Do you ever have those day (or days) when you just want to crawl back under the covers? When you are filled with wonder and doubt and can not seem to shake it? When the feelings you are experiencing are so real and heavy?
On days like these, I have found a few tools that work and often work quickly.
Step 1. Honor your feelings and do a little self-care. Stop what you are doing and meditate, pray (if you pray), breath in and out deeply. If you can, take a nap (only if you can do this without guilt). Naps can be (and are to me) a delicious treat that can be embraced and cherished. Before meditating, focus on gratitude, and then let your mind be. Do not try to stop your thoughts; instead, watch them as if they are waves, coming to shore and then receding again.
Step 2. Practice thankfulness for ALL things and beings. This can be the hardest part, especially as someone cuts you off in traffic, or something happens that triggers the chatter in your head that tells you how unworthy you are. What we focus on expands in our minds. If we are focusing on the ripped trash bag on the way out the door in the morning, most likely the rest of our day is going to look like that ripped trash bag. When we focus on the negative, the negative continues on into our day. Change your focus; practice thanking the universe for ALL of its mystery. Doing this can be as simple as, “I am thankful for my two feet walking me into the bathroom so early,” or, “I am thankful for indoor plumbing.” Start getting in the habit of thinking thankful thoughts. This will help you when the negative chatter in your head becomes deafening; instead of letting this negativity get to you, you will be conditioned to turn your focus back to ‘thankfulness’ or gratitude.
Step 3. This can be a challenge as negativity mounts, however this WORKS! Reach out to others (5 to 10 people) and ask them this simple question: “How are you doing today?” Focus on listening to them instead of voicing your own thoughts. Do the same with the next person. Picking up the phone and calling these people is best, however, depending on what kind of day you are having, you may only be able to email or text. Do whatever you can to reach out to at least five people. Most people like to talk about themselves so ‘self-talk’ is easy to fall back into during discussion with others; however, when we reach out and extend ourselves to others, we are getting out of the self and the voices in our heads begin to quiet. Often times, others are struggling with life issues that surpass the severity of our own, so we must listen to these people and offer them thoughts of grace and gratitude.
If you are still struggling with negativity in your life, repeat steps 1-3. Keep repeating these steps until you are able to replace this ‘self-talk’ and negativity with thoughts of others and gratitude. For those suffering from negative thought processes who have no experience with this technique, I recommend practicing these steps for 30 days; this practice will allow positive thought process habits to form and positivity will start to become a part of your life. With dedicated effort to positivity and gratitude, you will start to see things in life with both a thankful eye and a thankful heart.
**Alaska Tracy coaches and consults businesses and individuals. Ask how we can help grow your life!**