Time to Let Go!

I’m a super positive person, but even I occasionally find myself in a negative loop after an event that doesn’t go so well. That’s part of being human, right? Maybe not. I found two articles and simple techniques that have helped me to leave negativity behind for good.

A few years ago, I attended a Wanderlust Yoga Retreat in Whistler. Several classes focused on how to let go of negative thinking. I learned that repetitive negativity wastes a ton of time that could be used in positive and creative ways. They still seeped into my subconscious sometimes and I would catch myself in a negative loop.

Pretty cool astrological clock in Prague, right?

Astrological clock in Prague

Last week, I read an article from Inc. Magazine by New York Times best selling author, Nate Klemp.

Nate suggests a 30-second technique to stop negative thinking for good. His article is based on the work of Rick Hanson, who wrote Buddha’s Brain, and the early work of Donald Hebb. He included a video by Srikumar Rau.

30 seconds? I figured it was worth a try.

I didn’t want to bring all of my heavy baggage with me into the new decade.

lifting heavy baggage gif

No one wants to carry around the same old negative thoughts like this poor gal. 

carrying a heavy load into 2020 gif

This was my mind blown moment:

Hanson describes positive thoughts as slipping from our memories like Teflon while everything negative attaches to us like Velcro.

That is so true, right?

This reaction comes from being hardwired to react with fight or flight to keep us alive. Well, most of us don’t need to worry about being attacked by predators or live in war-torn countries where these reactions are necessary to survive.

Instead, we hear an unkind word and BAM! Our hearts race like we’re being hunted by a ferocious and starving pterodactyl. Afterward, we regurgitate the nasty moment over and over again until it clings to us, well, like Velcro.

hungry pterodactyl attacks cowboy

The opposite is true of positive thoughts. Since we don’t need attaboys, awards, or achievements to survive another day, we let all of the fabulous moments we experience in our lives slip from our memories.

Objects flying by in a dreamlike setting

I totally forgot to mention several writing awards when I introduced myself to a new critique group. The funny thing? I was under the impression it was a try-out. Duh!

There are three steps to changing your hardwired, but pliable plastic brain. I’m paraphrasing these steps, so be sure to check out Nate’s article.

Once a day:

  1. Recognize that you are having a negative thought. For me, this is usually needless worry, a look back at a conversation that went sideways, or some kind of humiliation.
  2.  Replace it with something for which you are grateful. This is a totally different thought: Amazing times shared with friends and family, my good health, the good health of others…
  3.  Ruminate on your positive thought for 15 seconds.

I know I didn’t sit and ponder for fifteen seconds. That would be waaaay too long for me, but on that first day, whenever I had a negative thought, ANY negative thought, I recognized it as negative and replaced it with something very positive; something I was grateful for.

My contribution to the technique:

4. I let the feeling of being grateful replace my anxiety. I could actually feel the negativity release.

I was feeling very grateful in Berlin!

Feeling happy in Berlin

I ran through these three steps at least six or seven times the first day. Every day after that, negative thoughts have popped into my head less and less.

I’m becoming Teflon-coated. Cool!

Thank you, Nate, for sharing your article on Mix. It works!

This short video by Srikumar Rau sums up why this 30-second technique works: Your mindset is your choice.

Then, I came upon this article about Letting Go by life coach Diana Frajman.

Diana suggests engaging in a few physical exercises to get rid of our heavy baggage before starting the New Year and Decade.

1. Write about everything that dragged you down in the last year or decade; anything you don’t want to pack up and take with you.

2. Scrub negative thoughts and memories away while in the shower. Imagine them being sucked down the drain.

3. Inhale clean deep breaths outdoors and then exhale negativity.

Fresh air on the mountain

They pair well with Nate’s article, don’t you think?

Be sure to click to Diana’s blog for more a lot more detail about this technique. Thanks, Diana!

Let me know if these techniques work for you. They worked for me! I’m sprinting into the New Year with all kinds of enthusiasm, a fresh outlook, and lots of new ideas. Get ready Wild Riders!

Would you be willing to take 30 seconds to change your mindset? How about a good scrub?

Happy 2020!

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60 thoughts on “Time to Let Go!

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  1. Always been difficult for me to let go of resentments and anger and hate for those that have wronged me and have been unforgiving. I have gotten past lust for revenge or getting even mostly because that would put me in handcuffs probably. But there is an advantage to getting old and forgetful: I can’t remember all the people with whom I am angry and hate. I call this liberation by evaporation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it, Carl! LOL! You should make a cartoon for this!
      Next time some unwanted angry thought pops into your head, try thinking about your family or some happy thought. It reaaaaaally works!

      Great to see you!

      Like

  2. INSIGHTFUL Post Today and one that resonates with me 🙂 I can be a ruminator as well as a verbal vomit venter at times. I am practicing to respond as well as react less and less. I feel better in knowing how to better handle the negative. I find the best technique for me is to just quickly write out what has me in a spin and then crumple it, shred it, etc. and toss it in the trash. I feel so much better, lighter, freer. I have to laugh at times over what gets me in a spin in the first place and it is usually the stupidest and smallest things. Here’s to Letting It Go (now I have the Frozen song in my head – ha!)! Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I didn’t think about Frozen. 🙂

      These techniques have made a huge difference. I don’t go into the negative spiral that often, but now, I can snap out of it the first time I think negatively!

      Happy Thursday, Renee! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      Like

  3. I don’t tend to have a lot of negative thoughts, my go-to for days when I could head down that road is to first count my blessings. That turns my feet around. I do admit I still carry some hurts and disappointments but I don’t carry grudges.
    I don’t dwell on them, but I can’t delete them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a grudge holder either.

      I think it’s human to remember, but detrimental to get into a negative spiral. It’s pretty common to get into a loop right after the bad event.

      That’s great that you figured out that being grateful works! Thanks for reading!

      Like

  4. I am usually a pretty positive person but when a negative thought enters my head it sure can play havoc. These are great techniques. I particularly like replacing negativity with gratitude. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Little reminders to switch from negative thoughts to positive ones are always welcome. Sometimes I catch myself grumbling about someone else’s imperfections and then I stop and realize that I’m not so perfect either. It doesn’t take me long to find a positive thought about that person and I’m feeling so much better. We all have a lot to be grateful for and it’s good to reflect on that much more often than we do. Thanks for this great post to remind us to shed our negativity and replace it with a positive attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a great way to handle negative thoughts Susie. May have to try that if any crop up although I don’t tend to have many these days. You do have to occasionally sit and balance the good and bad aspects of life to really appreciate how wonderful living is though. Not always easy but most of us have so much to be grateful for.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I definitely need a good “scrub.” It’s so funny, because what my husband thinks of as negativity, I don’t (and sometimes v.v.). I think it’s a cultural thing. Where I grew up, there was a lot of whining, not just at my house, mostly about little things. It’s gray outside; it’s gloomy; it’s Cleveland. This is just realism, to me, not pessimism. But I do recognize that we all have different ideas of what’s positive and negative. And I totally agree that the negative is like velcro. I recently started singing in my church choir–which I love. Sometimes I sound good (and someone even compliments me) and sometimes I don’t. Of course, I don’t wake up in the middle of the night stewing over a compliment! Time to develop some teflon around here. Thank you for this great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t thought about external whining, but that counts too. It’s all about our perception. My husband is super positive, so he surprised me when he said he would try this technique. We all have worries and unwanted thoughts.

      You’re right about waking in the night over something great. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Lol!!! Congrats to you for joining the choir! Singing is one of those activities that is bound to make a person happy. It’s like dancing!!

      Thanks for reading, Rebecca and Happy Friyay!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Negativity seems to be firmly attached to being human sometimes.
    Do you remember the old “block that thought” which involved wearing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping yourself every time you thought something negative or destructive to your self/life? (Now you’d probably be “red flagged” for mental problems involving self abuse? HAHA)
    Only way to really change behavior is to immediately provide a substitute behavior? Your “replace it with some positive thought/something you are grateful for” works like that – or the deep breathing and exhaling negative thoughts with long even breaths (Often taught in yoga classes).
    Good ideas – a new year offers a clean slate and opportunity to find something that works for you.
    Currently my way of dealing with/evaluating if it’s worth responding is “Will that really make any difference in 50 years?”…if not, let it go and chill (Chill is my word of the year – so flexible and so many faceted)

    Like

  9. Good stuff Susie! I try this. I try really hard. And with myself it’s fine. But I live with someone who absolutely refuses to find the good in anything. Everything is always worst case scenario, doom and gloom, death and destruction. Nothing’s ever going to work. There is some reason why everything is going to fail. It is EXHAUSTING.

    I loved the video! This is exactly what I go through every single day of my life. Most times I give up when it comes to my significant other because I know he’s never going to understand but I try really hard not to let it affect my viewpoint. I just breathe through it and move on.

    Life is good! Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Like

    1. Wow. That would be tough. I wonder what he would think of the article.
      I’m glad to hear you keep on motoring, Patricia! Good for you “turning a deaf ear.” My daughter used to cop a pose with a finger on her chin and would say, “What?” – without the sound of the t. I always got the message. 😂😂😂
      I’m sick in bed, but life is good!

      Like

  10. Being grateful is the key to all success! When we feel grateful for the things we have, we welcome more of it. This was a really nice post. Worth reading!

    Like

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