Someone close to me is going through tough times. His health is not where it used to be and trips to the doctors are wearing him down. I can see a downward spiral as his morale dips down with each new trip to the doctor. Negative thoughts reproduce themselves faster than weeds in a garden.
We all have had these weeds take hold at some point in our lives. Weeds take the form of feelings of despair, being far behind, overwhelmed.
Once established, the weeds are hard to get away from.
The answer is to tend to your mind garden. Water the flowers and not the weeds. The more you feed the flowers the better your mental health. Yet, before you feed the flowers, you have to do the hard job of cutting the weeds.
“Stop thinking negative thoughts” is an often administered advice. The problem is the advice is too hard to follow. Telling your mind to not think about something is the best way for it to obsess about it.
The solution — the humble rubberband is a machete to chop these weeds.
This is how you use it…
Wear a rubberband around your wrist. Next time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, pull up the band and leave it. SNAP — it should hit your wrist and cause pain. Do this every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought.
Back off and pick one type of thought, if you find yourself snapping yourself all the time. An example might be, “every time I am angry at a colleague for sending unpolished work”, I will snap the rubber band.
If you do this, you will find that the weeds don’t grow as much or as fast.
Curious on why this works?
Your brain will go to extra lengths to avoid pain. Every snap causes minor pain and your brain associates that with the thought that caused it. At some point, the brain catches itself as the thought arises and gets rid of it.
The above technique has worked for me wonderfully. Try it!