To start changing your life, you need to know what needs to go. For that, you must catch your negative thoughts. The thoughts that are on autopilot and therefore run your life. Yikes!
As famous psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung says, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.“
In this post, I am going to share the one activity that has helped me catch my negative thoughts and spot the patterns.
First, let me share how this one activity has changed my life.
How this activity can change your life too
We are told often that we think the same thoughts daily! And these thoughts are mainly negative! (Can you handle that mess?) When I started doing this one thing every single morning, before taking my coffee, so much was revealed to me.
When I can spot the negative thoughts and the patterns, I can choose how to respond to situations. I can do this now because I have trained my brain to apply filters. I apply filters to what I hear, see or say. And it is a great starting point to figure out which affirmations you need to change your outlook.
This means I can relate to people better. And because I wake up and catch my negative thoughts in the morning, I know what is my portion and what belongs to someone else.
What do I mean?
So let’s say I catch myself judging myself when I encounter what feels like a judgement from someone else. I know that energy is in me. And if I know, I have worked to resolve that energy and still encounter it. I can question if it is still in me or is this someone else projecting. (I hope that makes sense.)
The point is, I need to know what is inside me to effectively determine if I am projecting or if other people are. When you catch your negative thoughts before starting your day, it makes this process a little easier.
The 1 Morning Activity that will help you catch your negative thoughts
Enter: Morning Pages. Did you roll your eyes? Stay with me. I first learned about morning pages in a book titled The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. And they have revolutionized my life.
Morning pages have made me kinder to people around me. I am more tuned in but with healthy boundaries in place. I know when I am the issue and when someone is taking their stuff out on me.
What are morning pages?
Morning pages are a less intimidating way to say stream of consciousness writing. Before you back away, you don’t have to be a writer or have fancy words to engage in this activity.
You write down what is in your head first thing in the morning. Don’t question it, just write even if you write, “I don’t know what to write right now,” fill your morning pages with that phrase if you must. Eventually, the words will come and you will start to see your truest thoughts on the pages.
How to write your morning pages to help catch your negative thoughts
Although there is no set way to write your morning pages, well, except the rule that it must be three A4 size pages daily. I have found a way that helps my morning pages be more effective is to write down one or two questions I want answers to, the evening before.
This practice has helped me catch any negative thoughts surrounding a specific aspect of my life. And when you can name the thing, you can start to change it.
What Morning Pages Will Do For You
Morning pages as I have already mentioned will help you catch your negative thoughts.
They will also help you in the following ways:
- Increase your creativity
- Bring clarity around issues that trouble you
- Help you hone your boundaries
- Improve your ability to articulate your feelings
- Free up mind space because they are essentially a brain dump
- Help you question things you have taken as just being as they are
The Downside of Morning Pages and catching your negative thoughts
Everything under the sun comes with its not so nice things, initially. The downside of morning pages is-
- They are MORNING pages. And for them to be effective, you need to be awake before anyone else in the house is. And if you live alone, your morning pages have to happen before you get on social media or turn on the news.
- It takes a long time to fill three pages. And your hand will cramp the first few times. I’m currently on an hour!
- Another downside, the first time you catch a negative thought that will leave you feeling so absolutely flawed as a human. You will need to honour that, grieve how you are the one holding yourself back and then commit to doing the work to change the thought.
- You can’t unknow what you already know. Once you have seen what goes on in your inner mind, there is no going back. I mean, you can try for a while but what you know will haunt you. Morning Pages force you to stay accountable.
- You will feel like you are doing them wrong, even when there is no wrong or right way.
- You will believe they are pointless and a waste of time, keep showing up for them anyway.
The most important thing to know about Morning Pages
The most important thing to know and guard about your morning pages is that they are for your eyes only.
You can’t share your morning pages with anyone because this will create censorship. If you decide to do your morning pages in a dedicated journal (I recommend a journal) then guard that journal. It is now an extension of you!
No one must read your morning pages. Why? You write some hard things about yourself and sometimes other people. And you don’t need to explain any of your inner thoughts to anyone. Your morning pages are a time and space to see yourself fully and with compassion. Make sure you keep this space sacred.
Are you ready to catch your negative thoughts and change your life?
Are you eager to start this process and catch your negative thoughts and patterns? If yes, you can begin to change your life by downloading this accountability template. This template will help you with your weekly check-in.
DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE
I hope you have found this helpful. If you did, please share the post with someone you believe will benefit from this process. And by sharing, you help me build our community and spread the tools to heal ourselves so we can show up as our favourite selves in the world.
As always, I wish you all the healing you deserve.