Last weekend I taught a seminar on detoxing the mind from negative thoughts. It reminded me of how easy it is to get into our negative thoughts, negative beliefs and negative stories.
Even though I eat, live and sleep this information and way of living, I also find it easy at times to get stuck in my own negative stories about myself, about others or about the world.
Our brain so easily goes to a negative mindset for two reasons.
First, biologically it is built this way as a form of self-preservation. The brain believes that by focusing on the negative in our environment it will protect itself from being hurt from negative experiences, which really is not that effective or true.
Second, the brain focuses on the negative as a form of protecting itself against re-experiencing negative occurrences. Also not necessarily true. It actually stops us looking and holding a positive belief and story.
There is a need for us to be aware of the negative, but not to stay there. If we keep replaying the negative in our minds it then becomes a focus point for us—viewing life through the lens of the negative.
Also remember that the brain keeps looking and proving whatever it focuses on, so if we keep focusing on the negative, we will keep seeing the negative in our lives and often miss the positive.
When we keep focusing on the negative, we start to create a story in our lives about how life is, and then make sense of life through these stories.
There is a saying that “if you think you can you can, and if you think you can’t you can’t, and either way you are right.” We create, attract and make whatever we focus on.
If you look at any negative patterns in your life, they are usually a story we have created from our own negative experiences. Often we think these negative stories are about others, or how the world treats us, but looking more closely at these stories you might just find they are your own negative thoughts, and beliefs.
Let me give you an example. I have a friend that keeps dating men who leave her. If you looked at her and knew her, you would wonder why any man would leave her.
Yet once you start to hear about her dating history, you see a pattern of the men she dated. They were not capable of a healthy relationship, yet she kept believing there was something wrong with her. The only thing wrong with her was that she kept picking men through her unconscious negative belief that men keep leaving her.
If you look further into her history, her dad left when she was 10 years old. The story she created in her brain at that time was that men leave.
Once my friend started to see her pattern, she began to focus on the possibility of a healthy lasting relationship. She started to choose men who were capable of a relationship, and the one’s who were not, she ended the relationship.
She changed her story by changing her story.
In the end it is not so much about controlling your negative thoughts, as your brain is automatically going to go there and create stories. It is more about not letting those negative thoughts control you.
There is a quote by Debasish Mridha that says, “Don’t let anyone’s negative thoughts infect your beautiful mind.”
I would like to change that to say, “Don’t let YOUR OWN negative thoughts infect your beautiful mind, and your beautiful life.”
Contact Dr. Shelly Zavala at DrZavala.com or [email protected]