A Way To Change Negative Thoughts to More Positive Thinking
Last time out I wrote about a way to interrupt unwanted thoughts using the 3-2-1 technique which can help you to deal with negative thinking or anxious thoughts.
That is, in order to break that cycle of anxious thoughts, stressful thoughts or negative thoughts (and any other unwanted overthinking), you bring your attention back to the here and now by describing to yourself three specific things you can see, three specific sounds you can hear and three specific sensations you can feel right now.
You then repeat this doing two different sights, sounds and sensations and then one different example of each. You can repeat this pattern as often as is beneficial, always remembering to use different sights, sounds and sensations each time.
This mindfulness type of psychological technique works by having you focus on your experience right now, where thoughts of what might happen or what has happened don’t exist. In addition, it moves your focus of attention from inside your own head (where all those thoughts were residing) to what is going on outside and around you. It’s a way of taking control over what you are paying attention to and your thinking.
As such, it’s a brilliant technique to learn and apply. Yet sometimes we want to have a way to actually direct our thoughts in a direction that we want them to go. We want to change negative thinking not just to this very moment but move towards creating a habit of more positive thinking.
So by extending this 3-2-1 technique we can start to do this very thing.
Change Negative Thoughts To Positive Thinking
I’ve previously written about using the words ‘and now’ to act as a bridge between an unwanted negative thought and a more positive one so that you move things along in your thoughts in this more positive direction.
Here we are now going to move negative thoughts to more positive thinking by extending the 3-2-1 process.
Before doing this, you may want to spend a few moments thinking about, or writing down, some sights, sounds and even sensations that you like, enjoy or that make you feel more positive when you think about them. For example, for me, those sights might be things like: seeing my girls laughing, crossing the finish line in the Millennium stadium having completed the Cardiff marathon and imagining looking out at the sea from the top of the cliff in Filey, Yorkshire. Having thought of a number of positive sights from enjoyable experiences or memories or people or things, you think of some examples of sounds you associate with good feelings and enjoying yourself (e.g. the sound of someone you love laughing) and sensations (e.g. the feeling of lying in a wonderful warm bath).
Armed with this information you can carry out the 3-2-1 technique as before yet once you have noticed and described to yourself one sight, sound and sensation, you switch to your imagination. Having interrupted negative thoughts by shifting your attention to the here and now, you want to start remembering and imagining all the positive things that make you feel better when you think about them.
You can do this with your eyes open or closed, yet start to picture as vividly as you can in your imagination three of those positive times, people, places and things. Having imagined three of those sights, start to imagine three of the positive sounds as clearly as you can then move on to the sensations. Describe them to yourself as you move through them and repeat with two of each and one of each.
So you move from wanted negative thoughts, such as those that create anxiety, worry and dread, into being aware of what is going on around you right here and now, and then having done that, you are moving those thoughts onto things that make you feel better or happier. Thus you create a ‘thinking circuit’ that doesn’t leave you trying not to think of the original negative thoughts (we all know trying not to think of them is not a helpful strategy) and isn’t just about interrupting them. This is about interrupting them and then, in that space, adding things that make you feel better.
As always, you can and should repeat this often so that it becomes more habitual and do expect it to work and enter it with a mindset that allows you to know that you can and will learn how to take control over your thinking.
And I’d love to know how well you get on as you change negative thoughts to more positive thinking using this approach so be sure to message me and let me know.
To your happiness and success,
Hypnotherapy in Ely, Newmarket, Skype
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