Sometimes our negative thinking plays out more as feelings than specific thoughts (remember the body sensation aspect). So, when something negative happens, it can trigger the negative feedback loop that points back to our negative thoughts. So, we recognize, review, and realize:
a. Recognize what happened that triggered the internal reaction or feeling.
b. Review the emotions and physical reaction (e.g., anger, sadness, fear, sweating, racing heart, avoidance).
c. Realize which mental traps (potholes) are causing us to lose traction and alignment and feel stuck (e.g., all-or-nothing thinking).
For example, I can recognize what made me upset (e.g., someone's rude and critical comments). Then, I review how I feel sad, angry, and irritable with my nerves a little on edge. Then, I can realize my "all-or-nothing thinking" is causing me to feel stuck: "I can never do anything right, why try."
3. Renew with a New Route
Getting unstuck does not mean we have to respond with “positive” thinking. Instead, it challenges the thought or weakness and responds with self-compassion and a comfort perspective.
a. Renew with a challenge: "Is this how my closest friends, my family, and significant other or spouse really sees me? Would I ever say this about someone else? No, never! There's no evidence it's true!”
b. Renew with self-compassion: "I may not say or do everything right, I know I'm not perfect and I can grow from mistakes, AND that's okay! AND it doesn't cancel me out as a person! AND my friends, family, and significant other/spouse and God NEVER cancel me out!"
c. Renew with God's comfort: "What does God truly believe about me in this situation?"
If that's hard, think of a child who comes to you in tears saying they feel worthless. What would you say to comfort them? What you would say to encourage them? What you end up saying to a child would be the very thing God would be saying to you!
For example, "I know it's hard! I see your strength and your faith in this. I see so much in you and I believe in you! I love you, and I will always be here for you because you are worth everything to me. I know you can be successful. Let's do this together!”
4. Reflect on a New Thought