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Love/Relationship Columnist Author: Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC - Love/Relationship Columnist - Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Getting Out of a Negative Thought Pattern and Into a Good Groove

By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC - Love/Relationship Columnist -
Jan 27, 2014 - 12:03:00 AM

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Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

( - A brand new year and so many opportunities to make the changes we want to make in our life, love and family. We start out strong thinking we can do this, and then about mid-month we begin hearing those old words in our head that cause us to say, "I can't." In truth, you can accomplish anything you want if you are willing to do the work. A baby's brain at birth contains 100 billion neurons, which are the nerve cells within the brain. Comparably, there are about as many nerve cells in a baby's brain as there are stars in the Milky Way. When you consider the vastness of the Milky Way and all of its unlimited knowledge, how can you not imagine the potential within you and everyone you know? If your thoughts are telling you that you "Can't" or "it's too difficult," it may be worth your while to reprogram what you are saying to yourself. You absolutely can, and to not use what you have available is not only wasteful, it's being lazy.

If you are trying to make changes, no matter what area they are in, the first work you have to do is clear your mind of the "I cant's."  To help you get rid of the old thoughts that keep you stuck in the rut of can't, try these tips.

1.      No matter what your goal or change is, if you pay attention closely, you will notice there are other areas that you sabotage as well. For example, if you eat to find comfort, you may also notice you have a lot of drama in your life that needs emotional comforting. Before you can stop the drama in your life, you will need to understand prior to eating what you are feeling. Ask yourself what the feeling of pain is that you are trying to fill. You may find past feelings of loneliness, abandonment or neglect.

2.      Slow down. Moving too fast with our thoughts and expectations causes us to fall off track. This happens in dating, in teaching our children and in expecting our partner to change after years of marriage. Going slowly gives us the advantage of understanding why we sabotage our plans so we can fix them as they occur. If you are planning on losing weight, removing toxic people from your life or improving your marriage, allow at least six months to see improvements. Slowing down also helps us use more of our brain capacity.

3.      Forgive yourself and others for your past excuses, mistakes and selfishness. Your brain is so much more useful when you live in the now. Most of the negative patterns people continually fall into are due to their inability to live in the now and make the necessary changes at this time and this moment.

Old patterns are difficult to break, and no matter what negative pattern you are trying to extinguish, you will fall off track once in a while. This is to be expected, and rather than going back and shaming yourself try to catch yourself and ask yourself what good this food, relationship, or whatever old pattern you are trying to break free from will do for you. Rather than indulging in the old pattern, try breathing through the moment or distract yourself with exercise, calling a friend, or getting away from the situation you are in. Being proactive at times of weakness helps you accomplish your goal leading to increased confidence that you are breaking free of your old rut. When you change your thoughts, you change your life and the lives of every person who you connect with. -Mary Jo Rapini

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Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo happens every Monday and Thursday morning 9 A.M. CST on Fox 26 Morning News. Catch Mary Jo early on Fox 26 Saturday mornings to get your RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGE for the week ahead.


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