Don’t Dwell on Negative Thoughts – Replace Them

It’s insanely easy for me to get so wrapped up in my own head that I become paralyzed in thoughts of worry, remorse, and regret. I’ve lost hours at a time by simply sitting at my kitchen table thinking, dreading, dreaming, becoming angry or resentful about things that have never happened. I get lost in “What if” scenarios that play over and over in my mind. I never know how long one of these trips down the rabbit hole will last, but I’m learning to recognize when it’s happening and when I do, I take action.

As soon as I realize I’m entering “The Vortex” I know I need to snap out of it. Some sort of physical action is required. Sometimes I’ll shake my head a few times. I’ll stand up and roll my head around in both directions, stretch a bit, and go splash some cold water on my face. Sometimes I’ll call another person and ask how they’re doing. This helps to get me out of my own head. I just need to take some sort of action to reverse the motion and get the ball rolling in another direction.

This takes a lot of practice… Lucky for me, I get lots of opportunities to practice getting out of my own head!

That’s one way I turn a negative into a positive. I change my perspective. Another way is to recognize that once I’m in a calm thinking state, why not concentrate on deep breathing and meditation? Sometimes it’s difficult for me to calm down enough in order to be able to meditate and actually sit still, but through practice I’ve gotten pretty good at realizing when I am still, I can redirect my thoughts. Then I can…

Swap negative thoughts for positive thoughts.

  • Am I upset about being down?
  • What’s the opposite of that?
  • Being happy about things that make me happy?
  • What makes me happy?
  • Who are some people I really like?

This is what I ask myself when I catch myself dwelling on people I don’t like, who have pissed me off, who are living rent free in my head. What makes me even angrier is realizing I think more about people who have pissed me off than of people I love.

I know those people I’m mad at aren’t thinking about me, so why do I dwell on  it?

I don’t know, but what I can do is shift my focus and thinking when I recognize it.

Where is my happy place?

Somewhere between arrogance and self-hatred. Somewhere balanced. In the middle of the heap. Calmness and serenity. If I swing too far in one direction or another, it won’t be long until I become disturbed.

A safe place where I can let grace in.

Nature.

Service.

Out of my own head.

A place of love.

 

~Thanks for reading
LC

 

 

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