The ability to let go of negative thought patterns are one of the biggest things I see that makes a difference between people who are able to change their lives, versus those who stay stuck. The people who can’t move on from negativity are the kinds of people who will still be rehashing the saame old shit year after year, while wondering why their lives are “stuck” and they can’t move on.
Why stop negative thought patterns?
When I got diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I realized that something I struggle with is being “kidnapped” by my feelings, which are very intense, all the time. When negative thought patterns happen for me, they tend to become all-encompassing. Depending on what it is I’m frustrated or anxious about, I’ll even make myself physically sick because I can’t just “let it go” until I’ve processed it. So learning how to let go of negative cycles, and doing it efficiently is especially important for me to help function and be healthy physically and mentally.
Let’s talk about how I’ve learned to stop cycles of negative thoughts in their tracks.
1. Acknowledge your core values
The first step to look at your core values. Take a minute to really think about them and what you want your life to look like. Really sit with them for a minute and inhabit their energy, so you can feel it and allow it to replace the anxiety or negativity.
(If you’re a member of the Organize Your Life Club free member’s area, you can see the Core Values exercise here if you don’t know what your core values are)
2. Compare your thoughts to your core values
Treat the mental things in your life just like you do when you’re organizing actual items. I like to think of my thoughts and beliefs as fitting inside of a chest of drawers – if an item doesn’t fit into one of my core value’s “drawers,” then it doesn’t belong.
3. Questions I ask myself
When something’s a problem for me, instead of just dwelling on it, I ask myself some of the following questions:
- Is there a boundary I need to put in place to prevent this in the future?
What precisely am I feeling about this? (Use the feeling wheel if necessary, get very specific!)
What triggered this feeling?
What action is appropriate given my feelings?
Is there a block or core belief I need to examine that’s influencing this situation?
For the rest of the exercise, see the complete lesson inside of the Organize Your Life Club member’s area.