You may have heard of your NEGATIVE MIND/ EGO/ MONKEY MIND/ INNER CRITIC/ MEAN GIRL- it’s that voice inside your head that tells you you’re not good enough.
“I love this dress on me, the colour really suits my skin.”
“No its doesn’t, it makes your bum look big, why would you even try this on!”
The first thought is you- lovable you. The second thought is your negative mind coming in to sabotage your positive state.
We all have a negative mind; it’s that little voice inside our heads that makes up negative stories, fear, and doubts, always expecting the worst outcome. For some of us our negative mind only comes up occasionally, for others it may be constantly there. Our negative mind is not something to be fearful of; when we are aware of it, it teaches us valuable lessons and is there to protect us.
Do you ever feel like there is a battle inside your head? Do you overthink the same situation and feel even more confused? This is your negative mind and true self having an argument.
It’s important to be aware and acknowledge when your negative mind is taking over and making choices for you. Research has shown that by accepting and showing compassion towards ourselves, it makes us stronger in situations and able to handle life with more ease.
We then need to learn that if our thoughts are not supporting us, we have the opportunity to ignore them and let our true self lead the way.
When we become aware of our negative mind it may benefit you to give it a name. For me I call her Debbie aka Debbie downer! Whenever I doubt myself or make up a negative story, which is not serving me, I catch myself in the moment and say; “Thankyou Debbie, but you are not welcome here” and then I ignore her.
I do not believe we can go from a negative thought straight to a positive. We need to still the mind first, create a neutral state and then we can start saying our affirmations and kind words to ourselves.
Whether it be negative thoughts towards your body, your relationships, your work or money they can be quite over powering sometimes and if you do not have an understanding of what’s going you, you may just take on those thoughts as TRUE.
I learnt a lot about the negative mind when I had disordered eating behaviours and body image issues. I would often get a strong thought that I would need to go and eat heaps of food and if I didn’t I was scared that something bad would happen. I would stare at myself in the mirror for ages hating on every part of my body.
So with the help of my own mentor I began to become stronger and I made a daily commitment for myself to overcome my negative thoughts by making more loving and kind choices.
“You should have done that differently, why did you do that, your such an idiot.” This is another example of your fearful mind talking, a more loving way to learn and reflect is “You could have done that differently, next time maybe try this instead, I love you, you’re doing the best you can in each moment.” Notice the difference?
Your negative mind wants you all to itself, so it will say horrible things to push others away. Fear over rides any loving choice and sometimes you end up feeling alone. Your heart and soul can be screaming for you to do something or people are repeatedly saying nice things and offering support and positive advice to you, but you just can’t hear it because your negative mind is so strong. You try to meditate, but all you hear is the constant battle of the minds and can’t hear the guidance of your higher self.
I always say that our negative mind would be a fantastic movie director, always making up stories, drama, expecting the worse etc.
TOOLS I used to turn the volume down on my negative mind and live a life from LOVE:
Our negative mind will never fully go away but you can learn how to observe your thoughts and detach from the ones that do not support you.
- Acknowledge when its there and be aware of your thoughts
- Give it a name to identify it and empower your to let her go if the thoughts are not helping you. Eg “Debbie I do not need to make up this negative story, I am choosing to let.”
- Regular time out of your day to still your mind, become centred in your body and detach from any thoughts at all.
- Write your own self-care list. A lot of clients say that watching TV is the only time they can switch off, this is what I called distraction and in some cases it may be helpful, however its important that you do not run away from the problem, distractions may help to get you to that neutral state so than you can really feel your feelings and acknowledge what’s going on. We can easily get caught up in our heads/the stories we make up and negative situations we create. I believe that if we do not make a conscious effort each day to slow down, we will continue to stay up in our heads. This can cause anxiety, depression and a viscous cycle of over thinking and living in the past or future. (We want to become still, live in the moment and enjoy where we are at so we can continue to create positive outcomes and the truth is life is only ever happening in the NOW.)
- Deep breathing is the most underused free, easy tool that I highly recommend. Place your hand on your belly, inhale and fill up your belly and your chest (lungs), fill your whole body with new oxygen and slowly exhale.
- Meditation is so powerful as it helps to stop that constant battle/chatter inside our heads.
- Repeating positive affirmations is really useful when we are learning to rewire our thoughts. You can use them when your negative mind is strong, for example when it’s saying; “you’re fat and ugly” you can continually say out loud or just in your head “I am lovable, worthy and beautiful.”
- Using a journal to write down ALL of your thoguhts, feelings, experinces helps to get it out of your head. Word vomiting on paper can help you to look at situations differently and again not get caught in your emotions or feel overwhelmed as you may see it differently when its written down.
- CHECK in regualry so you do not explode. I often ask myself half a dozen times throughout the day “how am I feeling right now?” this helps to remind me to come back into myself and what is real.
- Exercise to move your energy, shift andy negativity you are holding on to, get out of head and into your body. This helps you to calm down and then look at your life with a more positive perspective.
- Getting in touch with nature and grounding is also a great one (I either swim at the beach or walk in the bush where the trees are surrounding me).
- Gratitude for your life and always being thankful and appreciate each moment.
- Reach out for support, myself and so many other professionals have the tools to help you turn the volume down on your negative mind and start to choose from a more loving and inspiring place.Sometimes it helps to talk to someone, a friend, family member or a professional. Having someone give you a more neutral perspective might help. I know for me at the start when I was overcoming my neg thoughts I needed someone else there to help me build up my strength, remind me that I am in control and I can do this.
Our negative mind can be one of our biggest teacher, if we simply learn to observe it and not get caught up in everything it says or believe the stories. Continue to TRUST yourself and keep your daily self-care practice a priority.
Your mind can be the most powerful tool or the most toxic… YOU GET TO CHOOSE.
I would love you to share with me if this resonated or how you get out of your head when its overthinking?
You’re never alone, if you need help contact me here.
Love and happiness