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Think: How To Clear Your Head

Identifying your negative thought patterns isn’t enough to stop them. You’ve got to put better thoughts in their place. Redirecting your thinking is vital to your recovery journey. Likewise, constantly being bogged down by negative self-talk will hold your recovery back. Jo Bisseker Barr, author of “How to clear your head” for Wellness Journal magazine has some tips to help you clear your head of negative thinking.

1. “Write down any negative automatic thoughts you’re aware of.”
Create a list of the negative thoughts your having. This helps get them down on paper and out of your head. Ask yourself where these thoughts came from. Take note of whether they are your own thoughts or if you picked them up from someone else. Then, ask yourself if the thoughts are justified. Most likely, a negative thought doesn’t have a true basis. Try to make sense of the thoughts you have written down, if possible. If not, let them go.

2. “Now you’ve identified the negatives, you need to find the positives.”
Think about the thoughts you’re having about yourself in relation to a friend. Would you be saying these mean and hurtful things to someone you love? If the answer is no, ask yourself why you’re saying them to yourself. From there, make a list of constructive, kind, and supportive things you would tell a friend, and become ready to use these statements as replacements for your own negative thinking.

3. “If you want to get rid of your negative thoughts, it helps to put healthy, positive thoughts in their place.”
Cultivate a toolbox filled with techniques that you can use when you are feeling weighed down by negative thinking. Writing out your negative self-talk and consciously replacing it with your list of positive statements is a start. In addition to this technique, you can practice radical self-acceptance. In doing so, you accept that your thoughts won’t always be positive and you love yourself unconditionally anyways. From that space, it becomes much easier to practice speaking kindly to yourself as you grow through your negative thinking.

4. “Identifying and letting go of negative inner chatter enables us to clear some headspace, making room for a much more reasoned and compassionate style of thinking.”
Instead of perpetuating the “out of sight, out of mind” mindset, Barr suggests trying “to uncover your thoughts so that you can learn to let them go. Don’t beat yourself up with these thoughts. Make room for these positive things and embrace them.”

Awareness is the first step on the journey towards change. Villa Tranquil Recovery is here to help you identify your negative thinking patterns as a means of learning to practice positive self-talk. We know difficult thoughts can creep in. Unfortunately, if left unchecked, these thoughts can drastically affect your recovery. We can help. Call us today at 214-799-3080 to learn more about our programs and services.