts. Releasing the roots of this can make it so much easier to move forward!
Root #1 for Mental Muggings is Preparedness!
The thought behind this root is, “If I rehearse this enough, I’ll be ready if it really happens.”
Can you see how your survival mind would LOVE this reason for letting your hamsters run free looking deeply into every possibly negative outcome?
An untrained survival mind is fearful and reactive, and it wants to protect. Being on high alert and ready to run, fight, or freeze is really important… if you live in a war zone (as many of us did, at least emotionally, as children).
Focusing on the negative FEELS good in a way. It feels like we’re getting to choose when we’ll be afraid and when we’ll hurt. And as children this pattern could have been super valuable.
As adults living in a more abundant and choice filled world… these patterns can leave us drained, suspicious and closed down.
This is not about never looking at possibilities and taking action to be prepared. Noticing that you need insurance and purchasing it is great. Planning what you’d do if a hurricane came through is smart.
Repeatedly running the scenarios through your head over and over again isn’t powerful or helpful.
Okay. Let’s tap on I Must Think About These Negative Things So I’ll Be Prepared!
Karate Chop: Even though I feel like I MUST run these negative stories to be safe… what if that’s an old superstition left over from childhood… or maybe even my ancestors?
Even though these negative stories are so compelling and I want to chew on them over and over and over again… They aren’t really nourishing for my body or soul. I’m open to considering a different way of being.
Even though I MUST think these thoughts to stay safe, the thoughts destroy my happiness and my joy and suck the energy out of my life. I wonder if I can invite my brain to feel safe in different ways?
Top of the Head: I have to think those thoughts.
Eyebrow: Thinking them keeps me safe.
Side of the Eye: I feel prepared!
Under the Eye: I feel virtuous.
Under the Nose: I feel… anxious…
Chin: I feel tired.
Collarbone: I feel scared.
Under the Arm: Is it worth being this tired and scared?
Top of the Head: To feel prepared?
Eyebrow: Why do I only need to prepare for the worst?
Side of the Eye: And am I really prepared?
Under the Eye: All I’ve really done is worry.
Under the Nose: I haven’t taken any action.
Chin: And I actually feel less confident.
Collarbone: Less secure.
Under the Arm: I feel less strong.
Top of the Head: What if the compulsion isn’t good for me.
Eyebrow: What if I crave these thoughts,
Side of the Eye: Like people crave foods they’re allergic to?
Under the Eye: Just because I crave them doesn’t mean I SHOULD do them…
Under the Nose: I invite my brain to calm and ground.
Chin: I notice the positive things around me.
Collarbone: If I have a negative thought,
Under the Arm: I ask myself if there’s anything I should do.
Top of the Head: If yes I can do it… If not, I can move on!
Take a deep breath.
How do you feel?
Can you imagine a small child, without power or choice, deciding that negative thoughts might help? That was a smart and brave decision then… but a hurtful one now.
I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to hit reply to this email and share what comes up for you! I can’t reply to everyone, but I will read all your email.
Congratulations on looking at this. It takes courage to examine old patterns, even ones that might be hurting you.
Warm wishes and empowering thoughts,