Episode 98: How to Interrupt a Negative Thought Cycle
This is Bonnie Lyman, and you're listening to the podcast, Loving on Purpose, Episode 98, How to Interrupt a Negative Thought Cycle.
Welcome to the podcast, Loving on Purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children, if you are struggling to connect with them or having specific challenges, you're in the right place. Welcome, all of you, all of my friends. I can't believe I have produced 98 podcasts.
I'm not gloating in that, but I'm kind of surprised I have been able to do that. It's not the easiest thing for me, and it took me quite a while before I could even do it, even have the confidence to do it. to hear my voice and I still recommend listening to these on a faster speed. I think you'll enjoy them a little bit more.
Seems older I get. The slower I talk, but today we're going to talk about how to interrupt a negative thought cycle. And so I'm going to get right into it. I want to ask you the question, have you ever laid awake at night ruminating over and over something in your mind. You can't quit thinking the thoughts.
And of course working with issues with adult children Perhaps you're ruminating over the fact that your adult children don't want anything to do with you. And that is, that's a very hard thing to accept. And it's a very hard thing to get over. I believe there's some grieving that has to take place in order to do that.
And one of the hardest things is, Not only do they not want to have any contact with you, but they don't want you to have any contact with their children, your dear grandchildren. And I work with many clients who are heartbroken over being in a situation like this. And so it causes you to have negative thought cycles that won't stop spinning in your brain.
Thoughts like This shouldn't be happening to me. Where, where did I go wrong or what went wrong? Perhaps you have thoughts as to I'll never be at peace again. I just want to be with my family. I can't imagine myself going through the rest of my life hurting every day like I'm hurting and not having, especially these grandchildren, be a part of my life.
Or maybe we're comparing, none of my friends are going through this, and the thought, I just don't know how I'm going to get through this. When you have these kind of negative thoughts that ruminate in your head, so much of the time that they cause you to have negative emotions, such as sadness, fear. or disappointment, or resentment, or judgment over your kids, or blaming yourself maybe, or you know, you're, we're always blaming the circumstances for our pain, but it's always our thoughts, but these thoughts consume you.
That they can have a great impact on your quality of life. The thoughts become almost obsessive, that you can't think about anything else. Your brain wants to hang on so tight to these thoughts, because it thinks it's protecting you from danger. But worrying and rethinking over and over again about what's gone wrong doesn't fix things and it doesn't give you any relief.
The impact often that happens on your life is that you're sad all day. Or maybe you lay awake at night thinking all those negative thoughts. Or perhaps your relationship with other family members. Especially maybe your husband are affected, or other children. Perhaps the impact is you lose interest in things you used to enjoy, and you just kind of lose your motivation to do much of anything.
It is the thoughts in your brain It is the thoughts that you keep thinking over and over that is ruining your life. And yet your brain is the most important part of you, and it always works in your favor. Or, at least it thinks it is. It tries to serve you, but it can only help you by the information, the thoughts that you put into it for it to figure out how to serve you.
And when you have so many negative thoughts that cause you to feel disrespected or disappointed or resentful or sad. It thinks you want to feel this way because you repeatedly think thoughts that cause you to have those feelings. It can't distinguish between serving thoughts and non serving thoughts.
It's just like a computer, and I know I talk about this a lot, but this is how our brain works. It only works with the data. that you fuel it with. If you're always having thoughts that make you feel a way you don't want to feel, it thinks you want to feel that way. You can't figure out that you don't want to feel that way because you keep having all these negative thoughts.
So it thinks you want to feel negative, so it keeps helping you find more and more evidence to keep you feeling that way. When you get tired of feeling this way, though, when you've had enough, when you feel you are no longer the person you want to be, it's time to break this negative cycle. And I hope I can help you with that today.
The wisest thing to do is to seek some help because you can But it's important to know that feeling negative emotions is NOThoo experiment. So don't forget that feeling negative emotions makes you Be truly happy without this negativity in our lives. So step one of breaking these negative thought cycles is to be aware that nothing has gone wrong.
This is part of truly being alive and being a human. Sorry. to break the news, but there is no perfectly happy feeling every second of our life type of life. We are not robots. We would have to be robots. And we wouldn't be happy, we would be feeling nothing. I can remember when I was going to school in Arizona, and it got kind of boring that every day was a sunny day.
And of course, when it got so hot that it got uncomfortable, I had already left, and so I was only there. During the pleasant time, but it was so refreshing when we had a rainstorm. These miserable feelings are from our thoughts in our brain. Be aware this is happening. We were raised and programmed. to think that it was from the circumstances of our life, of how our children were treating us, but all of our feelings come from our thoughts.
You know what has gone wrong. Your expectation of seeing your grandchildren to love on them has been taken from you. Next, ask yourself, What do you really want? This may be new to you and you may not like hearing this from me.
You can't force your children to let you be around their children. Your higher brain knows this, but your lower brain resists it. Anytime we resist anything, it increases. So what? Do you really want having these circumstances going on in your life and what we all want? We all just want to feel good or we all just want to feel peace in our life.
Peace that enables us to be the person that we want to be and to live. a well lived life. When we have very intense thoughts that keep, that keeps the negative thought cycle spinning, it creates a lot of energy. And at a time this served us, when we would worry about when our next meal would come from, or what it would even be, that worry would cause some immediacy in us to do something about it, so we were motivated to go out and hunt or gather and look for food.
Likewise, when we are so obsessed with the thoughts pertaining to our unfulfilled expectation of our children's actions, And what it could possibly mean to our whole future life of not being able to see our grandchildren or be a part of their life. We ruminate excessively over how to fix it when it's actually something we have no power to change.
Brooke Castile said, the result is we have an energy so compelling, we feel like we're going to explode. She suggests to break or stop this thought loop, as she calls it, is to put this energy to good use. So. I like to do these three things. When I find myself can't getting out of this negative thought cycle that feels like it's consuming my life.
First, I stop and I make myself. I'm aware of what's going on, that it's my thoughts that are causing this, that I don't have control over my children, and I take several deep breaths. The next thing I do is I tell my brain, I understand you're trying to protect me. I know you're only trying to help me, but this isn't helping, and I've got this.
Nothing ever stays the same. It's possible this is only temporary, and I'm going to focus on something else. Third, I do one of two things. I turn my thoughts to either making a grocery list, Or what closets I'm going to clean out next, or what, what are we... going to have for dinner for the next four or five nights, or make a to do list of things that I want to get done before the end of the week, or I take on a bigger project.
Maybe it's start a new hobby of something I want to do. Or maybe I go for a walk. Or maybe I go clean out one of those closets. Or what I feel helps the best for me is I go do something for someone else. I do something to use all that useful energy for good. For something to focus on rather
That's all, it's putting that energy to use in a different way, but if we just keep stuck in that thought loop of building on that story of how horrible this is, we are never going to going to live a life that is satisfying and one that is hopeful that one day things can get better. Focusing on what you do have control over in your life is the key to interrupting These negative thought cycles, allowing them to spin only adds more fuel to the fire.
I know that there are difficult things in your life, but there are difficult things in everyone's life. And I do feel that by becoming a better By serving those that want to be served, by loving on other children, maybe your grandchildren's age, that don't have anybody to love on them, is a way of focusing on The good and we do have control over our thoughts that we can focus on things and use this energy in a positive way that will cause us to live a happier life.
I wish the best to you and I hope you're all getting ready to spend your Thanksgiving just exactly the way you. I want to spend it because it's a choice, and I want you to find something that you can like about everyone, even those that don't treat you as lovingly as you'd like. I'm thankful for all of you that listen to these podcasts, and I'll talk to you next week.
If you like this, this episode, and you felt it was of benefit to you, I ask you to share it with somebody that perhaps it could also benefit. But if you're still feeling kind of stuck in that you don't know how to apply what was talked about, Or where to start on, on changing your thoughts, on changing your perspective, on bettering your relationship, get on a call with me and we can have a discussion.
I can tell you how to apply it and where we start and then you get to decide what you want to do about this relationship that maybe you're struggling with with your adult children. There is no reason to go on the rest of our lives struggling with our relationships with our adult children. Let's assume the best.
Let's assume that we all love each other, and we're just trying to figure out how to maintain our own boundaries and respect another one's. But I can help you with everything. So just go to BonnieLyman. com and book a call. I can't wait to hear from you.