There are four ways that your brain is hardwired to process any negative thoughts – Merilee Kern

We continue this article from the December 2022 edition of LMD.

LIMITING BELIEFS Fears or limiting beliefs keep you stuck. To kick off the work, you will need to identify and then reprogramme any existing negative belief patterns, by replacing these with positive and affirming thoughts and actions.

You’ll also be challenged to stop listening to the voices in your head telling you lies about yourself and leading to your misperception of the world. It’s about reprogramming your mind for the better by thinking and behaving in ways that create a more positive, loving way of seeing yourself and the world.

In other words, do you build or beat yourself up? When you detach from negative thoughts, you’ll be able to cultivate more joy, envision better or greater possibilities for your life and be more present. It all starts with making small changes – such as in the way you talk to yourself and what you were taught to believe.

FINDING FAULT ‘Negative Manifestation Compulsion’ (NMC)…. Do you constantly criticise or judge yourself, or others? If you were raised in a household where finding fault was common behaviour, your brain was likely programmed to interpret your negative thoughts as literal truths.

When you begin to question the source of these false ‘truths,’ you start to engage in rituals, behaviour and actions to create a different experience.

Haas says: “The transformation begins when you take positive action to stop living in old, critical belief systems.”

“My method helps you to address the reasons why you might be holding on to negative thoughts. You will learn how to unpack them, which involves choosing to replace the old with new, positive thoughts; reciting affirmations that resonate with your new experience; and showing up differently in your life,” she adds.

SEEING YOURSELF If you are very harsh on yourself and focus on all your missed opportunities, weaknesses and perceived flaws, you’re not alone. Research shows that struggling or arguing with yourself, or trying to drown out or push away negative thoughts about yourself, only amplify the problems and makes them worse.

The dilemma isn’t that we have negative thoughts – rather, it comes when we begin to believe those thoughts and can’t evolve. It’s about building self-love from within.

Haas elaborates: “It’s a multifaceted process that involves finding your feelings; affirming the good about yourself; practising meditation and self-care; showing up present, authentic and honest in your life; and doing more things that bring you joy. There is no quick fix or magic bullet. It is a holistic set of actions.”

FIXING YOURSELF And Haas says that you are the greatest project you’ll ever work on. She adds: “But if you’ve done everything to change the outside – from pursuing a degree, changing jobs and relocating to a new city, fixing your body or changing your wardrobe – and you still haven’t gotten what you want in life… that means it’s time to look inward.”

When we seek external sources to validate our sense of self, we empower that thing or person outside to be the source of our identity and wellbeing.

Haas explains: “When we give all our power to other people to make us feel better about ourselves, we will never feel okay on our own. We begin to crave that hit to fix us or some crumb of love, attention or affection to actually feed us – but it’s simply a temporary fix. It’s never enough or it never feels right… so we go back out on the hunt for the next hit, repeating patterns of behaviour or thinking that don’t serve us.”

The work is about discovering, nurturing and excavating our wellbeing from within. To do that effectively, we must find a connection with an infinite power source so that we’re content – no matter what happens in, to and around us externally.

Haas notes: “My programme guides you in taking the first and next steps in what is really a personal spiritual journey. It is about the quality of the connection to our hearts and the universe, as well as being at peace with oneself, having love for self and operating from a place of love.”

According to her, many self-help gurus suggest there’s one thing you should focus on. “They tell us that positivity or meditation, for example, are the keys to solving our problems when they’re only parts of the solution,” she says.

The most helpful and beneficial practice is one that’s holistic, dynamic and prescriptive. And the objective is to identify and address the root causes or triggers of your negative thinking so that you can fundamentally change the relationship you have with your thoughts, yourself and the world.