1. Find an anchor word or phrase
"I will succeed... peace...focus", etc. Repeat this throughout the day when negativity arises.
2. Make a list of all your successes and accomplishments
List your achievements over the past year and immerse yourself visually in those memories. You'll immediately feel the effects.
3. Each day, identify a core value word that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose
Write it down and reflect on it once every hour as you yawn and stretch (this keeps stress low and turns off the worry centers in your brain).
4. Stay focused on simple goals
Write down one goal each hour to stay focused. At the end of the day write down 3 things you did well. Also write down 3 things you feel grateful for. Do this for 7 days and the research shows that self-esteem increases for 3 months!
5. When you notice a negative thought, suppress it
Contrary to what psychologists used to say, the research on thought suppression is robust. So when you find yourself ruminating on a worry, fear, or doubt, “just say no.” Tell that inner voice to shut up!
6. If suppression doesn’t work, use cognitive reframing
Are you exaggerating? Is your worry real? Remember: worrying about a problem doesn’t help you solve it, but looking for solutions and remaining positive stimulates the “success” circuits in your frontal lobe.
7. If suppression fails, practice mindfulness
Sit back and observe – without judgment – all the thoughts and feelings that flow in and out of consciousness. Mindfulness teaches your mind and your brain to disconnect from the emotional impact of negativity, and it stimulates both the “success” and “self-love” circuits in your brain. When you mindfully watch your thoughts, sudden bursts of insight often occur.
8. Still can’t free yourself of those negative thoughts?
Accept them! A meta-analytic review study of mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies showed that the “oh well” approach is one of the most effective ways for dealing with most emotional problems.
9. After acceptance, begin to practice lovingkindness and forgiveness meditations
We all need to send love to ourselves on a daily basis, consciously reflecting on the small accomplishments we achieve everyday and the people in our lives who care for us.
10. Still stuck? Seek coaching.
Many colleges have low cost programs if you are financially strapped. If you have the financial resources, we recommend Neurocoaching.
To suppress, or not to suppress? That is repression: Controlling intrusive thoughts in addictive behaviour, Antony C. Moss, James A.K. Erskine, Ian P. Albery, James Richard Allen, George J. Georgiou, Addictive Behaviors, Volume 44, May 2015, Pages 65-70
Check out Mark Waldman's free 6 Days to Enlightenment email series for information on how you can access enlightened states often and easily.