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Managing Negative Thinking (A discussion)

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adewale Ademuyiwa

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of Managing Negative Thinking (A discussion)

Managing Negative Thinking (A discussion)
Negative thinking
Neuroplasticity: Brain pathways
4 step strategy approach to
managing Negative thoughts

What is negative thinking?
What is a negative thought
Any thought that creates
a negative emotion
Answer
=
Are negative thoughts always a bad thing?
It feels like a bad thing if I cannot cope with the intensity of the emotion they create
Can be a bad thing if it causes me to react in ways that

Have negative or detrimental consequence to me or those around me
Negative thoughts: Are they good or bad
In what ways can negative thinking be a good thing?
Protection, preservation and for progress
Negative thinking is not the problem.

The overuse of negative thinking is the problem.
Message 1.
Cycle
Negative thought
Negative emotion
First documented by Jerzy Konorski, in 1948
Neuroplasticity:
Any pattern engaged in over and over, whether
thought based or behavioral based creates a neural pathway
Why thoughts become automated and dynamic in nature
What happens when you get an intense negatively charged thought?
The problem
Problem 1
A thought
Leads to
Another thought
Which triggers another
Swirling sea of thoughts
Problem 2
These thoughts increasingly
become Easily triggered
by other things or situations
The solution
When I change the way I manage negative thoughts, and practice this new change repeatedly
Like learning to drive
Neuroplasticity helps
us understand
I break up the neural pathway that's
supporting the negative loop
Step 1. Find out what the thought is about
Step 2. Determine which thought management pathway to take

Thoughts that require an Action plan
Thoughts that need to be tested
Thoughts that need to be challenged (What’s the evidence)
Thoughts that need acknowledging

Step 3. Develop an alternative to the thought

Less negative thought
Positive thought
Neutral thought
Compassionate thought
Step 4. Actively repeat the alternative thought whenever the negative thought pops up.

Builds and strengthens new neural pathways
Step 1. Find out what the thought is about

How am I feeling?
Has anything happened to make me feel this way?
What thoughts am I getting from this that is making me feel this way?
or
What thought could be making me feel this way?

Step 2. Determine which thought management pathway to take
Future based thoughts
Ask yourself: Is this thought related to something I fear will happen in the immediate/distant future?
First try to create an ACTION PLAN about it.

Distant future issue: put the plan away for a time in the future

If the above steps are not working

Then you need to test the thought out.

Effectively done usually leads to a positive alternative thought.

Past based thoughts
Ask yourself: Is this thought related to the immediate/distant past?
First try ACKNOWLEDGING. Need to actively replace with a neutral thought

Or compassionate thought for a few weeks.
If this is not working

Then try CHALLENGING the thought

Need to actively replace with a positive, neutral or compassionate thought
Step 3. Management styles that work:
Step 3. Management styles that work:
Present based thoughts
Ask yourself: Is this thought about something I am experiencing right now/in the moment?
Try CHALLENGING the thought
Need to actively replace with a positive, neutral
or compassionate thought;

Or

Try ACKNOWLEDGING. Need to actively replace with a related neutral or compassionate thought for a few weeks.

Step 3. Management styles that work:
Managing negative thinking is a skill
Skills are learnt over time
Skills require repeated practice
Repeated practice strengthens the brain's neural pathways
Neuroplasticity helps us
Break Negative thinking loops
This is why repeated negative thinking
becomes automated and controlling
Situation
Thought
Feeling
Things to be aware of
Huge need to spend time practicing when not in an intense emotional place
Logical Mind
Emotional mind
Wise Mind
Future
Past
Present
Think of the three W's
What, When, Where.
Initially, it is not about how much I believe the thought
A good accompanying book for
managing negative thinking
Doing anything to take the edge off intense emotions help you to access your wise mind
Your wise mind gives you the ability to management your negative thoughts effectively
Managing Negative Thoughts
Youngsters hanging out
Do they mean me harm?
Negative thinking loop
Negative thought
Negative emotion
And create new healthy pathways
Situation: What has happened to make me feel this way?

Peter is feeling horrible about himself
Because he's been for a walk
Hope that doing this will help make him happier.
In the past, this strategy worked,
the strategy failed to lift his mood.

Peter's thoughts were -

I am so useless

I am such a failure

I am no good at anything

I can't get anything right

I can't even make this work

I am so worthless
Peter's example
Step 3. Develop an alternative to the negative thought
Challenge the thought
Acknowledge the thought
and move on
Or
Lawyer's perspective
Full transcript