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Just say no to negative thinking

Posted: November 6, 2008 7:14 p.m.
Updated: November 7, 2008 4:59 a.m.
Wow! Have you felt the energy in the world lately? I have to admit that I have had days where I was affected by it. You may have had feelings of worry, fear, and hopelessness just from watching the financial news, or from talking with your co-workers and friends. When the world around us is in turmoil, it is more important than ever to remember to focus on remaining positive and taking action in the areas we CAN affect.

Here are three things you can do to counteract the negative thoughts that take over your mind in these times:

n Differentiate between what in within your power and what is not -
Then let go of worrying about what is not. The truth is that few of us can do anything about the world financial markets, wild fires, or even whether or not our company will have to lay people off. It does us no good to worry about these things, and in fact can even cause us harm in the form of illness due to stress.

Focusing on what you CAN do gives you power through ability and action. You CAN help those around you cope with things that are happening, you CAN get your resume ready and look for a new job if your company is shaky, and you CAN prepare for possible fires or earthquakes by having an evacuation plan, clearing brush around your house, and storing emergency supplies.

Take back you power by working in these areas.

n Practice gratitude and acknowledgement - When you take time to truly acknowledge something you have done, it adds great momentum to everything else you are working on.

When you take time to acknowledge the qualities or contributions of another, amazing things can happen in your relationships.

When you focus on the things in your life that you are grateful for, your perspective about your whole life shifts to a more positive place - the negative aspects lose power.

When you practice this over time, it becomes easier to notice and savor the special moments - big or small - that happen every day.

n Breathe and visualize something positive - When we are faced with negative events, people, thoughts, or energy, it overwhelms you and sucks you in before you know it.

You may even find that you are having negative visualizations about things that have not even happened.
When you find yourself in these situations or feelings, try this simple exercise.

Stop for a moment, close your eyes, and take several slow deep breaths.

Chances are, you have been tense and feeling stressed, and this will send a signal to your body that you are relaxing, and give you a feeling of regaining control.

Take several more breaths if you need to, until you feel calmer, and more centered. Then visualize something positive.

These are all things you CAN do in the face of events that are uncontrollable, and each one will make you feel better, and allow you to take action you need to. If you need more assistance with these tools or want to know more, you can contact me, a certified hynotherapist, at Balance Point Spa in Santa Clarita at (661) 252-0650. I provide hypnotherapy, stress reduction training, and meditation classes to help people
improve their lives and is also available to teach Five Minute Stress Management and other topics to your group or organization.

Karen Maleck-Whiteley is a local Santa Clarita Valley resident. Her column reflects her own views, not necessarily that of The Signal.


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