Replacing the Negative

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We have spent the last couple of days becoming aware of the negatives in our thoughts. Are you having trouble getting some of those negative thoughts to go away?

No one, not even the most optimistic person in the world, can think positively all the time. If we pay any attention to the daily news – and that is so easy to do – keeping negative thoughts at bay can be a real challenge. But successful people know how to get rid of their negative thoughts fast when they do appear.

Here’s a productive technique that originated with Matt Oechsli, a therapeutic hypnotist:

First, identify the thought that is bothering you. With most people, it is a fear of something. Is it failure? Rejection? Incompetence? Could it be illness or catastrophe? Being able to put a name to the problem is huge, as it brings it down to a manageable size and gives you a target.

Secondly, interrupt the problem thought by visualizing a candle flame and taking a long, deep breath. You cannot concentrate on two opposing thoughts at the same time, so you will find your fear diminishing, and the deep breathing triggers a relaxation response.

Third, eject it. As you exhale, imagine that you are breathing out the fearful or negative thought. See the candle flame flicker and go out as you blow it away with your breath.

Finally, replace it. Put a positive affirmation in its place, one that creates a replacement picture of what you want to think or feel. Then, repeat that affirmation several times, concentrating on creating a vibrant picture of whatever it is you want.

Remember: Identify, Interrupt, Eject and Replace. It will take some practice at first, but this is a technique that can help you learn how to take charge of your thoughts, and at the same time, you will be taking charge of your life.