I had an interesting experience last week.
I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and suddenly my inner dialogue came up with a bold sweeping statement that went something like this –
My life’s a mess!
I’ll give you one guess how I felt after this thought. You guessed it – I felt 10 times worse.
I instantly starting thinking about all the things that weren’t going well in my life.
It’s incredible how a couple of simple words strung together can make us feel. The problem with these sweeping generalizations is that they sink in.
Imagine if you walked around thinking to yourself – ‘My life sucks’ over and over again all day.
This sort of constant negativity will drag you down. If you keep telling yourself your life sucks, surprise surprise it will feel like it does – regardless of anything good happening in your life.
Here are my two tips for snapping yourself out of this mindset quickly.
Firstly rephrase your thinking.
Make a more accurate statement. For me that was something like – “I need to spend time concentrating on the housework but my whole life is not a mess”.
It might sound simple but rephrasing statements by taking out the negativity and emotion can make a difference.
The second step, particularly if your statement is action based is to come up with a plan of attack.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious (which let’s face it is when we are most likely to self-sabotage) the quickest way to overcome these feelings is to take action. You might not be able to do something straight away but you can plan to act later.
Make up a list of the top 3 things you can do as soon as possible to make you feel better.
Don’t make up a stinking long to do list at this stage – this is what I used to do and it always made me feel more overwhelmed than ever.
Focus on priorities that will help dissolve your negative mindset. They may be quite simple tasks but it’s amazing how some of the simplest things can make us feel better and more in control.
For me it’s often posting on this blog. Posting is always an instant lift for me because I know I have achieved something that is important to me.
Pay close attention to your inner dialogue. Rephrase your negative thoughts and turn them into something more factual (rather than sweeping generalizations).
Prioritize and take action to get yourself into the right head space to continue being the wonderful, positive soul you are.
Stop the self-bullying! Be kind to yourself instead.
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