Every once in awhile I get myself caught in a loop on my computer and there seems to be no way to get out of it. That is when I am grateful for the “Escape” key. If only my life could have the same feature.
I find myself thinking the same thoughts over and over again. That’s great when I am focused on my dreams…not so good when my thoughts aren’t what I want them to be.
Finding a way to break a cycle of negative thoughts can mean the difference between a good day and a really bad one. You’ve heard me say that it is a choice to be happy. So what do you do if you just can’t shake a negative thought…and it is making you miserable?
First…realize that you are not alone. No one is perfect in keeping only positive thoughts running through their heads. Second… celebrate that you realize what you don’t want…you don’t want the negative thought to persist! Next try these Simple Steps to “escape” out of that brain loop and find that better feeling place.
- Pan out – The thought that you are having is probably highly focused on some particular issue. (Your mother criticized you, you forgot your best friends birthday, you didn’t attend a fund raiser that you promised the organizer that you would.) When a photographer “pans out” he extends the field of vision that will be reflected in the photograph. Now is when you need to do the same thing and look at the bigger picture. Is what you are focused on going to matter 5 hours from now, 5 days from now, 5 years from now. If your answer to any of those is “no” then refocus on what will matter then. For example rather than worry about your mother’s opinion focus you attention on something that you want to accomplish (in 5 hours, days or years.) When you channel your attention to something that makes a difference in your life you feel more in control. And that feels better.
- Change you lens – Take the opportunity to help someone else. Volunteer at a shelter or help with your son’s field trip. Bake cookies for a senior center or fire department. Spend time at a hospital rocking babies. Whatever you choose to do when it enables you to look outside of yourself your negative thoughts will be diverted. Once that happens your “escape” break clears your head and gives you some much needed perspective.
Give yourself a much needed…and well deserved break. Be easy on yourself and “escape” to a happier you!