Block Toxic Thought Patterns, and Open New Doors Into Life
Negative thoughts can be pervasive. Recognizing them, and learning how to turn them off, can be a game changer, especially if you’re a person prone to pessimism. But how is that done? According to Julie Brown, LPC, MHSP at the Center for Mindful Living, the key is to be aware, or mindful, of your thoughts and actions.
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How Mindfulness Helps
“Sometimes, we get stuck in our old stories, expectations, and fears,” says Brown. “Mindfulness can help you recognize if you’re creating a story in your mind based on your fears rather than reality,” she says.
Seeing the Possibilities
According to Brown, being more open and curious about situations, rather than projecting past fears, will open you up to possibility – like the possibility of knocking that presentation out of the park. Being mindful of negative thoughts can also boost creativity, she says. “For example, if I’m a painter with nothing on my canvas and I feel blocked, if I start spinning a story about another time I was blocked last week or last month, I shut my creative energy down,” Brown explains. “But if I instead say ‘I’m aware of what’s going on here and I don’t know the future,’ then I can be more compassionate with myself and have more options.”
In short: instead of a looming empty canvas staring back, you’ll see possibilities.
“Being mindful engages us more in our lives. When you can observe your behavior and emotions then you open up more to life and can be more creative and authentic,” Brown says.