MENTAL HEALTH & WELL-BEING
3 Ways to Quickly Quiet Negative Thoughts When They Become the Loudest Voice in the Room
These three practices might be fast, but they’re not easy.
It happens to all of us. We find ourselves in funks and slumps, unable to dig our way out for a while, and during that time, our internal rhetoric suffers. No one tears us down farther than we can. We hear no one’s voice as often, or as loudly, as we hear our own. Quieting our negative voices is a challenge and a practice we must engage in every single day. Here’s how:
Step 1: Catch It
Self-awareness is the key to this first step. Most people talk and never hear themselves. Moving forward, make a conscious effort to listen to the words that come out of your mouth, and the ones that stay stuck in your head. Listen for negative words like can’t and don’t. Listen to the way you speak about your abilities, your prospects, your current situation, money, body, relationships, and job.
Step 2: Counter It
When you hear negative, defeatist, and low vibrational thoughts and words swirling around your brain or falling out of your mouth, replace them with something else right away. Remember, the universe will agree with whatever you say, and all your thoughts and words will return as prophecy. Do you really want your negative thoughts and words to multiply and come back to you? I doubt it. So, be mindful, and then, counteract! For instance:
- Ugh! I have to go to work. < Thankfully, I get to go to work!
- I can’t afford it. < I’ll be able to buy it soon!
- I want to move, but I can’t. < I want to move and I’m going to figure out exactly how to make it happen!
Step 3: Call It
Give this Negative Nancy a name (like Negative Nancy), and call her out when she does her best to send you down the rabbit hole of negativity. Is she Maleficent? The Dragon Lady? Medusa? Sad Sally? Drunk Drita? Who is she? As Iyanla Vanzant says, “Call a thing a thing,” and call out this inner voice, talk to her, tell her to take a hike, and override her judgment. Practice this every single day until it becomes second nature.