Here is a list of common thought patterns that lead to anxiety and sleepless nights:
1. “I am not good enough”
2. “I don’t have enough”
3. “What are they thinking about me”?
4. “I look fat”
5. “I am a failure”
6. “I am broke”
7. “I am a paycheck away from being bankrupt and living on the street”.
8. “That’s impossible!”
9. “I can’t”
10. “I’m no good at___”
These are just a few “bad tapes” that many of us torture ourselves with on a regular basis, over and over again.
Sometime between the time we were born to the person we are now we have learned and been conditioned to fear and be anxious and feel bad about ourselves(either by parents, siblings,teachers, friends, and other people our environment,media, our culture,etc).
Well, the good news is that we can work on cancelling all this bad thinking.
Tonight in your journal please write down a list of your negative thought patterns that you play on a regular basis. You know you have them. Now write them down. Or if you can’t think of any right now, have a notebook handy and when you catch yourself doing it, you can jot it down. Enlist a spouse or close friend to help. They can “bust you” if they hear you utter any negative self talk.
Once you write a fearful or anxious thought down, draw a big X across the phrase. That step alone would be really great. I also like to imagine myself cutting my own throat when I am thinking or saying one of these toxic messages to myself while yelling: CANCEL!!!!!
Now, you can actually re-write your own thought patterns to the reverse (the positive tape instead)
1. “I can’t” can be cancelled and X’d and then “I can!” can take it’s place.
2. “I am fat” can be cancelled and X’d (really imagine yourself slashing your throat here!) can instead be “I love and appreciate my healthy and beautiful body”.
3. When you see something that you think you can’t afford such as a nice car on the highway, a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood, or a pretty Spring dress on the clothes rack, cancel “I can’t afford this”, and replace it with: “I can afford that!”.
You get the idea. It takes a little time. Be patient with yourself. Perhaps tackle one negative thought pattern at a time.
Before long you will be confident, worry-free, and sleeping like that innocent perfect baby you began your life as!