How To Overcome Negative Thoughts and Embrace Positive Thinking

Here is another  of my top 5 best strategies I have used with clients. These are my own unique strategies I created by combining some of the most effective coaching and counselling techniques I have worked with over the years.

I want to share one of the strategies I have used in the past – and still use occasionally –  when I need to recognise, prevent and overcome  negative thoughts and feelings.

Do you have times in your life- or even days when you find yourself thinking thoughts such as….

I’ll never be able to do that!”

“I should have done it differently”

“I’m sure they talking about me”

“Its already far too late to ….

And the list could go on and on.

Here’s a confession … I’ve experienced all of these thoughts during my darkest days and verbalised them many times. And every time I spoke them out, my self confidence dropped another notch and my self esteem plummeted. My thoughts and words reinforcing my negative self image, causing me to procrastinate and become stuck in a world of disbelief and doubt in my abilities, unable to move on.

As we go about our daily life it is so easy to fall into this negative way of thinking and reacting, and then we risk them becoming habits that have a real effect on your life.

Fortunately I discovered a strategy that I still employ today if a bout of negativity surrounds me. And it has worked for my clients as well who have a harsh inner critic, are feeling stressed and anxious, or who wrestle with low self esteem.

Using this strategy I call “Garbage Monsters“, I believe anyone who has the desire to, can break free from negativity for good. It has worked for me and others as well – so there is no reason why it will not work for you too – if you give it a try!

In a nutshell, here is my “Garbage Monsters ” strategy. When I am working with clients I explain this in far greater detail so clients understand the process and can immerse in it fully.

1 # Recognise and become aware of the negative thought pattern:

Those unhelpful, repetitive thoughts that cause you “negative” emotions such as anxiety, stress, fear shame etc. Notice how they affect you and influence your actions and behaviour. Become aware of the language your inner critic is telling you that you are thinking and probably  speaking out loud.

2 # Step back from those thoughts

Once you can recognise them – consciously  begin to step away from those disempowering thoughts. See the thoughts simply in your head and for what they really are – just thoughts! Not necessarily your reality – simply thoughts. When we can see them for what they are, then we do not take our thoughts on board and can step back from them. We have a choice in the way we respond to them.

3 # Become aware of the present moment

Negativity most often flows from dwelling on the past and ruminating over the mistakes you feel you made, the guilt or shame you may feel, or really anything in the past that upset you and did not work out the way you had hoped it should have  gone.

Alternatively the negativity may flow from worrying about the future – you stress and worry about what may- or may not happen. And most of the things you worry about never happen! In fact 80 – 85% of things we worry about never actually happen.

The past is gone, the future is not here, so the present is the only time and space you have control over. By becoming aware of the present moment, you can take a deep breath –  regain control of your thoughts and decide on the action you need to take to arrest the negativity.

This is the time I ask myself my “helpful questions for unhelpful thoughts” to mentally change my focus. I have a list of 6 questions to help reframe my mental focus – I usually just pick one question to hone in on, and that is enough to get me grounded again and feeling calm and empowered about the situation.

4 # Replace the thoughts with more pleasant ones and do something positive – take action!

Once the raging negative thinking has been stopped in its tracks, I can then focus on coming up with a solution to the problem/situation, or if it’s beyond my control, its time to just let it go! This is the time to do something that makes me feel happy. Taking action and doing something – anything – is the key because when we take action it has redirected the negativity away from our minds in a positive direction.

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Leave a comment below if you have a favourite way of dealing with those worrying thoughts that drag you down – I would love to hear about what you do. If you want to learn about my other top coaching strategies, click here


The Potential in Problems

Here is another one of my top 5 best strategies I have used with clients. These are my own unique strategies I created by combining some of the most effective coaching and counselling techniques I have worked with over the years. 

This strategy is one of my favourites and one I found very helpful when I was going through seasons of adversity, change and loss in my own life. It seemed that problems surrounded  every area of my life to the point they were consuming me,  and I felt totally overwhelmed. I was desperate for something that would help me cope and give me the strength to face the world. And so evolved this strategy which I call “Miracle Moments

No doubt you have heard the well-know quote about how there is an opportunity hidden inside every crisis.

Really?  Can that be for real?

At the time of the crisis, it certainly doesn’t seem like there is anything positive to be gained from the chaos and pain.

Every change we encounter seems to bring some degree of loss and grief. But loss also represents the start of something new and opens the door to new possibilities.

This little technique that I am about to share with you helped me to lift my head up and open my eyes to the possibilities during the difficult and challenging times. It brings a new way at looking at an old situation, and gives options when there appear to be none. It is a great tool for anyone experiencing transition, disruption, loss and change in their life.

It is an exercise to really get you thinking outside the box – even if you don’t consider yourself the creative type. There are 12 little prompts to help you focus and gain awareness of the way you are reacting to the challenge – in what you say and think and do.  It helps you tap into your emotions  and the role they play, as well as  your mindset.

One of my clients –  I will call Nicky,  used this tool when she had been made redundant. She felt like her world had collapsed and was stressed and worried about what her future would hold. She reached out for help to regain control over her career path and gain the confidence she needed to take the right moves forward

I gave Nicky the Miracle Moments tool and we worked on it together – It was an absolute pleasure to watch and hear Nicky slowly  reframe the redundancy and take forward steps in a new career direction that fulfilled and satisfied her core values, while entwining with her identity. She came to see that the loss of her job also represented freedom and a new and exciting chapter in her life.
"Problems are only opportunities in work clothes."       —Henri Kaiser
It has been said that the real problem is the way we see the problem. Our life is full of opportunities and possibilities, but we need to change our attitude and the way we see our problems.
Book a free session with me here if you you think my Miracle Moments technique would help you. I’d  love to chat with you:)