As I have gotten older, I realize how negative thoughts are far more powerful and destructive than I was ever conscious of.
What we think, is essentially what will become. For example, If we want a PR and we believe it, we can achieve it as long as we are working toward that goal everyday. It seems simple, but just catching yourself from thinking things like “I’m not that fast” or “I’m not that good” or even worse, comparing yourself to someone else. These are normal thoughts, everyone has them, but you have the power to change them right here, right now.
Lately, I have been feeling so grateful for all the blessing in my life and as soon as I felt this, great things began to happen. These small gifts make me feel like I won the lottery. Hmm, maybe that’s next. The more grateful you are, truly grateful, no matter how small or large, then your life becomes flooded with abundance. Example:
While at Whole Foods one day I ran into and met this incredible lady Melody at Will Run for Margaritas Talk about inspiration.. she leaves my jaw on the floor quite often. She is an example of someone who dreams big, works hard and remains grounded.
Won an autographed copy of “My Life on the Run” by Bart Yasso from Jess at Run With Jess. Even Bart’s inscription tells us not to limit our thinking..Please refer back to this post when I am famous.
Won this shirt from one of my favorite running apparel stores Oiselle… the personal note was the frosting on the cake!
These are just a few examples. When you feel grateful and happy with what you have right here, right now, anything is possible. The first step is getting rid of the darkness.
Here are seven ways to help rid yourself of negative thoughts…
1. Be Aware. The first step is catching yourself when you are having a negative thought. This could also be when you are talking negative about someone else… gossip is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.
2. Repeat a mantra. When you notice yourself being negative, immediately stop and replace with something like “the sky is blue”. For me this is also my running mantra “Let go — allow.”
3. Be Grateful. Take a deep breath and think of something you are grateful for. It can be the smallest thing: a cup of coffee, a beautiful flower, your kids being silly.
4. Go for a Run. If you are feeling really negative about something and you have time, immediately go for a run or walk. Go with the intention of clearing your head, do not lament about the topic, instead intentionally try to let it go. If it feels too difficult to let go, pray for your own serenity and again, be grateful… you’re running or walking (many cannot).
5. Acknowledge Your Feelings. What is it that is upsetting you? Often times we are taught not to “feel”, “You shouldn’t feel that way”, “You will be fine” or “get over it”. It is perfectly normal and natural for every human being on this earth to have negative, sad or jealous feelings. Let the sadness come in like a wave and then watch it go back out to sea. The bigger the issue, the more time you may need to process it. The important thing here is to not to stuff your feelings, but rather acknowledge them and, then gently let them go when you are ready.
6. Visualize What You DO Want. If something is troubling you, visualize the opposite. Ex: you feel jealous or irritated by someone. Picture yourself happy and inspired by them. Another example of this would be to picture yourself as if you have already achieved that PR. No dream is too big. What is important about visualization is NOT to compare yourself to others but acknowledge how strong and capable YOU are.
7. Surround Yourself With Other Positive People. It is perfectly natural to feel down sometimes, but when someone hangs onto the mundane and laments again and again about the same thing over and over, and “everyday/body/thing sucks” it may be time to move on. It is very difficult to not be affected by that energy and it could be dragging you down. Give that person a silent blessing and slowly remove yourself from that persons life.
Getting rid of negative thoughts is as important a part of being a runner as training for your next big event. It is not that difficult, but what is difficult is ridding yourself of a bad habit. Often times we learn this behavior from our life experience and we are simply on autopilot, unaware of our own negative dialog. The good news is we can change right NOW. It doesn’t take much other than desire to live your best life. Some of the people who are masters at being positive have suffered the most internally. When you hurt enough, you get sick of living that way and, the desire to be happy motivates you to change. There are so many things in life that we cannot control but, our thoughts are ours. Imagine how amazing everyday can be if you remove the dark cloud and let more of God’s light shine upon you.