Are you stuck in a negative thought cycle?
On average a person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thousands of thoughts around 95% are exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before. If most of those thoughts are negative, then the pattern can have a very damaging effect on your mental health.
What is a negative thought cycle?
Also sometimes termed ‘loop thinking’, a negative thought cycle is thinking the same harmful thoughts over and over again.
This can be caused by a specific trigger or a situation that is unresolved that you don’t have closure for and so every time you think of it, you spiral into the same pattern of thoughts.
These thoughts can slip into a vicious cycle and seem impossible to stop or become really overwhelming.
Solutions to spiralling thoughts.
There are several techniques to break the cycle of negative thinking. They take time, and won’t change things overnight, but just like your physical health, mental health requires you to do the work. Here is one of my favourite methods.
The Start, STOP, Add-in Method
This simple method asks you to take action, by starting some things, stopping others and Adding in something new. Here’s how it works:
- Becoming more conscious of your thoughts
- Question them
- What facts prove them to be true?
- What facts disprove them?
- Ask yourself how you want to feel
- Can you problem-solve any of them?
- Comparing yourself
- Fearing the future
- Worrying what other people think
- Time for you
- Something that will stretch you
A negative thought cycle will keep you stuck, but you CAN do the work to change it. When you see the world differently, you start to see opportunities where previously thought there were none. You become grateful for what you have, and so receive more in return.
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