How to Overcome Negative Thought Loops So You Can Solve Your Problems

Issue 3. December 16, 2022 ✨ Higher Power Coaching & Consulting

People typically start negative thought loops to try to solve problems. It often backfires because we paralyze ourselves with anxiety. There are ways out of this type of thinking, all of which involve taking action. One action is to observe your thoughts and then insert new ones. Another is to process your thoughts to release negative emotions.

Processing gets our thoughts out of loop form and into a linear form so you can see they’re finite, then they’re not so daunting. You can also shift your perspective on your problems by bringing them into context, or bringing your attention to the present moment.

It feels like we’re doing something about our problems because we’re “busy” dedicating time and energy to the issues when our thoughts are looping. But we’re not actually doing anything to solve the problem. And action is how we solve problems. You can dramatically increase your chances of problem-solving if you understand how your mind works and get your thoughts out of loop form.

When our negative thoughts repeatedly go through our heads, we believe that the problem we’re reciting is endless – that it has no solution. If you believe you can’t solve a problem, you’re right!

Here are some steps you can take to let go of your negative thought loops and get to solving those problems!

Observe your thoughts.

This will show you how damaging they are – you’re not only activating your system and causing anxiety, you’re not living in the present (which almost guarantees a shitty future!). This will give you some objectivity and will remove you slightly from the loop so you can be both the observer and the observed. Having that space means you might be able to wedge a little something in there, like a new thought. This will help you really internalize that you can control your thoughts – you’re not at the whim of your brain. This will give you some power and control over a situation in which you previously felt you had no control.

Process your thoughts to let out painful emotions.

Processing is different than the negative loops because it allows you to release negative emotions, and it also leads to resolution. Negative thought loops don’t. One way to process them is to put them in writing so you can see they’re finite. They’re not infinite the way it seems when they’re looping through your head. If writing isn’t your thing, perhaps say them out loud on a recording or to another person. You’re not going to repeat them over and over verbally the way they loop through your head.

Get some perspective.

It also helps to get some perspective. One way to do that is to bring your problems into context: No matter how daunting your problems are, there IS a solution. Every problem that has ever happened in the history of human existence has been resolved. Sometimes they’re not resolved the way we want them to be, but they still get resolved. Yours will too!   

Another action you can take to shift your perspective is to become present. If you want to move away from the anxiety produced by your negative thought loops, learn how to “be here now.” The most common way to do that is to focus on your breath. So take a moment, right now, and take a nice, deep breath. 

Things I don’t want to live without…

I have to have lip balm on hand at all times. And it needs to be in a tube, none of those little tins or balls you have to unscrew for me! And I love my favorite lip balm so much that I buy it by the box! And I have tubes stashed all over my house: in the kitchen, the living room, the sitting room in my basement, in my bathroom, bedroom and my office. I also have a tube in my purse, one in my car and one on the bedside table at my sweetheart’s house. That way there is always a tube within reach because I hate the feeling of dry lips!

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