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Fighting Against the Downward Spiral

Have you ever found yourself just stuck in that rut, constantly complaining, worrying, or wondering how you are ever going to get out of it? Unfortunately, it is very easy for us to get stuck in the downward spiral – focusing on the negative, and bringing even more of it into our lives.

We have all had one of THOSE days, or weeks, or even years, it can seen. This is part of the downward spiral. We can start the day off with being late, stub our toe, get stuck in traffic, have a terrible meeting at work, spill our lunch on our favorite shirt, and so on and so on. But what most of us don’t realize is that we bring that on us. While we are getting ready we constantly focus on the fact that we are already running late, then we complain about our toe hurting, steam in anger with road rage over traffic. The more we focus on all of the negative things and feelings the more we are attracting exactly that. 

When we can stop ourselves once we realize what we are doing — they say you can’t control your first thought, but you CAN control your second — we can turn things around. But how do we do that, you ask?

  1. Pay attention to your thoughts, words, and actions. When we start to think negatively or focus on it, it very easily seeps into how we talk and what we do. A negative thought easily slips through our lips to a co-worker, family member, or even stranger. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same thought, but just carry the same negative tone. For example: Have you ever been in a really grumpy mood because you were running late and next thing you know someone cuts you off so you beep and swear at them, if they do anything to egg you on, you find yourself speeding up to catch them, cutting them off, or even worse. These things can quickly take over our normally rational minds. 
  2. List out or write down all of the negative things you are thinking about or saying. When we recognize the things we are saying, bring light to them, it forces us to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings. This allows us to determine if we need to change the direction of our thoughts, words or actions.
  3. Find all of the negatives on your list and write down or think out a positive way to counter it. If you are mad at yourself for having a cigarette, congratulate yourself for making is 10 days longer than you have without one. If you are yelling at the guy in front of you going 5 mph under the speed limit, stop for a moment and consider what could be happening in their life — perhaps they just lost someone they love, maybe they are planning for a big presentation. 
  4. Project the positive and focus on that. Now that you know what to replace the negative with, each and every time you feel yourself heading in that direction, catch your self and correct yourself. 

The downward spiral can quickly become a major life suck. Just remember, you may not be able to control your first thought, but you can control your second.  So be sure to stay in control, focus on the positive and more positive will come to you. 

Please share some of your stories with this new way of changing your thoughts, words, and actions. 

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