Stinking Thinking: Negative Patterns
by Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach
We are back to thinking about old programming that has negative memories caught from the past. Those subconscious memories are triggers that make you act in certain ways, even if that's not what you now think.
They are subconsciously programmed and you may be totally unaware until you become aware of them.
Triggers have a big part of our everyday life, on how we react when something happens.
This could be simply a phrase between friends that triggers you, or the smell of a certain food that brings back old programming, or a song that brings back a bad relationship.
Sounds easy enough — but suddenly you have these negative vibes, or the other person suddenly changes emotionally, They are defensive.
What Happened? Wow. Simply an old trigger they didn't know still existed (or maybe they did)!
Sometimes you KNOW something hits you wrong every single time it happens but don't know how to fix it.
If you have a pattern, you can block it. You are able to break that conditioning. Becoming aware is half of your recovery.
You might think of a happy place, a happy song, and break the pattern. Set up one happy thing in your mind and be ready for when the next trigger happens!
How to find these negative conditioning triggers?
Watch your emotions as they let you know where you are.
Then you look at ways to counteract that trigger—thinking about your happy place, happy song playing in your head, and let it be.
This will, in time, go away. You are creating a new neuro pathway in the brain… if you do it over and over, your subconscious follows the new path and the trigger stops causing you negative emotions.
You CAN actually rewire your brain. Your brain can seriously heal itself.
This neuroplasticity or “brain plasticity” is a relatively recent discovery that gray matter can actually shrink or thicken; neural connections can be forged and refined or weakened and severed. Changes in the physical brain show up as changes in our abilities.
You are what you think.
You can change the old patterns. I'm not saying that you will think of your favorite song once or twice and BAM — sudden happiness because your ideas of "nasty ole retirement" fade away. No Way.
This is work — like anything worth doing, it takes time and effort.
Choose your song today!
Every single time you feel just a bit down or negative, sing your song in your head. In time, this will push away that feeling and you'll remain in a happier state for longer.
An Example: Take a Day Road Trip —
Your spouse saw an eagle flying high in the sky, he remembers a kid waving from the next car, and a wildflower stretch along the highway. What a great day!
You, on the other hand, saw someone cut him off. You remember some trash on the roadside, and it was somewhat cloudy, not sunshine like you had hoped. Uggg!
If, you had mentally conjured up your song or created another diversion for your mind, you might have noticed all the beauty that surrounded you (instead of negatives).
p.s. That's why Gratitude Journals can work. They help you think of GOOD every day, and over time, the nice things in life just pop into your view and make the day better and better!