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Joy Works Playlist Pick-Treasure by Bruno Mars

When I facilitate professional learning for the organizations that I serve, I typically like to have what I call while you are waiting activities available for participants as they enter. These type of activities allow my learners to transition, getting their mind and being open to learning. They always seem to enjoy word scrambles the most. I absolutely love watching their interactions and body language through the challenge of unscrambling words. But let me tell you, I make sure I have an answer key handy because there will always be a word or two that my group of participants can not figure out. Once they get stuck, they can't get unstuck until they get the answer. So I always get that out of the way BEFORE I officially start my session.

That stuck feeling can be likened to an intrusive negative thought. The thing about a persistent negative thought that makes it harder than my word scrambles is that most likely no one is going to give you an answer that will help bring closure to the frustration and stress you are feeling. Do you know how many times I have wanted to rely on someone to give me the answer to a bad feeling that I was carrying? It feels like the challenge that I am always revisiting. Yes, others might try to make us feel better or at least neutral...but how we carry that negative feeling, whether it is heavy or light, is based on our own perspective.

Intrusive negative thoughts can be a major distraction from all of the positivity in our lives. It's just like the saying, one bad apple...blah blah blah. Well, one negative thought can stop us from identifying and tapping into the joy that exist around us. It can stifle our creativity and even make it difficult to handle our day -to -day tasks. If at this moment you feel stuck in a negative thought, I want to help you get "unstuck." I'm saying this because I know what it feels like. I've actually been having some intrusive thoughts over the last several weeks. I don't think these thoughts should be ignored or hidden. As you know I am all about feeling our feelings. I am also for learning strategies to better deal with negative thoughts so that they don't take over- leaving little room for what feels good.

Let me tell you a few things I reflect on when one of these nagging thoughts arise. We can work through this that okay? First a question. How do you know when you have been trapped by a negative thought? I realize that I get stuck when I feel insecure or doubtful about something. Once I get stuck, I notice that, 1)I have a hard time concentrating, 2)I don't enjoy things that I normally take pleasure in, and 3)I feel more physically tired.

I want to share a video that I came across a few weeks ago. I do very much like the simple way in which the video breaks down the two ideas of how to distract and combat the types of negative thoughts that stem from self-doubt.

What do you think? Once again, I like the simplicity of the video. Remember, things don't have to be complicated to work. As the clip emphasized, we are working to build a skill and get better overtime. It's a process.

When I am alone I find that it's easier to distract myself from a negative thought by doing such things as taking a walk, listening to music, or working on some of my passion projects. These activities fill me with positive emotions. When I am around others, I tend to use humor to distract myself from negative feelings because laughing and even further sharing a laugh with someone literally relaxes my mind and body.

Now lets explore how our minds can combat negative thoughts. What negative messages has your mind been feeding you that you need to combat? Well baby, pull out them receipts and remind yourself of your value and accomplishments. There are so many beautiful and positive things about you. They are real. That is the truth. Choose to believe it.

Sometimes, it's just difficult to accept that we can't control an entire narrative-just our part. In our mind there are these gaps of information that we want to fill. We think that once we fill in these missing pieces that we'll feel better about ourselves when it comes to another person or situation. When we don't get the responses we think we need...basically we start making up our own shit. We create stories and often times in these stories, we place ourselves in the most unfavorable light. That's why trying to fill in the gaps to questions such as... what did they mean by that text or email, what were they thinking when, why didn't they choose me, and so on and so forth, will most likely do nothing but produce a nagging and intrusive negative thought.

This week, I created a reflection activity to help us work through our negative thoughts. I know our negative thoughts will not totally disappear. When they do decide to visit, my hope is that they won't be such a burden or stick around too long.

Stuck Reflection Sheet
Download PDF • 3.81MB

[Happify]. How to Defeat Negative Thinking [Video].

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