“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.” Anon.
The easiest change to make is changing your thoughts. Think of the negative thoughts as being stuck in arut or circle. Round and round they go but no change occurs. Reframe your thoughts by rewording them. Go from I can’t to I can. All it takes is changing your thoughts.
“In a surprising way, mindfulness and the investigation of emotions begin to deepen our understanding of selflessness; we see that the emotions themselves arise out of conditions and pass away as the conditions change, like clouds forming and dissolving in the clear open sky. As the Buddha said to his son, Rahula, “You should consider all phenomena with proper wisdom: ‘This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.'”
On the subtlest level, we learn not to identify with consciousness itself, cutting through any sense of this knowing faculty as being “I” or “mine.” As a way of cultivating this radical transformation of understanding, I have found it useful to reframe meditation experience in the passive voice; for example, the breath being known, sensations being known, thoughtsbeing known. This language construction takes the “I” out of the picture and opens us to the question, “Known by what?” And rather than jumping in with a conceptual response, the question can lead us to experience directly the unfolding mystery of awareness, moment after moment.”
ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) really helped me.
“ACT uses three broad categories of techniques: mindfulness, including being present in the moment and defusion techniques; acceptance; and commitment to values-based living.”
Everyone has anxiety but by learning to accept it and defuse it, we can live a calmer life. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Notice when you attempt to avoid anxiety. Don’t struggle to change or fight your feelings. It will pass.
In defusing anxiety or negative thoughts, defusion helps you learn how to step back from the thought or feeling and to learn to observe it only. Defusion doesn’t lessen feelings because this would be fighting them again. Rather it is teaching you to disconnect from them by observing them.
ACT teaches us to: STOP—STEP BACK—OBSERVE
From ACA Red Book–
We awaken the Loving Parent inside by actively listening to what we tell ourselves about ourselves. We stop in mid-sentence if we are putting ourselves down or criticizing our thoughts or behaviors. We identify the source of the negativity which is the inner critic with affirmations that state who we truly are. Through reparenting ourselves, we reframe our mistakes as chances to learn or grow emotionally. This is a sign of becoming our own Loving Parent.