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How to Combat Negative Thoughts: U-Turns


How to Combat Negative Thoughts: U-Turns

How many of you have had days where you are overwhelmed by your own negative thoughts?

Sometimes I have my moments. Sometimes the moments last hours. Sometimes the hours turn into one day, or two, or many. When I was younger I used to think that these days would just 'diminish' as I moved into adulthood. What I'm realizing now is- maybe these days and thoughts don't diminish (necessarily); we just get better at navigating our way through them; at working it all out.

As I'm typing this I am reminded of something very honest my friends mother shared with me. After her daughter- my friend- passed away, she described how, when she was shopping, she would naturally go to the girls section to buy clothes for her. Or, she would reach out for her favourite kind of cookie, or find herself going towards the phone so she could call her. She told me how she now lives her life U-Turning. She is still out of habit moving in that direction and going to do those things but now has to U-Turn back.

I find this story so heartbreaking on so many levels (partly because I adored my friend and I love her Mom so much) but I also find it quite profound when applied to something like negative thought patterns.

I grew up as my own worst enemy. I had no idea what self-care looked like, never mind self-love. I had never given thought to activities or things that made me truly happy. And most important, I had absolutely no idea how to speak kindly to myself. In trauma therapy I came to learn that the large, overpowering voice in my head that was mean, terrible and rude was not my own. It was a combination of voices that I grew up around all rolled into one- and I heard that voice (those voices) so often I believed it was my own. (Has this happened with you?)

When I tell people now about completing trauma therapy and the biggest changes I have made in my life, I often talk about how my days are FILLED with U-Turns. Filled with them. My mind still defaults to "I'm not good enough", "I'm useless", "I'm not strong enough", etc. but the difference is now when those thoughts occur, I catch myself after and I U-Turn it in a different direction.

Something I've been doing recently is writing down the opposite of what the negative thought is, putting it on a piece of paper and then carrying the paper around with me all day. For example- if the negative thought for the morning is "I am useless", then I write down "I am worthy, capable, and powerful". Then I read it over and over and over and over and over and over. Sometimes I get pissed off and throw my pen at the wall. Sometimes the negative thought wins in that moment. But I'm trying. And the more I do it, the louder my internal, true voice gets. WHICH I LOVE!

I was reading the book 'You are a Badass' (JEN SINCERO I LOVE YOU) and she also talks about how we mentally beat the shit out of ourselves every day. So we should write down a ton of positive affirmations and read them out loud even if we feel like they aren't true. Because you know what? The other negative stuff we are telling ourselves isn't true either. So if we are gonna tell ourselves something it may as well be Positive.

Anyways- point being. I want to encourage you today to pay attention to your internal dialogue. Can you catch yourself? Can you send your thoughts in a different direction? Can you show yourself some love and kindness? How can you U-Turn today?

Let me know how it works out for you. Lots of Love xo