Think of your thoughts like habits…
Like habits, thoughts (especially long standing ones) form over time, due to experiences, and evolve based on with whom and what you interact. If you have learned a habit and your experiences and interactions with others reinforce this habit (i.e. negative thoughts), it makes sense that it takes intentional and deliberate efforts to cultivate an awareness, intervene, and make a change!
Think of every New Year’s resolution you have ever set; what are the steps you have to take to make this change possible? If it is to go to the gym and eat healthier, implementing change in the right direction consists of assessing your current behaviors, making a plan, and committing to sticking to that plan in hopes that this plan eventually becomes second nature. There’s hopefully an understanding, too, that this change takes time and there will be a learning curve in developing these new habits!
The following outlines “attention, focus, and purposeful repetition” as the key components of committing to training your brain to breaking negative thought patterns and implementing the good habits (i.e. productive, positive, and healthy thought patterns) that you are capable of forming!
The human brain is capable of many things. It is capable of positive, physical change, and rewiring in response to stimuli. It is capable of reprogramming problematic habits like smoking, extreme dieting, or negative thoughts, into new, more effective habits. It requires identifying the problem, unlearning the unhelpful behavior, and learning new behaviors.