Reversing the Downward Spiral

Yesterday, we explained what a downward spiral is and how we might get caught in one. Today let’s talk about some things that can help us climb up and out.

If you’ve ever been caught in a downward spiral of failure and negative thinking, you know how hard it can be to find your way out. But there are some things you can do that will make it easier. You can start by listing things you’ve succeeded at or felt good about in the past. Everybody has these moments, so don’t deny yourself the experience of remembering them.

Read the list every day, remembering as vividly as you can what each experience was like and how you felt. They are all stored in your subconscious memory; they just need the opportunity to come to the surface. Remind yourself that the qualities that helped you succeed then are still very much a part of you today.

Perhaps the most effective thing you can do is to take control of your mental environment. There may not be much else you can control – at the moment. But if you control your thoughts and your responses to the situations you face, you’ll feel much more on track again. Keep a close “eye” on what goes on with your internal conversation, making sure that it is positive and reinforcing of what you want – and not what you don’t want.

Instead of dwelling on unpleasantness in the past, picture a positive future instead – the future you want. Picture this every day, as vividly as possible, and feel how good it will feel when you’re really there. The human mind “works” on pictures, and you are creating a magnetic draw to the picture of what you want. Teams, organizations, indeed any group of people, can do this same thing to create a more positive future.

There are many things we can do, as a part of making this reversal happen. Physical activity can help quite a bit. So can reading inspirational books, watching uplifting films, or possibly getting professional help.

These things are powerful belief-mobilizers. When you’re in a downward spiral, mobilizing your beliefs is the most important first step you can take.