“I feel like I am on a Roller Coaster and I can’t seem to get off of it or breathe!” I have heard this statement (or a version of it) from at least a hundred people this past year as a Mental Health Counselor and when I tell them they are not alone on that roller coaster, most reply “so it’s not just me??”
Many of us have felt like this at some point, especially this year. It seems like 2020 has brought a different surprise each day and just as many emotions and thoughts. These emotions and thoughts can leave many feeling disconnected, isolated and not feeling in control.
However, what if we CHOOSE to see this moment as the greatest gift, the time to THRIVE right now and change our negative thoughts/perceptions and jump off the roller coaster for good?
For some, the roller coaster ride may have you craving relational connection- feeling isolated, depressed, loss of pleasure or motivation to do many things you used to and feeling ‘out of sorts’. Maybe the pressure of this “crazy world” and anxiousness, worry, real fears has left you with a pressure that lingers like a cloud and a heavy pressure system over a valley on your soul. Or maybe you have found yourself blowing your top in anger, irritation, frustration then feel bad because you don’t know what to do about it.
Today, we can CHOOSE to stop the ride and change our mindset, gain control of our thoughts and walk out our reframed thoughts and habits. Thriving instead of just surviving in life takes choice, it takes action to walk out the habit of change but it is worth it!
Your thoughts can actually be your greatest gift this year if you follow this mantra: NOTICE. STOP. REFRAME.
Let’s get started…First, take a deep breath. In through your nose for 4 seconds, out through your nose for 4 seconds (remember this- it actually calms your nervous system quickly).
NOTICE: Notice your thoughts, like a ticker tape parade across your mind.
STOP: Stop any negative thoughts that run across, maybe even visualizing a stop sign or tapping your wrist when you notice the negative thoughts.
REFRAME: Reframe just one of the repeating negative thoughts to a more helpful or positive thought or to a personal affirmation.
The directions of our thoughts is the direction of our lives. If our thoughts are running negative across our minds (and we have on average 80,000 thoughts a day), then we will feel negative feelings and behave in negative ways.
We change our mindset and the direction of our life today as we NOTICE. STOP. REFRAME. our thoughts to more positive thoughts.
Sounds simple, right? Well, yes and no. You have to put the work in! Every time you think a negative thought, it is like an etch-a-sketch groove into your mind and the more negative thoughts the harder it is to get out of the mindset.
BUT the more you reframe the negative thinking to positive, your mindset and habits change– leading to the greatest gift you can give yourself and others around you (trust me).
Let’s put it into practice:
NOTICE: Breathe…notice the thoughts running across your mind.
STOP: “There is nothing in my life that I control, I am just stuck.”
REFRAME: Replace the thought right away with: “I am in control of my thoughts and reactions, I will get up and make new choices now.”
STOP: “I’m not good enough.” “I always screw up, it’s my fault.”
REFRAME: “I am good enough. I am me and I am okay.” “I do the best I can, I am allowed to make mistakes.”
Your thoughts can be your greatest gift this year: NOTICE. STOP. REFRAME.
Thrive in this gift of the present moment, today. Become the best version of you today.
As your thoughts change, you walk out this gift into changing your habits.
Below are some tips to practically step into knowing that this GIFT of the present moment, to thrive today instead of just getting through. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. It is time to ask yourself “What do you REALLY want?” Will you CHOOSE to control your thoughts with reframed thoughts and walk out new habits in the present moment- the greatest gift. It is not easy, it takes persistence but it is worth it…give it a try and jump off the roller coaster ride today.
Written by: Meghan Rush, Mental Health Counselor