Negative Thoughts: Negative Nelly’s please stand up?
September 22, 2018
Is there a Negative Nelly in your life? You know, that person who always thinks negatively? The one who points out the one cloud in the sky when everywhere else the sun is shining? One you offer to help and they are offended that you offered, (“What, you don’t think I can do it?”) That friend who can’t take a compliment and has to put themselves down. (“That outfit looks so nice on you!” “I had to buy a bigger size this time cause I’ve gained a few pounds.”) Yup, that was me. Always thinking the cup was half empty. I had so many negative thoughts about my marriage and it was destroying me and my marriage. You can check out my “no but” journaling exercise here.
THE NEGATIVE THINKING RUT
It’s hard to get out of the negative thinking rut. When you think negatively your brain creates a pathway. Thinking those thoughts over and over again creates a groove. The groove gets deeper and deeper the more you think those thoughts. As a result, your thoughts become automatic. That’s why we don’t have to think about brushing our teeth. Have you ever pulled into work and you don’t remember passing all the normal landmarks? It’s because you have done that so many times your brain knows how to do it. Your brain is wired to help you be efficient. In some ways that is a benefit, but in others ways, it’s working against you.
MY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
My negative thoughts day in and day out for so many years took a toll on my marriage. A friend said to me “Lorie, what you are doing is not working. You need to get out of your old box and create a new box. I needed another tangible way to help renew my mind. Enter screen left NEW BOX LORIE! Have you ever seen an explosion box? It’s so cool. If you visit my Pinterest page you’ll find a variety of explosion boxes; some elaborate and others simple. The one I made was simple. I knew making the explosion box would be another way to get out of the groove that my brain had helped me create.
OLD BOX LORIE
First I made a list of what I wasn’t doing in my marriage. These were the negative thoughts that I had on a daily basis. Which ones are on your list?
Remember being a Negative Nelly was easy for me. Here’s what I came up with:
I don’t love my husband unconditionally.
My least favorite thing to do is clean the house even though it means everything to my hubby.
I sit on the other end of the couch.
My thoughts toward my husband are negative.
I bad mouth my husband to others.
I don’t offer my husband encouragement or say kind things to him.
When my husband puts himself down I don’t say anything because I agree.
I pull away when he tries to touch me.
When he comes home from a trip, I yell “hello” from another part of the house.
I’m happy when he goes out of town.
His love language is physical touch and I don’t give it to him.
You might think I’m a total witch after seeing that list. It’s very difficult for me to see this in black and white. I’m so thankful that the way I see my husband now is COMPLETELY different.
NEW BOX LORIE
New Box Lorie had to make a very different list. I intentionally created each statement to be a positive action.
Love’s her husband unconditionally.
Meet’s Ron at the door when he arrives home.
Doesn’t hold back when it comes to giving her husband praise.
Enjoy’s her husband’s touch and doesn’t pull away.
Always responds with words of love.
Speaks life into his life.
Enjoy’s keeping a clean house for her husband.
Touches Ron every time the opportunity presents itself.
Tells him how much she missed him when he travels.
Remembers all the kind things Ron says and does.
Will tell Ron 101 times the dinner he made was awesome.
Doesn’t this list look better? Let me tell you that it was in no way easy. I looked at my box every day until I had it down. I know it sounds crazy but my explosion box helped me change those negative thoughts. It was a constant reminder of the new ways I wanted to think.
Looking back I can say that my mind is renewed. Some come easy for me now and I do them automatically. Enjoy’s keeping a clean house for her husband is still a struggle. I had prayed for so long “God please change my husband”. It’s funny that when I finally broke down and prayed “God please change me” He didn’t waste any time answering that prayer.
I’m thrilled to say my marriage is night and day different because I got wise counsel from friends and took action. I knew I needed to change and I’m so glad I took those steps. It was another intentional piece that helped me create an abundant life.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Do you need to renew your mind about someone you love?
What is one item on your OLD BOX list?
How can you intentionally make that item a positive action to put in your NEW BOX?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.