Coaches Tips on How to Vanish Negative Thoughts
Professional Coaches Tips on How to Help Yourself Successfully Banish Negative Thoughts Continuously
We humans have these amazing resources called our “bodies” and “brains”. The problem though, for many of us, is that no one ever gave us a manual- a “how to” guide. Because of this, many times it appears that our brains seem to just run on auto pilot. They just do their own thing. Thoughts appear and thoughts disappear. Feelings come and feelings go. And sometimes we get a thought that seems to get stuck in our brain. That is fine for positive, helpful thoughts but what about those repetitive, unwanted thoughts that we label as bad, the ones that seem to have a mind
of their own. Those thoughts cause negative feelings and keep us from having a healthy, productive life. I think we can agree that positive thoughts, such as “I love learning”, or “I can accomplish anything” are great thoughts which add value and happiness to our lives. Thoughts like “they don’t like me “or “I’m a failure” lead to negative feelings and struggle.
The issue is how do you control your thoughts? The answer might be a bit odd, but first a question to think about. Have you ever realized a thought is just a thought? I know, they do seem “real” especially when reinforced by our automatic thought-to-feeling human process, but in the end, a thought is still just a thought. For instance, I have never seen thoughts for sale at Walmart or even tripped over a thought on the sidewalk. This is because thoughts are mind constructs, things we create (I will prove it to you in a minute).
Emo Philips, a comedian from NY, joked “I used to think my brain was the smartest organ in my body ‘til I realized, who is telling me”. Have you ever heard a rumor that created some negative thoughts and feelings but later it turns out the rumor was false? Now it certainly does not make those thoughts and feelings seem any less real. Why?
Because you believed up until now that thoughts and feelings are real. There are endless ways to look at any situation but when you stay fixed on one way of viewing it, you are bound to get stuck in an un-resourceful loop which many times results in your repeating what is stressful or not working. You see those thoughts, especially “the bad” thoughts actually go out and look for evidence that they are right. We automatically want to prove our thoughts. That thought “I’m not good enough” actually triggers you to seek out proof. And while this proof again seems to be real, it is only a small slice of reality that has been again filtered through your mind – just more thoughts.
Thoughts are really “ideas about”, “opinions”, maybe even “evidence”, but are they the whole truth? Definitely not! Years ago, before I learned about NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and brain science, I used to get stuck in negative thought viruses. Back then when a thought was “real” I used to get stuck with these negative thoughts and feelings running through my brain and of course showing up at the worst possible time. Usually if I was stressed and nervous it was like an automatic cue for the negative Nellie’s of my mind to jump aboard and double or triple the anxiety. I used to dread certain experiences because I knew what I would end up doing to myself. If you struggle with unwanted thoughts, maybe you can relate?
What is really important to understand is, this is the kind of crazy stuff our untrained brains can do to us. So here is what I did and what you can do to stop this mental nonsense.
1) Repeat the thought intentionally. Yes, LOL – I’m not kidding! You see one of the problems, especially when thoughts come out of nowhere and do a “gotcha”, is we can start having fear and anxiety of when the thought might again rear its ugly head. Now, I agree this does seem counter intuitive; however, you have probably also heard the phrase, “what you resists persists”. Well, it is often true. So not resisting, has the opposite result. Give it a try, welcome the thought with open arms. Dare it, even double dare it, lol.
Repeat it a few times. Does it usually have a certain tone or voice? Try another one on, let’s say Donald Duck, if it’s usually soft try loud. If it is fast, repeat it slowly. What about if you’re in an echo chamber… or even a super sexy voice. How does that scary thought feel now? You see, with this exercise you are showing you have the control. You’re now the master of the thought putting it through its paces instead of before when the thought put you through yours.
2) Next time you have an uncomfortable thought give it a label. This time, it’s bad thought “number 165” and imagine yourself pulling it out of your head and putting it up on a shelf along with the other bad thoughts. This can be your trophy wall of bad thoughts. Maybe something to be proud of so when your friends come over you can pull them over and say, wow, I had a doozy last week let me show you! Again, what a great way to poke fun at ourselves and also acknowledge the thought for what it is, just a thought, and nothing more.
3) Another powerful technique comes from Richard Bandler one of the founders of NLP. He suggests that right after you have a negative thought, say to yourself “it’s just a thought”, take a breath, relax, and white out the picture in your mind. For some it helps to see in your mind’s eye the thought written on a white board while you take the eraser and remove it. Repeat this process five times and then be prepared to be amazed as it just disappears.
This is just one of the common issues professional coaches work with on a daily basis. If this article has helped you please comment. If you see your life as someone who wants to contribute to others, to be a leader and help others become leaders, then please contact us at TheCoachTrainingAcademy.com
Co-Founder / Master Coach