You’ve got this! By Tracy Becker, Licensed Counselor

Roseanne Asks: How do I stop myself from having so many negative thoughts?

What a great question, Roseanne. This is something that plagues many people as it is a difficult task. Research says that we have approximately 65-85 thousand thoughts a day, thus making the it nearly impossible to assess what you’re thinking.

Knowing this, one of the best ways to stop the negative thought pattern, and create new thought patterns. There are a multitude of ways to do this, but I would suggest by starting simple by finding ways to relax – through laying down listening to relaxing music, specifically binaural tones (found on YouTube), with your earbuds so that you aren’t disturbed. You can also practice deep breathing exercises, meditation or listening to an inspiring and uplifting lecture.

Get out in nature away from your typical noises. Allow yourself to simply listening to the wind, the trees, water flowing you can clear your mind from the clutter. After a big rain you can go and scoop up a mason jar full of water out of the creek and attempt to look through the jar.

It will be difficult because the water has been stirred up by the rain it will be cloudy. But if you let it sit on the counter for some time the sediment will sink to the bottom and the water will be clear. This is what you want for your mind on a regular basis.

Engage in a hobby. When you put your brain power toward learning something new you get distracted from the things that bug you. We are thinking new thoughts and creating new patterns of thinking and creativity. Creativity and eager learning always soothes the mind.

Recommending reading
The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton; Words Can Change Your Brain by Dr Andrew Newberg

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You’ve got this! Mark Asks: I seriously lack motivation, what can I do to get back on track?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Hey Mark, it sounds like your get-up-and-go got-up-and-went. We all go through spells like this, but it doesn’t make it any easier. There are several ways to look at this.

One is that motivation can be associated with things you are supposed to do, ought to do, need to do or someone wants me to do.

Causing feel bad about ourselves, maybe get depression. In this regard, I invite you to switch motivation to inspiration. Inspiration meaning to be inspired, lifted up and excited by. If you allow inspiration to be your guide this will bring a whole new approach to what you take action on without shirking your responsibilities.

Another approach is to take a good hard look at your life and see what is weighting you down. List 100 things in your life that you are tolerating.

From the condition of your vehicle or home, your health, your job, your finances, or maybe even a close relationship that isn’t working too well for you. Take a couple of days to do this as it will bring about a lot of clarity on what’s bugging you that you haven’t been dealing with.

Next, circle all the things on your list you have no control over – things that are what they are. These are the things you will need to accept and let go of.

Lastly, you are left with the things you do have control over. With these create a plan. Start with the easy (so you’ll feel some success) and work your way to the more difficult. Chip away at this list the best you can.By following these two steps you can be well on your way.

You’ve got this! Melissa Asks: How can we add more sunshine to the dreary winter months?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Thank you, Melissa, for this question. One thing for sure is that our natural circadian rhythms (our body clock) is impacted by the amount of sunlight we have in our days. According to sleep studies 7-9 hours a sleep is a healthy amount, yet in the dark cold winter months sometimes this can increase by 1-2 hours.

As a very productive-oriented society, this often causes us to feel as if we aren’t “doing” enough. Thus, an internal conflict brews: wanting to rest, sleep and be less active VS. being productive, getting everything done, and feeling anxious when we don’t.

If you forgive yourself when you aren’t as productive, and may not reach your goals you will feel better about yourself. Allow yourself time to rest, read and be at ease. Taking advantage of the Sun when it is out. Try a sunbath, even if its too cold to go outside, make yourself a spot where this sun is shinning in and let those healing rays wash over you.

Remind yourself of things to do with family and friends that lift your spirits and make you laugh. Get the games out, camp-out in the living room together, watch funny movies, make funny family videos, get creative with new crafts, learn something new, read a book as a family. There are many options to explore.
Eat lighter. If we eat a lot of complex carbohydrates and meats it makes us feel “heavier” in our bodies and more sluggish. Add more green vegetables and fruits. In addition, Get out in the fresh air whenever you can. Even if it is just a short walk. The cool clean air is good for you. Bundle up and have fun.

Resource: 85 Indoor Activities for Everyone