To say we live in challenging times is putting it mildly. Every day there’s more awful news, there’s so much suffering, conflict and anger everywhere around us, it’s enough to unsettle even the calmest and most grounded among us. The fact that we’re constantly exposed to all of it on social media and on the news makes it worse. It’s hard not to get stuck in a thought pattern of fear, worry and gloom and doom, and even harder to remember that there’s still so much good happening in the world every day. It’s easy to get stuck in a constant loop of negative thoughts. But even though it may feel like you have no control over any of it, there’s something you can do to pull yourself out of these negative thought patterns, and all it takes is a little self-awareness and mental discipline.
I recently came across an article that explains how to interrupt these negative thought spirals. According to Andy Hayes, the founder of Plum Deluxe, “if you learn how to diffuse negative thoughts the moment you become aware of them, you can … stop them in their tracks before they take over.” There are three different ways to diffuse damaging thought patterns: put your attention on a complex task, move your body, or force yourself to not think about something (try not thinking about polar bears. I guarantee you that the only thing you can think about at that point is – polar bears!)
For a more detailed explanation of how to interrupt negative thought spirals, visit Plum Deluxe.
I bet cats don’t have a problem with getting stuck in a negative thought spiral. Can you see a cat thinking “oh no, I missed catching the mousie just now! I’ll never catch another mousie. I don’t care how many times mom tosses the mousie for me, I just know I’m never going to catch it again. My life is ruined. No more mousies for me, ever!” You get the idea. Of course, cats also don’t need to use any special techniques to stop focusing on negative thoughts. So who’s the smarter species?