I’m 38–with my doctorate and a new job teaching college. Yet I’m drinking in the afternoon. An attractive stranger comes in. I look at myself in the mirror behind the bar. My third husband is waiting for me to come home. But I know I won’t until the beer, sex, and drugs take the pain away. It’s crazy. I finally realize I must find a way out of this stupor.
Today, 30 years later, I’m happily married. I love my life and I’m at peace. The secret?
I’ve learned to overcome the negative thoughts causing my worries and fears—the whispered lies I told myself. Here are a few examples:
- Relationships just don’t work for me.
- I always sabotage my success.
- I could be happy if only my husband would stop drinking.
- People only like me if I’m attractive and successful.
Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection
When life isn’t working, it’s usually because we’re trying to force things to go our way. Our whispered lies tell us we can’t handle life, and worrying about people and situations we can’t control just makes us feel worse. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 30% of Americans struggle with worry and anxiety.
But there is a solution: You can find peace of mind under any circumstances because you’re in charge of what you think about.
I’ve discovered four strategies and 50 tools to stop the chorus of lies in your head. The system draws on my work in psychology, recovery programs, cognitive therapy, energy work, scientific literature, and a variety of spiritual teachings.
Dissolve the whispered lies that torture you. Learn simple tools to free you from worry and stress. @gigi_langer (Click to Tweet!)
These tools help you handle troubling times with calm wisdom, fulfill your dreams, and create loving relationships.
Try It Out!
When you’re agitated, try these simple suggestions to dissolve your own whispered lies.
- Listen to your thoughts and notice how they cause tension in your body.
- Breathe slowly and deeply until your body calms down. Withdraw your attention from your worries and focus on your breathing. (The free app, Insight Timer, teaches you to focus on your breathing instead of on your fears.)
- Imagine you’re on a balcony observing a stage filled with your thoughts and emotions. Do not condemn them; just notice them with curiosity.
- Write your mind’s messages in a journal. You’ll notice they’re whispering that 1) the past pain will repeat itself or 2) the future will be disastrous.
- Ask yourself if you are 100% sure they’re true. You’ll find that they are not because you can’t predict the future. (Byron Katie’s “The Work” shows you how)
- Focus again on your breathing and recognize who is watching your thoughts: a part of your mind that’s stronger and wiser than the imagined disturbances.
- Consistently connect with this power through meditation, affirmations, prayer, therapy, yoga, inspirational reading, growth-oriented groups, or any method you prefer. Sooner or later, the answers to your troubles will appear—in the most amazing ways and for the best of all involved.
When your worries clog your life channel, only a tiny bit of wisdom, peace, or happiness can flow through it. Your consistent use of these and other positive tools will keep your channel open, so loving care comes into your life and goes out toward others.
What are some of your favorite tools for overcoming your own negative thinking?
Gigi Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology from Stanford University. She is a seasoned author and popular speaker who has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years. Her newest book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, will be available February 20, 2018.
Image courtesy of bruce lam.