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Stop the Negative Thought Cascade, by Dr. Christina Winsey

Life does hand us the proverbial lemons, at times, and that is exactly the time to muster your strength and rise above the challenge. It is all in your perspective and in the belief system that has kept you in that perspective. Change the perspective and you change how you rise to the challenge

You may have noticed that when the going gets a big rocky, there are certain patterns of thoughts and behaviors you seem to automatically fall into.  Over time, in this life, based on the input and environment we grew up in, the things you were told or taught, you developed literally programmed reactions or responses to the events that happen to you.

In the fabulous film, What the Bleep Do We Know, it beautifully illustrates the way the brain and nervous system become programmed and literally addicted to your own internal chemicals; such that you are, in a way, an addict within your own mind without realizing it.  

You literally can be addicted to the brain chemicals that put you into a state of anger, or of depression, etc.  The problem is that you don’t even realize it’s happening because it’s so automatic.

Remember learning to drive a car or ride a bike?  All those things you had to coordinate in order to get to the point where you are now – you drive from point A to point B and don’t event recall driving, for the most part.  Your subconscious mind has put this skill on automatic.  It’s called “facilitation” of a neural pathway.  You’ve done it so many times you don’t have to put conscious effort and thought into it.

Now before you get upset or scream “No, not me – I’m not an addict to anything,” think about the cascade of thoughts you told yourself the last time you got a very high bill for something that upset your budget and caused you serious concern about your finances.

Did you go into an entire, usual internal rants to yourself about your spending, or about how things shouldn’t cost so much? Or did you fall into a depression almost instantaneously, telling yourself all kinds of things like “I’ll never get a head,” or, “life is such a struggle”?

In these instances, you literally have thought cascade – a recipe, if you will – that is all ready to go for events in your life that are similar.  

When you were a kid, did your father or mother get into a bad mood whenever the bills came in?  Did either of them yell at the other?  

The best way to change how you react to negative or challenging events is to

1.    Analyze your automatic thought recipe.  Begin by writing down this cascade to bring it to conscious awareness.  You don’t have any choice in the matter when you leave the cascade as a subconscious program that runs as soon as the trigger event occurs.

2.    Once you have the choice – once you are aware – it’s time to “adjust your sails,” as the quote says.  It’s time to decide whether you want to remain a victim of mental programming or choose how you will move forward in a positive and self-empowering way.

You may want to begin by getting a notebook to identify those situations and events in your life which seem to crop up more frequently than you like.  Then identify the moods and perspectives you have on automatic – the reactions and responses you always tend to have to similar events.

Believe me, it’s worth every effort to begin this process.  Empower your life so you are no longer victim of your programming and you will find a great sense of control, happiness and peace.