Spiraling Thoughts

We have talked about our inner thoughts before. I have referred to the voice we all have inside our own head as, “My internal roommate that, sadly, I can’t evict.” Today, I want to share a tip that has really worked for me. It’s probably one quarter Michael Singer, one quarter Eckhart Tolle, one quarter Emmett Fox, and one quarter me! This tip, like any other, has to be done repeatedly before it can really take hold and James Clear would affirm this if you want to build an Atomic Habit.

If you’re like me, thousands of thoughts run through your head daily and many of them aren’t good or helpful. Here are a few that might resonate with you: You can’t eat that—you’re fat, don’t buy that—you can’t afford that, don’t speak up in this meeting—your question is probably stupid, I have a pain in my side—it must be something terrible, and more. Good times, right? Don’t you love these dark-side chats with our inner voice? Me, too, but I found a way to override this around-the-clock narrator.

Every time I have a negative thought, I immediately coach myself with this simple question: “OK, Beth, what is a better thought?” It’s a GAME-CHANGER! My better thoughts sound like this: I can have some of that dessert, I can afford it, my question is definitely not stupid, and my pain is most likely a pulled muscle. Look, not every negative thought is wrong or misguided, but I have found most are. And those kind of thoughts dramatically hinder our growth. They spiral and get difficult to manage. So try my tip: “What is a better thought?” You just might find it incredibly helpful!

P.S. I am hosting a virtual class on difficult conversations in September. Currently the date is Tuesday September 27th at 5pm EST. I will share the sign up later next week. 

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