How To Break A Negative Thought Loop
Sometimes a small thing disturbs me that causes a negative thought loop. Somebody might say something that rubs me the wrong way. I might get a minor injury that prevents me from working out. Something at work might go wrong.
Do you know that feeling? Before you know it, you’re questioning everything about your life, career, health, or relationship.
You do everything to resist the situation. You try to fix it. You feel compelled to address the disturbance. But here’s the thing, you don’t control the disturbance.
That frustrates you even more. Now, you’re getting sucked in by negative thoughts. At this point, something that started as a small annoyance became a big life problem.
You feel like quitting your job or relationship. You feel like everything works against you. And that nothing is worth it.
That’s a negative thought loop. I’ve experienced that very often. And I bet you have too. Why do we experience this?
It’s about control. We think life should be a certain way. In other words, we want everything to happen the way we want. And if it doesn’t, we flip out. Negative thought loops often start when something comes to an end. Have you noticed that?
Filling The Void
Look, everything in life comes to an end. Your job, business, career, relationships, friendships, and so forth. And every time something comes to an end in our life, it’s like a little death. Something dies and leaves a void inside us.
This event by itself is neither good or bad. It’s the nature of life. We can turn endings into bad things by trying to replace the thing that left our life. For example, when a relationship ends, a lot of people try to fill the void by taking on more work.
I’ve done that as well. All the time and energy you spent on the relationship becomes free when it ends. And because you don’t want to feel alone, you try to fill the void by working more. You want to set higher goals and do a better job.
But that’s only you escaping reality. The truth is that endings suck. But it’s also a natural part of life. We should not resist change. Some things, we can’t replace in life.
If you lose your job, you can’t simply replace working by spending more time with your spouse. And yet, that’s exactly what many of us do. We either lose our job or fail at work and we think, “Now I can at least spend more time with my family.”
You’re trying to fill the void. But that takes too much energy. And when some minor thing causes a negative thought loop, it causes your foundation to shake. Why? Because your...