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  • Dealing with your own negative thoughts
  • Cyril Derreumaux

Dealing with your own negative thoughts

Dealing with your own negative thoughts
In the 91 days, there were always new reasons to want to complain, to be negative, to despair, to fear, to think it wasn’t fair, to think it was too much, too far, too wet, too cold, too slow, too windy…

Most times I could deal with them efficiently. Other times, Although I knew I couldn’t procrastinate and focus on these thoughts, it was hard to “snap” out of them.

You mind can be so powerful, in both positive and negative ways, helpful and detrimental ways.

Dave my land support was always in tune with my thoughts, he could “feel” them even when I didn’t say them, and helped me tremendously going through them.

Our mind is the one creating these perceptions, so the mind is the one we have to work on to deal with them.

In general, “reframing” was my best tool to cope with all of that. Try to see the reality and facts through another angle, another filter, another “reality” if you wish. I got better at it each time. Past experiences help for sure, it’s a skill developed over time.

Easier said than done.
Each time, you have to prove yourself you are in control of your own thoughts.
It’s like asking a kid having a temper tantrum to smile again. Or asking him/her to kiss the other kid they were fighting with. Or us adults to make peace with our other half when we have an argument….

Here are a few positive thoughts I was using:
- focus on the now, take it all in
- this too will pass
- you’re doing great, just keep at it
- every mile forward is one less mile to paddle
- tomorrow will be better
- this is so funny!
- turn on the “problem solving” mode
- I’ve done it before, I’ve got this one too
- I can solve this, can’t be that hard to figure it out
- Sometimes just saying: “don’t think about it, you’ll deal with this tomorrow” was the best

The most interesting thing I’ve learned, I think, was that sometimes you MUSN’T listen to your own thoughts. They are pollution and can paralyze you. They are going round and round in your head and won’t leave you at peace.

If the negative thoughts are coming back over and over, and you seem not to be able to deal with them, they are of NO use anymore. For instance: fear is a survival emotion, warning you of danger. It should trigger an appropriate response saving you from the situation. If instead it paralyzes you, you NEED to be aware of it and react swiftly. Again, easier said than done.

Here is the process:
1- be self aware of your own thoughts
2- acknowledge them for what they are (discarding them doesn’t help)
3- reframe and re-filter
4- if needed, ask for a third party’s opinion and consider it deeply
5- decide, adapt and execute
6- move on.

Aloha to all!
  • Cyril Derreumaux

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