Would you like to know how I trash toxic thoughts? Let me tell you...It's been quite a process. But, first, can I ask you another question? Do you focus on your mental wellness? I feel like wellness is such a buzz word these days, but not enough of us are taking it seriously. I certainly wasn't. Not until I reached breaking point, that is. And breaking point doesn't mean I had a full-on breakdown. Everyone's breaking point looks different. For me, I got to a point where I realized that the bulk of my thoughts were negative.
So, for example. throughout any given day I was focusing on all the things that had not been checked off my to-do list versus feeling great about the things I had accomplished. And when that hit me, it hit me hard. If I continued down that path, I wasn't going to be the kind of person other people want to be around. So, I decided to turn things around... Thankfully, I was able to. And getting rid of the toxicity in my life, or as much as I could, has improved the quality of my life dramatically! Because you know what? You can't always control the situations that surround you, but you CAN control your reactions to them.
Say Goodbye To Toxic Thoughts
Ok, now that you know where I started, let me tell you how to trash toxic thoughts. The key is to have positive habits that you practice daily. If you make positivity a part of your routine it will become like second nature, just like the negativity once was. You could say that about most positive habits. They're very easy to stick with when you see how beneficial they are to you. A beautiful fall day becomes so much more beautiful. A simple bouquet of flowers is enough to brighten your mood for hours. When you're entrenched in negativity, you tend to stop appreciating the little things.
Three Tips to Help Trash Toxic Thoughts
Let's talk about a few tips to bring some more positivity into your life, shall we?
- Start your day thankful...When you wake up, think of one thing you're thankful for. It could be something super small, like you're thankful that your honey got up before you did to brew the coffee. Just that initial happy thought can have a lasting effect throughout the day. If you wake up angry that the trash didn't get taken out etc. you're going to carry that negativity throughout the day and collect more along the way. It's cumulative.
- Be mindful with your thoughts...I've said it before and I'll say it again, meditation will change your life. Apps like Headspace can help if you're unsure about how to get started. Guided meditation takes the pressure off and can really help you steer your thoughts in a positive direction. Eventually you'll find yourself doing it on your own! And it doesn't take long. Once I made up my mind to change my trajectory, mindfulness happened much quicker than I anticipated. Not to say that it's not work. Thinking positively requires a conscious effort, but you'll be happy you made it!
- Breathe...Nothing can bring you back to a positive space faster than breathing, in my mind. As our bodies and minds are stressed, we often find ourselves in flight or flight mode. Allowing yourself to breathe deeply can help reduce the negative effects that shallow breathing gives us. I always know when I'm about to get anxious now because I find myself holding my breath. So, I stop for a few minutes and focus on how I'm breathing. Again, it's about being mindful.
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Work in Progress
These are just a few of the tricks that I use to trash toxic thoughts, but you could start with something as simple as the age old if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Try not to say as many negative statements as you typically do out loud, then put those thoughts in your internal trash bin and replace them with a memory that makes you happy. It's a simple action that can change the trajectory of your day!
And along the same mindfulness vein, if you're a special needs parent, you might want to check out my thoughts on why special needs moms must have me time. You'll notice that wellness is a theme there too...If you don't take care of yourself, it's hard to take care of those who need you most!
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