Healing is often hard, and messy - but it’s also a beautiful process. Over the years, as I worked on my healing journey, I started to harness self-awareness. With that self-awareness a lot of hard pills were swallowed over time. The strangest thing about this process was realizing how many unhealthy habits we pick up unconsciously.
One of the hardest pills to swallow, when I started to become more aware of myself was that I had more habits than I could ever imagine. I did so many things subconsciously, repeatedly, while I was on autopilot mode, that they simply turned into habits.
One of those habits was engaging in a lot of negative thought patterns, often spiraling into unrealistic scenarios in my head that lead to me feeling worthless, drained, and completely unmotivated to push forward. For me, changing these beliefs, and shifting these negative thoughts into positive ones was the most challenging part of my healing journey. Today I am sharing a few tips that helped me shift my negative thought patterns into positive ones:
Flip The Script In Your Head
When I started to work on myself, it was overwhelming to realize that I engaged in these negative thought patterns a lot more than I realized. Needless to say, becoming aware of these thoughts was a major breakthrough, however, changing them was a whole new challenge. While the approach is simple - (simply think the opposite) - how do you convince yourself that these new thoughts are true when you have been living with the same old ones for so many years?
These thoughts have been repeated over and over again, conditioned deep into my subconscious, that in a way, they became part of my identity. Whenever I tried to think the opposite - ‘you are worthy’, ‘you are beautiful, ‘you do matter’ - these thoughts felt like lies. The uncomforting feeling I felt, and the inner turmoil they caused led me to stop this process a hundred times, only to go back to the beginning and start it over and over again.
And I assume that somewhere along the way, you felt that similar uncomforting feeling. Whichever the reason for not going on is, I’d like to ask you to please keep going with this process! Of course, the thoughts you had for so long will feel comfortable, no matter how bad they are for you. Of course that something new, no matter how good for you, will be uncomfortable and scary. Flipping the script in your head is one of the most challenging tasks you will face - but you still need to keep going! Because you deserve to see yourself in your true light, you deserve to know that you are beautiful, brave, strong, and worthy - because you are!
Other than just thinking the complete opposite thought of your negative one, a great way to really flip the script is to actively reinforce this behavior. Here are a few techniques that helped me to go from wishful thinking to believing in the positive thoughts in my head:
Journal - To flip the script, sometimes you need to put your thoughts in the physical world. The best way to do so is through journaling your positive thoughts. Each evening, I journal and reflect on my day. Whenever I am faced with a negative thought that sticks through the day, I not only reflect on it and try to let it go, I also think about what kind of emotional wound it may come with. Once I have my answer, I flip that thought around and use it as an affirmation in the following three days.
For example, if today was a particularly upsetting day, and I felt unworthy, and my negative thoughts stemmed from this wound, then at the bottom of my reflection I jot down that the affirmation of the day is “I am worthy”. Then, on the page next to it, I write this sentence 10 times and repeat it out loud 10 times before going to bed, and then 10 times in the morning. I repeat this process for at least three days - however, feel free to repeat it as many times or days you need for it to start feeling real to you.
Meditate & Affirm - Speaking of affirmations, meditating with a mala, and using an affirmation as a mantra is also an amazing way to flip the script in your mind. For this process, I especially loved working with a Serenity Natural Lotus Mala. The mix of the soothing, calming Amethyst, serene & spiritual Blue Chalcedony with the gentle touch of Rhodochrosite, and the cleansing Blue Apatite that enhances clarity, this beautiful mala is perfect for turning your thoughts around.
Accept Your Flaws & Believe In Yourself
When I started my healing journey, I struggled a lot with negative thought patterns. No matter how much effort I put in to shift them, they would pop out. At the time, I felt like I failed, and that all my hard work was undone whenever a negative thought popped off in my head. The truth I’ve come to terms with since then is that no matter what I do, and how much effort I put in - I am just a human being after all. I am not perfect. I am beautifully flawed, and that’s what makes my life experience unique. And in the end, even if a negative thought comes into my head, it’s not important that it came there, but rather how I handle that thought.
If I guilt myself over because I had a negative thought, well that’s just starting another negative thought cycle. If I refuse to handle it and later subconsciously engage with that thought and start the old negative cycle, then I am simply repeating the old script. However, if I am aware of that negative thought being there, and I consciously choose to not engage with it, then that is the biggest sign of progress towards shifting my negative thoughts.
The truth is that we are all flawed in some way, and we will always be. These flaws can be a huge source of negative thought patterns, which is why it’s important to accept that we will always be imperfect. And while some flaws are a great starting point towards healing, and personal growth, some flaws are simply a beautiful part of who you are.