It’s been a really hard day. You woke up late, your car had a flat tire on the way to work, the barista spilled coffee and it got on your clothes, the school called and your kid is sick and has to be checked out and when you finally pull into the driveway, you realize your spouse has your house key because he lost his. How the hell are you expected to be positive with this chaos?
Add inner critic dialog. “If you would have gone to bed early last night you wouldn’t have woken up late. ”
“You should’t have driven in the parking lot with construction, you picked up a nail.”
“If you didn’t wake up late you could have served yourself coffee at home and now your clothes would be clean.”
“Damn, You shouldn’t have let (insert name of child) go to the park without a coat. Now little Johnny’s sick. You’re a horrible parent.”
“OH MY GOD, Why did I give him MY house key? I knew it was a bad idea. Now I’m locked out.”
I have cross examined myself and been a horrible critic for most of my life. At one point, I actually broke up with myself and shouted “ENOUGH”. Thank Goddess I did.
I’m not sure when the negative chatter started. I think as a child. I think it’s a result of fire and brimstone sermons from church.
The chatter started whispering really mean things;
“You’ll never be good enough.”
“You don’t have what it takes.”
“Look at all your failed attempts, Why must you keep torturing yourself?”
All that negative verbal abuse takes a toll and changes how you relate to yourself, others and the world.
In an attempt to ‘reprogram’ the negative imprint from my subconscious I have picked up a few new practices.
I listen and watch positive and inspiring media. I listen to affirmation recordings on Youtube. I practice mediation, yoga and try to think of something positive immediately after a thought I no longer want appears. Negative Thought Replacement is an official term to look up if you are interested in this process. This is a very personal experience so doing research to find the practices that work best for you are recommended.
I’m a visual learner and I love to write. Jotting down these things at the end of the day help me focus on the positive things my day had to offer.
3 practices for being more positive
1. Write 3 ways you could be more positive today.
Negative thoughts so easily creep in. Telling yourself, “You haven’t really accomplished anything today.” is pretty discouraging. Further more, we mostly believe what we tell ourselves. I jot down a list of things I have accomplished at the end of the day that have to do with my practice of negative thought replacement. If I have a negative thought and need to turn it around, I write it down. For instance, “I hate my hair today. ” might be a negative thought. Turning it around, “Today would be a fantastic day to wear a hat.” Identifying negative thoughts and actively replacing them with more positive suggestions helps the synapses in your brain make new connections. Most importantly, I’m making the changes I want to make in my life and the self affirmation helps heal all the negative things I have said to myself.
2. Write 3 things you’re grateful for. Then under each of those, write why you are thankful for those things.
I found this on the internet somewhere. I thought it was a great idea in practicing gratitude. I write 3 things, at the end of the day in my journal. Usually just a word, and then for a deeper connection and understanding, I write 3 reasons why I am grateful for that one thing. This has been a heart opening practice. I find it especially useful when things feel bleak and are not going as I had planned. It reassures me that I am safe and have all that need.
3. Practice your “yes”.
I have met people who are proud of their Negative Nancy attitudes. What strikes me as ironic, these people have a lot of darkness and chaos following them. The circumstances that I began this article with happen on a regular basis to these individuals. Energy goes where attention flows. Negative energy will continue to flow through your life and circumstances around you, as long as you allow it. Snowballing into larger more frustrating situations. What if I told you that you can change the way life unfolds if you practice more “YES” in your life?
One of the best things I have given myself has been asking ” Why are you saying no?”
Did you let that sink in? Why are you saying no? I’m not talking about saying no to things that are harmful.
Examples of saying no:
Your child asks you to pay attention to them, you say no.
Your friends ask you out for coffee, you say no.
Your spouse wants you to stop cooking for 5 seconds and give them a hug, you say no.
Practice your yes by asking yourself, “why am I saying no?” Sometimes we are so caught up in our own little minds that we stop making time for all the “YES” life has to offer.
What will you be saying YES to today?
May it unfold and avalanche of goodness in your life!