Do you ever catch yourself worrying too much or judging yourself and others, and wish you could stop? Sometimes it seems impossible, but there is a way. And that’s what we’ll cover in this episode.
01:00 – Where an addiction to negative thinking actually comes from
08:20 – The social pressure of staying in a negative state of mind
16:30 – Make a habit of thinking about what you want instead
22:05 – Sometimes negative thinking is just old trauma releasing
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This is Ep 123 – Breaking an Addiction to Negative Thinking. Do you ever catch yourself ruminating? worrying, judging, and wish you could stop? And sometimes it seems impossible? Well, there is a way. And that’s what we’ll cover in this episode.
So negative thinking isn’t, I think, a natural way of being. It’s like malware. That’s part of the software that’s on the human bio computer called the ego. And your ego has useful purposes, it’s a good servant, for getting things done. And all those aspects of negative thinking have their positive effects like being discerning, versus judging, like paying attention to dangers versus worrying all the time. So the impetus of those negative thoughts is a good thing.
It’s a problem when it all gets amplified in a non constructive way. That’s what we’re talking about. And many people are looping in negative ways a lot of the day, which puts them in the survival brain, as opposed to the whole brain being activated, where your wisdom, resilience, strength, communication skills, collaboration skills are all online. Many of those go away when we’re looping on negative things.
So, you make more mistakes when you’re in a reactive state of mind. Or when you’re on a deadline, or when you’re nervous, you’re clumsy, you can’t remember things, you snap at people around you, which doesn’t help your relationships with people and maybe you don’t get the support you need. So it sort of has a domino effect.
Now, it’s helpful to know that this program, called the negative ego loves negative thinking, because it strengthens it, it feeds on it. And so will actually try to create situations that provoke a negative thought, like focusing on things that you’re upset about, that you can’t do anything about, like creating drama over things when there’s really no need to, or maybe watching shows that are really dark or really violent, which put you in that lower vibrational state.
Now, you may not do this, but maybe you know, other people who like to find things to get upset about, right? They go to a restaurant and nitpick on things, or they’ll go to a movie and list all the things they don’t like about it, or complain about people that they don’t like. Now, there’s nothing wrong with stating a negative opinion about something, it’s just if that seems to happen a lot… I would say there’s an addiction to negative thinking going on.
And what you focus on grows. So if you find yourself complaining a lot, or you’re around somebody complaining a lot, nitpicking focusing on what’s negative only and not talking about what’s working, or what they feel neutral about, or what’s good, then you have someone I think, who’s addicted to negative thinking.
And certainly I can get in that state of mind, you know, when I’m tired, or I’m hungry, or I’m on a deadline, I start to see the glass as half empty, and everyone and everything is bothering me, right? It’s just human nature. So not to beat yourself up about it. But if you’re doing that a lot, and you’re actually noticing yourself seeking it out, you’re actually negatively affecting your health, your relationships, your creativity, your mental health, it’s quite huge in terms of the ramifications.
So it’s good to be able to catch yourself and turn it around, when and where possible. Often an addiction to negative thinking comes from what I call the archetype of the Victim. And I’ve talked about different archetypes and core scripts before in other episodes. You know, the Victim has this core script that bad things keep happening to me. And so if that’s what you expect, you do tend to attract more of that. I mean, bad things happen to everyone. But if you’ve labeled yourself that way, I think you do become a magnet for it.
Now, the opposing archetype of the Victim is the Guardian, and their core script is…I can protect myself and others. So it’s just good to be able to not get stuck in a certain role in your life, like I’m always the Victim. And again, a lot of people would never label themselves that but if you look at the symptoms in your life, you might see that at some subconscious level you might have taken on that character in the play of your life in the mindstory of your life. So at any point, you can take off that costume and put on the costume of The Guardian.
Or there’s also the Pessimist. Many people just have that as a main character they play where their core script is Nothing good can ever happen. And the opposite is the Optimist, good things do happen. Now again, I’m not saying always be the Optimist, but just don’t get stuck anywhere. That’s the key if you’re aware of these characters you’re playing, you can switch depending on the situation. You know, maybe sometimes it’s good to be the pessimist. It’s good to be aware that you’re being victimized and do something about it. But just don’t stay there. You do you need to be aware of these things.
But you know, how there are people…like my father, we called him The Beacon of Doom. Because he just loved to tell me, and anyone who would listen, about everything that was wrong, not only his personal life, but in the world. You know, he’d read the paper and recite back all the terrible things are happening in the world, because the news likes to focus on all the bad news and actually exaggerate it or even make up bad news just because it grabs attention and keeps people in that survival brain trigger state, which makes people easier to control.
But just be aware if you are spending a lot of time complaining to others, you bring their frequency down with you, and they’re not gonna want to spend time with you if you keep doing that. Unless, of course, they’re a complainer, too, and then they love to complain together and outdo each other on.
Now, some people complain as a kind of cultural thing. Like I’ve noticed, if I hang out with certain people from one side of my family, they all complain, they all are judgmental about other people and the news and it’s sort of expected. If you start talking about positive things, they kind of get weirded out by you.
They just think you’re some kind of Pollyanna. They don’t relate, you’re almost a social outcast. So if you live in that sort of cultural environment whether at work or at home, where everyone does it, it’s going to feel uncomfortable to start balancing it out with what’s good. Or where you feel neutral about things. Like there are people who want you to feel upset about things so that they feel justified about being upset or outraged or annoyed or frustrated. And if you’re just neutral about it, or it doesn’t bother you, it actually bothers them even more, because they can’t pull you into their vortex of negativity.
So it does require a bit of stamina, and knowing that you might get some pushback or some people outrightly not wanting to be your friend. I mean, I was part of a group for years and I was always sharing as much positive news as well as you know, things that were challenging and she only talked about things that were challenging and at one point she just left the group because of me. She just found me too positive and it bothered her. So you know, at the time I kind of took it personally and then I thought, well do I really want to change that about myself? No. So sometimes your social life will change if you start balancing out your brain and the frequency you want to live by.
But if you do feel addicted to it know that that is not YOU feeling addicted, that is the program wanting to replicate itself to keep itself alive. And if you stop feeding it, then it starts to almost feel like this pet you have that’s dying — crying for food and water and it can feel uncomfortable. It can feel like a part of you is dying when you stop feeding the negativity vortex and so just be aware of that. Sometimes I have to watch that part of me die and not get too upset about it just know that this is a good thing if this dies down dies away.
It’s like a parasite really, I don’t know if you’ve ever done a parasite cleanse but I have – where you take some herbs and that helps you get clear of you know, yeast overgrowth or certain kind of parasite overgrowth and your body can go into these intense cravings as you’re starving the parasites of the kind of foods that it likes to grow by and you’re putting these herbs in your body that is killing them off. And it can feel like a warzone, right?
So it’s kind of the same thing with this part of you that you’re going to be dissociating from. You know, some people say it even feels like withdrawing from cigarette smoking or caffeine. Or, if you’ve been on any other kind of drug or alcohol and you’ve pulled yourself off it, it can feel uncomfortable at first. But once you’re on the other side of that, there’s so much freedom. It’s like you have your vital life force energy back, right? Because that feeds on your vital life force energy, your creativity. All of a sudden, you have this creativity and this vitality, and you look younger, and you feel younger, and you have ideas, and you don’t get waylaid by obstacles, you start seeing solutions to things that you never saw before. And you shine brighter, and people enjoy being around you more and your health gets better. And it’s just huge, right? So it’s worth going through the discomfort.
But also be aware that if you are in that state where your frequency is higher, as I said, some people don’t like it. And you will find people fall away or even strangers also not like you, because you’re not in their frequency range. So again, that sometimes makes people want to kind of fall back fall down into the lower frequencies just to fit in. So I don’t think it’s worth it just to fit in. It’s worth it just to find people who like that kind of frequency level. And yes, there are less of those kinds of people, especially these days, but it’s better to be alone or to be around just a few people who are good with your frequency level than to try to fit in and let your energy be siphoned.
And one thing was a real wake up call to me, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you. But you know, one day I remember I was ruminating in my head about something somebody did, that I didn’t like. And I heard myself say out loud, what a jerk.
And about 10 minutes later, I was walking down the street, and I walked by this homeless man, and I saw him rocking back and forth saying, What a jerk, what a jerk. What a jerk. And I realized I’m just being like him, right? It’s just this parasitic energy taking over a person and trying to lower the frequency. So it can happen to everyone.
So if you sort of think you’re above it all, you know, it’s good to wake up and have a sense of humor about it, because we all do it from time to time. But we talk to ourselves and sometimes out loud, like, you know, like a crazy person. But that’s not you, I find that really helpful to remember that not the real you talking, it’s just this parasite program that you’re 1000 times more powerful than, and you can just kind of go, Oh, thanks for sharing, but no thanks. And just pull your energy away from that, pull yourself out of it.
And so a great way to do that is not to resist it, because that kind of builds it. But just to switch your focus to what is good. What do I like about the person who I am calling a jerk? What am I learning from the situation where we’re having conflict? All that kind of stuff. So that triggers the whole brain thinking and it gets you into the neocortex, where you have a more holistic view of life, where you can look at the glass as half empty, or the glass as half full, you can be neutral about things.
And so that’s all you want to do is just ask yourself these questions, and you can just start with Isn’t that interesting. I’m looping about that thing. I’m worrying about my health, or I’m worrying about money, or I’m worrying about why I haven’t heard from that person. Isn’t that interesting. Again, interesting, triggers curiosity, which is part of the neocortex. And that’s where you want to go. You can ask yourself other questions like, Oh, what is the purpose of a thought like that? What does it bring me? Does it change the world? in a better way? Does it change anything? And if you answer No, then you might just want to redirect your focus.
Like your attention is this powerful resource that you have and we forget that we’re like a lighthouse on the shore, you can turn the light in another direction. You don’t have to focus on the rocks. You can focus on the beautiful sunset at any time. You are the lighthouse keeper. You can refocus that lighthouse however you want.
And sometimes if you start asking yourself those questions, you start to become aware why you’re looping on something negative in the first place. Like, for example, if I complain enough about that thing, that’s what’s going to change it. Like, if I complain to my partner how much I don’t like their untidiness, that’s going to make them change. But does it? No, probably not. It just makes you have a less enjoyable relationship. Or maybe if you complain to yourself about how you look, then God or the universe, or somebody is going to come along and fix it for you. Like, it’s almost this childish way of looking at the world, like when you were really unhappy as a kid, you’d scream and you’d cry, then you get the attention of your parents, and then they’d fix it, right?
So it’s almost like we complain and hope that the inner parent will come along and fix it. But now that you’re an adult, I mean, you’re the one to fix it, if you want to fix it, but complaining about it all the time, actually just creates more of what you don’t want. Usually, if you just switch it to, Oh, I don’t like how I look, how would I like to look? Create a vision on how you’d like to look or how much money you’d like to make, or the kind of relationship you’d like to be in, or the kind of business you’d like to have, or the kind of world you’d like to see.
Anytime you’re complaining about the state of the world, what kind of world you want instead? And I know sometimes we go, Well, we can’t live in a fair and just world where people are healthy, and they get along, because that’s impossible, because there’s never been anything like that, that I’m aware of, on this earth. But that’s not true. I mean, you don’t know that that’s a fact at all. I mean, we could be living in a world where there’s not strange distortions in the media, there’s not a lot of corruption, where people get along, where there’s peace of mind, where people are abundant. There are groups and societies and countries and probably home planets, where that’s the norm. And why can’t we have that? The more we focus on what we want, the better.
Like Case in point I remember this girl I knew when I was young, and she was overweight, but she was really good drawer. And she started drawing images of how she wanted to look. And I thought, Oh, that’s interesting, you know, most people complain about themselves that they’re overweight, but she would draw these pictures of herself. And she got better and better. And she kept drawing herself the way she wanted. And a few years later, she actually looked like that, and stayed like that the rest of her life. And she just kept drawing this image of what she wanted.
So you can draw an image in your own mind, if you’re not an artist, of what you want, you can draw an image in your mind of a healthy bank account, healthy body, a career you love, a relationship that is really fulfilling, a state of mind that you want to be in. You can imagine yourself feeling peaceful. And it can actually start to trigger receptor cells in your brain that put out hormones that make you feel peaceful. And we just forget to do that.
So the recognition that negative thinking and unhappy states actually does nothing to change anything..that’s important. And if anything, makes it worse. As soon as you remember that is the first step out of it. it brings you into more of that whole brain thinking where there’s enough awareness, and you can suddenly look at it in new ways. And then ask yourself these questions that open up the whole brain thinking, do I want to continue to think these thoughts? Is that helpful? Yes or no? No? Okay, what do I really want instead? Let me imagine that for a moment, even if it’s just for a few seconds. And why do I want it to be this way, and you can be thinking about your big why. And that can be very inspiring and uplifting.
And the other thing you can do is just stop thinking. Rather than switch to the opposite type of thinking, you can just step out of it. Kind of like say you’re in the middle of a tiny little tornado, that’s all around you. And you would just step out of it, and the tornado would rush off into the night and you would be present in this peaceful, non tornado place.
That’s an interesting image for some people, and you can go there, try it right now. Just imagine being absolutely present here right now. Like being in your body, feeling your feet on the ground, hearing these words, you know, whatever you’re ruminating about or complain about isn’t necessarily there right now. It’s just something you’re thinking about from the past, regretting or worry about from the future. But if you go right back to this present moment, oh, I’m just getting this beautiful tree. I’m just sitting in this chair, I am drinking this nice cup of tea. that stops the tornado. Can’t keep going if you choose to be in the present moment. And again, it’s just like a muscle you build Just go there, and maybe it’s just a few seconds, and then you get swept back into it. And that’s okay. Again, don’t beat yourself up about it, because that builds it, it wants you to beat yourself up about it. So just, oh, okay, I’m in it, I’m out of it, I’m in it, I’m out of it, just kind of watch yourself.
Like if you have a small child, or remember when you did have a small child, and they went into like a temper tantrum or something like that. I don’t know if you ever tried just waiting with the child and giving them your full attention, not trying to stop them. But just being with this full attention, like not excessive attention, where you’re screaming for them to stop screaming, or giving them the thing that they want that you said no, that they can’t have before. But you’re just like really with them kind of in a loving, but neutral way. After a while the child kind of runs out of steam in stops crying, and your presence brings them into a state of presence where that tornado can’t be sending them off on a tangent. So you can do the same with yourself, because we have these inner temper tantrums from our own inner child that come upon us. And maybe they don’t look like they did when we were kids. But you can feel it, it’s like a little Cyclone inside your heart, or inside your head, and just give it presence. Like it’s okay that I’m like this right now. I’m just gonna be with it, I’m just gonna breathe with it, I’m just going to press it because sometimes these negative thought vortexes are just stress that needs to be moved out of our system.
And you can do some movement, if you’re into that some kind of exercise like running or walking or yoga or something, it helps move it out of the fascia and the muscles and the tissues out of the breath. And it pumps through the lymph system and releases out of the body. So sometimes that negativity is just like old built up stuff, it could even be negative energy from decades ago, that you’re finally in a good place, like a strong good place in your life now to process it. And that’s what people find, you know, it’s a strange phenomenon where, people maybe who had some kind of trauma in their past, like a car accident or some kind of abuse in their past…and they get to this time in their life, where they’re finally really stable, they’re in a peaceful place. They have, you know, good people around them, and then they start re experiencing trauma. And they think why is this happening because I was in such good place, it’s actually because the body feels safe enough to start releasing it. Because you have this whole brain thinking going on at least some of the time, hopefully, you have this groundedness, it can work its way out now.
And so it’ll come up and you can just kind of be with it, you don’t have to analyze it, you don’t have to figure out even what it’s from. Because sometimes we experience trauma, and then we actually blocked it out of our memory, right, we don’t even really remember what happened, but the traumas to load somewhere in the body causing us problems. So if you just Breathe it out, it can move out of your body. And you don’t have to do a big psychoanalysis and relive the trauma, which can actually be worse, you can just let it go, you know, asking yourself to retrieve whatever wisdom is important from that. And you might not consciously know what that is.
But if you just give yourself that instruction, you will move it out of the trauma center of the brain, which is kind of in the center of the brain out to the outer cortex, the neocortex, where that experience gets stored as wisdom and compassion and resilience and strength to help maybe other people or to not end up in that position again. But if you don’t process the trauma, as I’ve said, in other episodes, sometimes you can repeat or re magnetize those kinds of things to you because you didn’t learn your lesson the first time. So in summary, just be compassionate with yourself. If you find yourself in a negativity loop, or you’re dealing with someone else who’s doing that, and just get present for a moment and ask yourself, do I really want to be thinking these thoughts?
And maybe you can make an agreement with someone that you live with? to maybe do a pattern interrupt and say, Hey, do you really want to be thinking those thoughts? You have to do it from a neutral state of mind, though you can’t be upset at them being upset, because that’ll just feed it. You know, you can do a pattern interrupt. Oh, is that a useful way? I think he right now what do you want instead? What do I want instead? Oh, let me imagine that. And let me just get present for a moment. Let me step out of this Cyclone and just anchor my feet on the ground and see what I’m seeing here what I’m hearing feel and I’m feeling without having to create any meaning or interpretation around it. Just be with what is and then it inevitably starts to dissipate and you can get back to a neutral or positive state of mind for moving forward.
Do check out MindStory Inner Coach and try using our 5 part AVARA Model to breaking free of a habit of negative thinking. Just go to mindstoryacademy.com.
Some people use that 5 part AVARA model any time they’re in this negative loop, and it just takes a few minutes and boom, they’re out of it …either right away, or within half an hour or an hour, it starts to dissipate completely. And they start to go in a more constructive path in terms of their thinking. And then after a while, it becomes a default, and they can just do it in their own head without even doing something on paper.
But it does help to do something on paper, like the AVARA model. It forces your brain energy into the neocortex. When you start writing and analyzing and using critical thinking on the cyclones of thought. It basically breaks the pattern and that’s super important. So Just go to mindstoryacademy.com, and you can find it there or see the link in the show notes.
Okay, that’s it for today. Thank you for listening. I will see you next time.