The Positive Thinking Process
Today I popped this post up on my IG feed, so you can read the condensed version here, but there's a little to expand on that may help your understanding and implementation, which is why we're here... 👇
This one is specifically for my anxiety warriors out there, but even if you're not one to struggle with your thought life, this simple step by step process can still prove super handy to have in your toolkit.
You may or may not know that your internal dialogue is the single most important voice you hear. You listen to this more than you'll listen to anyone else, for the most part, and it's certainly the voice that delivers what you believe to be 'the truth'.
This voice shapes an enormous part of your world.
However, when you're battling anxiety, this voice isn't always the super charged cheer leader you'd like it to be, in fact, it can throw in some nasty curveballs at almost any turn, alongside doubt, worry, fears - you name it.
Having endured anxiety for the best part of a decade, I know this headspace can feel all consuming at times, sometimes even for days or months on end,
Finding the right support and reaching out can feel super scary, especially if you're worried you'll sound like you've lost the plot or fear people will see you as a burden, so there's nothing more frustrating than letting someone in, voicing how you feel and they reply with:
"Just don't worry about it"
Ahh and all at once, everything is solved 👍🥴
But, here's the thing, these well intentioned yet tactless responses can carry some great reminders, IF you know how to implement them.
Now, before we dive into this, I want to validate that someone telling you to essentially "dismiss" your whole experience is straight up garbage. It's a pretty basic way of interacting with others, however, there is a practise in self regulation and care that requires us to literally redirect our energy and thought, and that's the process we're looking at here.
So, rather than just taking this SUPER common and often over simplified idea at face value, we're going to break it down into something helpful, practical and applicable - something that can actually help:
🌟 Ur Quick Guide to Positive Thinking🌟
The average human has around 6,000 thoughts per day, so you can bet you’ve got a mix of 👍 and 👎. You can think about a cow sitting on the moon in the same second as whether you think you'll pass an exam, thoughts are wild, varied and plentiful.
However, given the way our brain is wired, we're most likely to scan these thoughts for threats, and often something that'll feel good. So somewhere in those 6,000 a day, we need some kind of sorting system, which comes down to the conviction & belief attached to it, rather than it's simple presence.
Our previous experiences dramatically increase the believability of a thought, in the same way a fear or projection into the future can. You believe that tired old damp sock of a thought because it's linked to something deeper. The positive are harder because you’ve less conviction/experience that it’s true.
When it comes to “positive thinking”, don’t use it to over ride a negative - your brain will often reject this, as it does with much of what falls outside of our belief system, so instead, we look to gently expand into your lived experience using a gentle process that's viable and taps into logic;
The Positive Thinking Process looks like this:
👂 Listen to the thought, like it’s presenting an argument.
“Uh huh that’s interesting”
🤔 Validate it
“I can see where you’re getting that from”
🤓 Counter it
“however, that may also not happen”
🌀 Spin it
“and even if it does I can handle it, or find support to”
✨ Positive upward motion
“plus, look at how well I’ve done here ☺️”
I'll add in here too, this isn't in the IG post:
Finish with TAKING ACTION
This could be to get on with something else and redirect your attention, or even booking in with a therapist to chat through what you notice you're thinking. Being proactive at the end can help you build trust with yourself.
This is a process to practise, and I cannot stress enough how key it is to actually do it. Again, from experience, I know how easy it is to read some helpful advice, then when in the midst of it, bow down to the thought or feeling.
Instead of saying “I can’t” or your mind getting away unchecked, grab your journal and follow the above process in written form.
A process like this can work *when you do it*. But if you invest the time into worry instead of doing it, it won’t.
Your fear & anxiety do not simply go from being your most dominant to chilling in the back. Establishing your responsible, adult self as the dominant party takes time, and you can expect there to be some pushing and shoving around when it comes to your ego.
Expect it and you can prepare well for it. You have the power to change it. Take the wheel.
Positive thinking is not a flippant practise, it takes time, effort and energy BUT it is a valuable way to discipline and love our minds into kinder, fairer places to live ❤️
Sending so much love and be sure to send me a DM or email and let me know how you get on,