Stop Habitual Thinking 6 Helpful Ideas
As we come to the end of the year many people are beginning to plan for a new year with a new you. Maybe you have you begun the review of your life recently and realized you spend a lot of time letting your mind jump to the negatives or the worst-case scenario. This is known as habitual thinking. And while habitual thinking can be a powerful tool if it is positive, if it’s negative, it’s important to put a stop to it right away. Today's topic is It's Time To Learn How To Stop Habitual Thinking With These 6 Helpful Ideas
Below are some ways you can put a stop to your negative habitual thinking. Now before we begin with our 6 ideas, we want to share an idea that we have been introduced to in the last couple of years.
Replace the idea of Habits with Practice. We, humans, tend to do habits most of the time on automatic pilot. When we practice there is the intention to improve. In the case of our health, well-being and fitness this is an important part of the process. For example, you want to improve your cooking skills, so you begin to practice new recipes until you have mastered them. At that point of learning the skill, you can then decide to either practice more to make the recipe your own or begin a new recipe that you will intentionally practice to the point of mastery.
"Everything is practice." - Pele
The same can be said for your fitness practice. Being in the habit of exercise could be done on autopilot. You exercise without paying attention to form or technique. Simply go through the motion of doing a certain exercise. The practice of exercise is to improve, in a way that serves you. Improve your form or technique, maybe it might be your intensity, or strength for example. This is simply a more powerful way to get to where you want to go with your health and fitness.
So, as you go through the following ideas, I challenge you to consider replacing habit thought with my practice thought. Let me know any ideas, comments or questions below.
Write It Down
Sometimes, when something exists only in your mind, it seems very serious and like nothing can stop it. When you put that same thought down on paper, it may not seem so scary. Thus, in order to stop habitual thinking, you need to start writing down your negative thoughts right when they arise, especially the ones you feel you think often. Once you see the words on the paper, they won’t seem as bad. Not only that, but you may feel that they are actually kind of silly. We feel this will help you develop the practice of intentional thinking rather than habitual thinking.
A morning writing practice is an idea that I have been practicing for the last year. Each morning I write 3 pages with pen and paper. There is something intentional and satisfying by using this old school method of writing. First thing is the morning practicing this has been a huge pleasure and has helped with my thinking tremendously and I would highly recommend it.
Develop An Intentional Action Plan
After you have the paper of all your negative thoughts in front of you (or maybe it’s just the one thought which comes up over and over again), it’s time to develop a plan of intentional action of how you will deal with the thoughts when they arise in the future.
There are a number of methods you can employ, which are coming up next, but it’s important that you evaluate each of your negative thoughts individually as they may not all have the same solution, especially if you tend to have negative habitual thinking in multiple areas of your life.
I have used 8 hour affirmations while I sleep to begin the process of developing an intentional thinking practice. I have found I sleep better and wake up feeling so much better.
Create Positive Affirmations
One of the best methods of dealing with negative habitual thinking is by creating the positive intentional practice of thinking to employ over the negative thinking. For example, the next time you think “I can’t do that, I’m not good enough” you can acknowledge the negative thought and begin the practice of using the positive affirmation of “I can do anything I put my mind to.”
This will immediately redirect your thinking to positive thoughts instead of focusing on the negative. This will also help give you the confidence to hopefully stop having negative thoughts in the first place.
Stop The Negative Thinking In Its Tracks
If you struggle with remembering positive affirmations for every one of your negative habitual thoughts, you may benefit from simply acknowledging the negative thoughts. We don’t change the things we first don’t acknowledge. For example, if you are thinking “I will never be able to do that” you can think “Thank you for this thought and I don’t know the future, maybe I can do that” instead. Basically, it’s you beginning to see the habitual thoughts you want to change, let yourself know you see it and allow yourself a new way of thinking as you move from old habitual patterns to knowing empowering thoughts
Stop The Repetition
No matter which of the methods above you decide to employ, it’s important that you stop the repetition, especially if there is one specific thought which pops up frequently. This is because the frequency is used to establish automatic habits, and you will never break the habit of habitual thinking if you continue to let thoughts swirl in your head repeatedly.
Sometimes just clearing your mind when the habitual thought comes up can do wonders to stopping the repetition cycle.
Overall, stopping habitual thinking is difficult, and yet it is not impossible to create a new practice of thinking. So, if you want to stop the cycle of habitual thinking, start by writing the thoughts down, then developing an action plan to deal with them.
"Practice is the best of all instructors." - Publilius Syrus
Whether you choose positive affirmations or stop the thoughts in their tracks, whatever you do, just make sure you break the cycle of repetition in order to stop the habit from perpetuating.
Share any ideas, questions, or comments below.
We have found that an intentional walking practice has helped us with our daily thinking practice. What we know for sure is that walking outdoors will help improve how you feel, and your brain power and definitely help reduce stress. Walking in the morning is best and not only does it feel good, but it helps with your sleep at night and that helps with your brain power.
“Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility,” she says, especially when you're going for a stroll through some greenery or soaking in a bit of sunlight. This can be particularly helpful during the colder months when seasonal depression spikes. (source: Here- https://www.geelongmedicalgroup.com.au/2018/11/7-incredible-health-benefits-of-walking-30-minutes-a-day )
Join me for our FREE Walking Challenge Here - This is appropriate for all fitness levels, though it is tailored to beginners. You will also get a tip a day, which gives you a little more insight into how to walk, what to wear, going outside or using the treadmill, and even journal entries about your experience. Join The Free Walking Challenge Today – Free Registration HERE
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We have outsourced our lifestyle for way too long!