To reframe negative thoughts with self-hypnosis, move your awareness outside of them and find some positives. Next, practice thinking the negative thought then switching immediately to the preferred positive thoughts. Make it easy to do this by first building and anchoring a powerful resource state.
One of the biggest things that holds people back from success is constantly worrying about things that might go wrong. Sometimes this can even be taken to the extent of catastrophizing, where we decide that the worst is definitely going to happen. When we do this, we can end up spending all of our time worrying about things.
Needless to say, this is not useful when we want to get stuff done.
And the truth is that most of the things we imagine could go wrong will never happen.
Most of us intuitively know this.
The issue is that negative thinking is a survival trait.
For almost all of human development, our ancestors didn’t have any of the luxuries we take for granted. You know the ones I mean. Luxuries like regular food, and shelter that is more-or-less impervious to anything nature might throw at us.
Back in those days, lives were dominated by the tasks required to survive another day.
As you might imagine, in that environment, being able to pre-emptively figure out what might go wrong and avoid it conferred a massive survival advantage.
Negative thinking helped our ancestors to survive.
So now, many thousands of years later, our brains are predisposed towards negative thinking patterns.
Except that the environment has changed.
Whereas even finding food and shelter was a challenge for our ancestors, and they had little time to think about much else, many modern people have vast amounts of free time.
And with a brain predisposed towards negative thoughts, and copious free time in which to think those negative thoughts, many of us end up thinking those thoughts automatically.
We can end up feeling trapped.
Luckily, once you know a few simple tricks, it can become easy to reframe your thinking patterns from negative to positive.
Here are the steps to reframe your thinking and use self-hypnosis to overcome those negative thinking patterns:
1. Identify Your Negative Thoughts
It’s tricky to change our negative thinking when we don’t know exactly what those thoughts are. So the very first step is to take a few moments and identify your own negative thoughts.
Write them out on a piece of paper.
Make it easy for yourself by leaving space for a second column, and at least 4 blank lines between each negative thought.
Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, so if we don’t write down examples of our own negative thoughts, we risk forgetting to deal with them.
2. Identify Your Negative Thinking Patterns
Think through a typical week, and notice where and when you usually think negative thoughts.
It’s not enough to say everywhere and all the time.
Our brains latch on to specific things much more easily than abstract, so take the time to build a proper map.
3. Break The State
Annoyingly, thinking about our own negative thoughts will usually lead us into a negative mindset.
To work around this, take a few moments to clear your mind.
Listen to some uplifting music, or do a little exercise. Maybe both at the same time.
It doesn’t have to be for very long: 2 to 3 minutes is plenty.
4. Choose Some Positive Emotions
Take a few moments to think through times in your life when you felt supremely positive.
You want to find at least 3 or 4 distinct positive emotions.
These can be anything at all, although it is helpful if they are the opposite of the things you’ve been feeling when trapped by negative thinking.
Here’s some ideas for positive emotions to get you started: Excitement, happiness, confidence, serenity, pride, inspiration, satisfaction, gratitude, enthusiasm, and contentment.
5. Build And Anchor Your Resource State
Choose a simple gesture that you can physically perform any place and any time. This can be anything at all, so long as it is appropriate for most situations you find yourself in regularly.
For each of the positive emotions on your list, close your eyes and recall a time when you felt that emotion strongly. Really go into the details of that situation, noticing where you were, what you were doing, and who was there with you. Pay attention to the colors, textures, sounds, smells, and especially, your emotional response.
Then, just as you feel that positive emotion reaching peak intensity and it is as strong as you make it, perform your simple gesture.
This creates a hypnotic trigger that you can use to stop yourself thinking negative thoughts.
6. Choose Positive Reframes
For each of the negative thoughts on your list, look at the statement, and then allow yourself to step back and take in the bigger picture.
Take a few moments to figure out the positive things surrounding that negative. There are always some.
These positive things will become your positive reframes. Write them down next to the negative thoughts on your list, and draw an arrow from the negative to the positive.
If you find yourself descending back into those patterns of negative thinking, perform your simple gesture a few times and bask in the positive glow for a short time before repeating.
And in the event you feel the intensity of your gesture beginning to fade at any time, repeat step 5 to rebuild it.
7. Use Self-Hypnosis To Automate Reframing Negative Thoughts
Take a moment to look through your list of negative thinking patterns, then perform your simple gesture and allow yourself to bask in the positive glow.
Next, hypnotize yourself, and imagine the next time negative thinking would have happened in your life.
Close your eyes and imagine that place and time as vividly as you can. See the negative thought beginning to form, then perform your gesture and think about your positive reframe.
Allow your positive resource state to mingle with your positive thoughts and take the time to really bask in that positivity.
And then repeat for every place, time and negative thought on your list.
As a rule, it is necessary to repeat multiple times for each negative thought and place and time.
The more you work through this process, the better you will become at automatically feeling positive and thinking those positively reframed thoughts.