If you’re a normal person, you may occasionally catch yourself building a mental snowball. When a mental snowball starts to build up, it can feel impossible to get out of, or to muster up any sort of motivation to do anything positive.
This strategy for getting rid of the “mental snowball” is something I learned a long time ago from one of the great leaders of a company I used to work for, who passed away from an aggressive form of cancer. To this day I still use this to help to focus my mindset on moving forward in the right direction!
In the book Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff Workbook by Dr. Richard Carlson, he has a really great explanation of how a mental snowball works:
“Have you ever noticed how uptight you feel when you’re caught up in your thinking? One thought leads to another, and yet another, until at some point you become incredibly agitated. The solution is to notice what’s happening in your head before your thoughts have a chance to build any momentum. The sooner you catch yourself in the act of building your mental snowball, the easier it is to stop.”
Does this sound familiar? I’m a true believer that we can take control of our thoughts If we really want to. If you find negativity creeping in and sending you into a downward spiral, try some of these strategies*:
1) Be a list maker by jotting down your thoughts. This gets the thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. Seeing what you’re writing gives you a great platform for analyzing your thoughts. It’s like stepping out of yourself to see what you’re saying. <– sometimes this helps you to realize that you’re actually overthinking! In this day and age of technology, try going “old school” and actually grabbing a pen and a piece of paper. For some reason, it just feels different when you step away from a screen.
2) Write out a “To Do” list for tomorrow. Once you’ve jotted down your thoughts, you can formulate them into a “to do” list, which helps you act on those thoughts. Like writing down your thoughts, listing out exactly what you’re going to do the following day allows your subconscious to work on those tasks while you sleep. It gives you freedom, because it’s out of your mind and in a plan.
3) When a negative thought creeps in or you feel overwhelmed, use a mental stop sign to shut It off. Allow the thought to float away and replace it with a positive thought! For example, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, think of how grateful you are that you made a list.
Most people overanalyze what they’re doing by thinking too much. Do you believe that you have the power to control this?! I certainly believe you do! Give it a shot. What’s the worst thing that could happen?!
*Expert from the book A Double Dose of your Weekly Wake Up Call by Marty Domitrovich
Thank you for taking the time to read this!- Mandy Webb, Co-Owner of KW Fitness