Last time I discussed how positive affirmations and positive thinking can affect the way we think and feel. Increasing positive thinking is paramount, but can be very difficult at times. We have all been stuck in patterns of negative thinking that seem impossible to get out. Here are a few simple tricks in order to help with altering your thinking from negative or stuck to positive or constructive.
Resetting your brain. I recommend that people take the time to reset their brain every so often during the day. This is done with breath control and clearing your mind. Take a moment right now.
- Close your eyes
- Take a deep breath in the nose for 4 counts
- Breathe out for 4 counts
- Clear your mind
- Repeat for 5 breaths 5 times a day
This very simple technique gives your brain a chance to reset, have a break from intense thinking, breathe in more oxygen, and it naturally relaxes your muscles. When you are done you will feel, calmer, alert, and ready to focus on whatever it is you would like your brain to think about; work, school, loved ones or even your favourite T.V. show.
Thought stopping is a widely used technique that is helpful to shift thinking when your thoughts have become repetitive, annoying, upsetting, anxiety provoking, or if you feel you are close to a panic attack. The thought stopping technique follows exactly the same pattern of breathing from above, but it adds in an extra component. As you continue to breathe deeply in threw the nose shift your thinking to:
- A stop sign or think STOP!
- A wave clearing your mind
- Building a brick wall to keep intrusive thoughts out
- A candle whose flame stretches to the edge of your mind cleansing you of your thoughts
- A broom sweeping the thoughts out
Resetting your brain can be a way to help keep your mind on task and anxiety down, and thought stopping is a quick tool to help you refocus from distressing, intrusive thought patterns.