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Worried – Overthinking – Need to make a decision = Grab a Pen

Clarity awaits! Use this writing technique if worrying, decision making Now, before you get skeptical, this is not the same as that book you kept locked under your bed as a child. Journalling is not diary writing. Instead of bitching about your BFF or crush, journalling is an excellent tool to help you deal with overwhelming emotions, unlock your intuition, and gain clarity.

Research (see notes) has show that the act of expressive writing can clear your mind’s worries and free up resources in your brain that could be put to use on other tasks. CLEAR MY WORRIES?! Sign. me. up.

Gaining clarity of your thoughts, decision making, a clear vision and feeling less stressed out are many of the well known benefits of putting pen to paper. Consequently, your emotional intelligence can also be strengthened when writing. It provides a space for you to identify, and manage your emotions while also understanding the emotions and actions of others.

Ok, so you get it. Journalling sounds like a bit of you. But where do you start?

“Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.” – Julia Cameron

Let’s get started: Here is a simple yet effective writing prompt to help you gain clarity and to figure out what you really want and to start manifesting the shit out of it.

Grab pen and paper and find a calm, quiet spot. Take a few deep breaths to calm your nervous system. Add a title if wanted (My ideal work, relationship).

Tips for success:

  • Write in the present tense: Write about it as if you already have it. I have, I am, I can
  • State it in the positive: I like that my evenings are free to do what I want. (NOT I don’t want to work after hours).
  • Remove restrictions: Write as if you have NO boundaries or blocks and everything is possible.
  • Let it flow: Write down whatever comes to mind.

What now? It’s time to step into your aligned action. Not sure how to do this? Join me in Aligned Goals and Action. https://coachingwithbridie.com/coaching/ for more info.

Notes: *Study byHans Schroder, an MSU doctoral student in psychology.

5 Ways to Reduce Negative Thoughts

Sick of negative thoughts and worry taking over? No one can be positive 100 percent of the time and we are naturally programmed to have negative thoughts. ‘Negativity bias’ explains that we give more attention to negative events than positive, an evolutionary response designed to keep you safe and protected. However in today’s world they cause more harm than good.

Every word you say and thought you think becomes a blueprint that your mind works to turn into reality. So learning to understand and ‘hack’ your mind, and change your internal dialogue can help to reduce the mental and physical distress caused by these negative thought loops.

5 Ways to Reduce the Power of Negative Thoughts.

1.Allow (don’t try to stop it) and Identify the negative thought. The goal is not to try ‘remove’ all negative thoughts – they are a normal part of being human. It is a matter of separating yourself from them and not buying into the story. 

2. Labelling thoughts can help us to understand our repeating loop patterns, thus making it easier to notice when they are showing up. Here are some common cognitive distortions to be aware of:

  • Should’ statements – ‘I should be able to cope with this better than I am.’
  • Jumping to conclusions – ‘I’m going to embarrass myself on stage!’
  • Catastrophising – I’ll never find a boyfriend and i’ll be alone forever.
  • Overgeneralisation – When not winning the raffle you think; “Typical, I never win anything.”
  • Labelling yourself – ‘I’m such a loser’. 

3. Evaluating the accuracy of the thought and finding evidence to the contrary can help your brain to weaken the power of the thought and make the next step a whole lot more believable for your brain. For this, choose a thought and write down at least 2 examples that prove the thought wrong. Eg. I’m terrible at talking to guys: 1. I have guy mates that I talk to easily. 2. I had no trouble meeting my ex and can talk when needed. 

4. Reframe: Use the CBT technique of cognitive restructuring/reframing. This stems from the idea that your brain is listening and believes whatever you tell it. So have a go at flipping the words around to be beneficial for your growth. The more you do it the more natural it will feel. Eg. All my plans are ruined = Plans change and I am learning to adapt.

5. Practice mindfulness: Spend 1 minute imagining your thoughts like objects flowing down a river. As each object floats by notice it, but you don’t get stuck on it. This teaches our brain to separate ourself from our thoughts and will make it easier for you to recognise when a negative thought loop has appeared and when to put your strategies in place. It is also just a lovey feeling to allow your brain a moment of peace. 

Including these in a daily routine will start creating a powerful shift. Negative thoughts will still appear from time to time. That’s OK! Think of them as an opportunity to practice your new habit and soon it will be second nature.

Enjoyed this blog? Leave a message and let me know. Your feedback and questions help guide future blogs.

B x

Expectations and Uncertainty

Ten years ago on my anniversary: I had already imagined my (ex) partner coming home with flowers. Thats what I ‘decided’ would show me he loved me, thus no flowers meant he did not.

My expectations on how he ‘should’ behave and how things ‘should’ be, left me feeling disappointed as his smiling face entered the room….empty handed. 

Poor boy. Apparently he was not a mindreader.

Like many women, I had created a habit to overthink and create expectations about how a conversation would go, what dinner should be like, or how someone else should behave. I was focusing on how things were ‘supposed’ to be. without realising that these expectations were creating an intense gap between what is and what will be.

Thankfully, I started to notice a pattern. My anxiety would increase as things didn’t go as my mind had planned and I would feel consequently feel disappointed or let down.

I was the one who was creating this problem for myself. I was expecting others to not be allowed to act as they are. This was a refreshing realisation as it meant I could learn to STOP it and change my behaviour (rather than trying to change theirs).

Fast forward to today and I am a different person. I catch myself starting to lay down expectations and can reframe my thoughts immediately. My relationship flows like none I have had before and I live for the present moment, because I can’t control the future. My mantra “It is what it is” stops me getting stuck inside my head. This mindset shift a f**king game changer!!

Shifting Expectations

What would change for you if you could shift your expectation to wonder and curiosity?

When we let go of expectations, we live in the present moment. We open space for more curiosity, more creativity, more connectedness. Expectations feed our worst nightmares of uncertainty, doubt, hesitation, self-consciousness, anxiety, fear, and worry.

Author and neuroscientist Robb Rutledge says “Happiness depends not on how well things are going but whether things are going better or worse than expected.” However micro-managing and overthinking every detail in our life reduces our feelings of happiness.

*I want to add here that I am not suggesting you remove your boundaries or your moral code. Some of our expectations are healthy and expectations that others will obey laws and not harm us helps to create inner peace and trust within our communities.*

“Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant. ” – Tony Robbins .

How to create the shift

To start creating the shift in mindset for yourself:

1) Become aware of your overthinking and the expectations you are holding for the people and situations around you. 

2) Explore how it feels to change your language from ‘hope’ ‘should’ ‘expect’ to ‘wonder’ or that of appreciation of what is happening right now.

Old thought: “I hope he gets here early”

New thought: “I wonder if he will get here early’.

Old thought: “She should stop telling me what to do”

New thought: “I wonder why she feels she needs to tell me what to do. I’ll ask her.”

3) If required, think of one thing YOU can do now to get yourself closer to the preferred outcome. Remember that the only thing we can control is how WE respond to a situation.

What expectations in your life could you drop and trade for appreciation or wonder?

Ready to shift your thinking and remove the expectations making you feel like sh*t? I invite you to 8 weeks of personalised coaching – Just you and me.