Interrupting Thoughts

Our minds are so good at replaying negative thought loops. For many of us, these loops repeat endlessly without us noticing. “I’m not good enough.” “Everyone hates me.” “I’m a failure.” These can serve as our unwanted personal mantras. But because we shy away from them or try to push them aside, they grow stronger. Like the Terminator, with each reaction, the narrative grows more powerful.

But we can use the machinery of our brains to smooth the edges off these negative thoughts. We can’t force the thoughts to go away. But we can introduce new thoughts into the system.

My friend has this great method where he repeats interrupting mantras to counterbalance these negative thoughts. Over and over again, he says and thinks, “this is a silly thought.” He does it so often that when a negative thought arises, “this is a silly thought” is the next thought loop that plays. And this weakens the negative self-stories by creating a little space, some room for his awareness.

I loved the idea, and brainstormed some other interrupting mantras.

“Hmm that’s interesting.”

“Well that’s one explanation.”

“Thoughts are thoughts.”

“Each day is a new day.”

What are the mantras and thoughts that I want to play on loop? And how can they serve me more than the stories I tell myself now?

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