A Break! From negative Spiral Thinking #1
Written by Hillaray R. Hoff
Those moments in life when you feel that the cloud will not leave from hovering over your head; whether an illness occurs, financial pressure arise, an accident takes place or a relationship goes bad, one altercation after the other. Moments when you have felt the need to scream aloud, self medicate making unhealthy choices, exude your emotions onto to someone else, or sulk in sadness till days end. We are all human, we all experience trauma, loss, pain or some form of extreme negativity in our lives despite unique existences. Our minds have levels of power to which we can create patterns in our lifestyle that stem from negative thinking and lead to negative outcomes because it feels safe and comfortable or it’s simply what we think is natural. Patterns that affect our bodies, relationships, everything we say, we do, we act on, and most importantly the way we treat ourselves. Negative thoughts may be influenced by literally anything and everything surrounding us. Our culture, upbringing, genetics, social system, the music we listen to, food we eat, amount of sleep we get all influence our way of thinking. However, the most powerful form of influence incorporated in our everyday routines are rooted from our own private and personal thoughts; thoughts we create entirely on our own. Our thoughts which form habits, also known as a pattern, or most likely multiple patterns which led to negative outcomes.
Part I: Why do we create these patterns?
Steven M. Melemis, author of “I Want To Change My Life” references four major types of negative thinking, along with multiple common forms of thinking that also traces to negativity. Thousands of thoughts pass through our brains within seconds through out the day. Generally we are capable of formulating a “thought” every 150 milliseconds depending on the context of the thought and where it derives from (Live Science). Try to imagine how many of those millisecond thoughts stay in focus and are given the most attention. When a thought occurs, it may be analyzed, labeled, compartmentalized, or judged. Often when a thought should be accepted and pass through, we get stuck and dig up only the negative influences surrounding the thought. Maybe we do this because we are afraid of the unknown, we don’t have trust within ourselves, or our family members were fixated on negativity as we were growing up, thus responding negatively feels normal to us. There will always be a positive and negative angle to any thought, that is unavoidable. However, we forget how much power we have over our own brains despite our insecurities, fears, or negative influences. We can’t control many aspects to our environments or the people around us; we can only control our own perspective and take full responsibility for our own way of thinking. An unanswered message on our phone or the horrible cause of a chronic illness may be concentrated on the “why me?” question, when really we could also easily ask, “why negative?”.
There is a high possibility of our thoughts being manipulated to focus on negativity but ultimately it’s up to us to determine how we would like to feel or think as a result. For example; social media may lead to depressive thoughts with the impact of facebook or instagram triggering us to compare, judge, or become envious of others. When rather we could be inspired, grateful, or be sincerely happy for our friends and family for their accomplishments. Advertisements and television may encourage us to not feel our emotions and constantly suppress our feelings, “take this pill to cure this headache and feel better in 5 minutes,” completely ignoring the fact that our bodies should feel pain to continue through the natural healing process. Society and cultural pressures play a huge role in expectations within our families, communities, and embed negative thoughts within ourselves that we need to be someone by a certain age or meet a particular expectation through this job, this schooling system, this body image and so forth. These are just a few examples of common pressures that interfere with our natural state of being and may alter our way of thinking. Leading us to a dark negative space eventually creating unwanted behaviors, patterns, or attract more negative thoughts. It becomes a huge spiral beginning with a negative influence, developing a negative thought and then producing a negative outcome; within seconds of our thought process every single day. Yet, it is really these influences which are keeping us on the railway toward negativity, or are we allowing these influences to control how we think, feel, and react?
Why do we continue with these patterns of attracting negative thoughts and outcomes? In part 2 of this article I’ll write about this.
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