Practical Tips for Bursting Negative Thought Bubbles
Learning how to handle our thoughts and find joy in our days is key to living our best life. It is not a quick fix to change our mindset and change the negative narrative we might play to ourselves in certain situations. I’ve included a few ideas to help you on this journey…feel free to be creative and find other ways that might work for you as well:
1. Take Time-Outs
As children we are given time-outs, either as a consequence or as an opportunity to gain control of our emotions. As adults we need to take time-outs during our day to reconnect ourselves. Try grabbing a sheet of paper that has space for 5 check marks. Next to it, write down a list of possible things you can do during your ‘grown up time out’. These should be things that give you a deep breath or a recharge…for example: going for a quick 10 min walk, downloading a meditation app and listening to soft music for 5-10 mins, praying, reading, drinking some tea, etc. Don’t make this an excuse to surf social media…many times we don’t realize what a mental drain scrolling can be in our lives.
2. Laugh Often
Laughter helps calm anxiety! There are tons of videos and stories out there that can give you a good laugh. During this time of quarantine, you may not be able to hang out with friends or family that you can count on for a good laugh…access opportunities online to give yourself a good laugh!
3. Get Some Exercise
Take a walk, do a home workout…basically MOVE YOUR BODY!!! Research supports the fact that exercise, taking a walk, taking a body movement break are helpful for a person’s mental health. These don’t have to be huge commitments, where you have to now find time to shower post work out. These are little movement breaks during the day. You see this in elementary schools with ‘brain breaks’. My children have done Go Noodle over the years to just give the kids a silly 10 min movement break. Nothing major, just a chance to refocus and get the heart pumping a little!
4. Focus on the Present
The art of listening and connecting to others requires your thought bubbles have peacefulness, care, and attentiveness to what the other person is saying (both verbally and non-verbally). If you are focused on past feelings or future assumptions, you will miss the current situation and damage that opportunity to connect!
5. Give (or receive) a Hug
A hug can shift negative thought bubbles. Physical contact can help burst negative thoughts and bring peace to overwhelming situations. Hugs aren’t for everyone, so this idea might make you more anxious. That’s ok…these are just ideas!
Smiling and laughter can be contagious and can burst those negative thought bubbles. A smile or good laugh allow us to give ourselves a break and not take everything so seriously!
7. Play Music
Positive music creates positive thoughts and emotions, while negative music forms negative thoughts and feelings. Be MINDFUL of the choices you are making with the music you choose. How does it make you feel? If you pay attention, you might be surprised by your findings.
We are all responsible for the choices we make each day! These are simple little hacks that can help elevate our joy levels each day. Don’t allow yourself to stay locked in a state of hopeless victim sludge because of your own choices. You absolutely can change your mindset, but it will take a concentrated and consistent attack on the negative thought bubbles. Little steps forward everyday will find you in an unrecognizable state of joy sooner than you could ever imagine!!!