Breaking out of Negative Thoughts and Rumination

Do you ever feel like your mind is racing or your thoughts are stuck in a loop? You might be experiencing what’s called negative thinking or rumination. People who engage in this tend to overthink things, strive for perfection, look at the downside of events and miss the good stuff that happened to them.

Coping with negative thoughts and rumination can be a challenge. But it’s not impossible to overcome, and it’s not something you have to live with forever.

The good news is that you can learn ways to cope with negative thinking and rumination without using medications. Here are some things that might help:

1) Practice mindfulness meditation. This involves focusing on the present moment without judgment, especially when you have negative or repetitive thoughts. You can try this by focusing on your breath, listening to music or nature sounds (like rain or waves), or simply sitting quietly in silence and noticing what’s happening around you (or inside yourself).

2) If you are spiritual, pray! Prayer is a powerful weapon against depression and anxiety. It can be hard to pray when you are overwhelmed by negative thoughts, but if you commit yourself to prayer as a daily routine, it will help keep your mind focused on what matters most.

3) Get some exercise. Exercise releases endorphins into the brain, making us feel better about ourselves and more optimistic about our lives. So if you’ve been feeling down lately, try getting out for a run instead of staying cooped up inside all day!

4) Eat healthy foods! Eating well helps regulate hormones in our bodies that are responsible for mood swings (like serotonin). So if you’re feeling down, try eating something like strawberries or almonds—they contain nutrients that promote happiness and contentment. Ever heard the expression: “Your mental health is at the end of your fork”? It’s true.

5) Try writing down your feelings instead of keeping them bottled up inside where no one else can see them except for yourself (and even then, only if you want to share them with others. Grammer and punctuation aren’t necessary. The point is to let that negative go.

6) Identify the areas where you were hurt or traumatized. Destructive thought patterns can result from betrayal, abandonment, unfair actions, and traumatic events. We can internalize external actions and believe we are the problem or too broken, leaving us in a vicious loop of negative thoughts and feelings.

7) Work with a professional therapist specializing in trauma-informed practices and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Together, you can get to the unhealthy core beliefs causing so much pain and suffering and find alternative perspectives on your life.

Negative thinking and rumination are exhausting. It ruins your sleep, and it interferes with your day. If you want help finding a way out of this destructive pattern, contact Ron Huxley and set up an appointment to start feeling good immediately! Click here now…

6 Steps Adoptive Parents Need to Learn

When you adopt a child, it’s not uncommon to find yourself parenting a child who has been traumatized. The emotional regulation skills that all children learn in their early years were probably not developed as well as they could have been in the child’s pre-adoption life, and now you’re facing the task of helping your child learn how to manage their emotions.

It’s not always easy, but some strategies can help make this process easier. Here are some tips for dealing with emotionally dysregulated children who were adopted:

1.) Learn about trauma and its effects on developing minds and bodies.

2.) Learn about emotional regulation and how it develops in children.

3.) Identify what emotional regulation looks like for your child—what do they do when they get upset? How do they express anger? Frustration? Sadness? Joy? What helps them calm down when they get upset? What makes them get upset or escalate into inappropriate behaviors? And most importantly: what doesn’t work when they feel overwhelmed by intense emotions?

4.) Since every child is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Learn brain-based parenting skills and methods.

5) Identity the attachment styles for each family member and discover techniques that create greater security.

6) Take care of yourself. Self-care is not a luxury. It is necessary to be more patient and resilient with your dysregulated child.

Take a free course on Trauma-Informed Care in the home, school, and community at TraumaToolbox.com.

If you need specialized help, contact Ron Huxley today by clicking here and scheduling an appointment.

Restart Your Life (Free Course)

Learn how to reboot and restart your life with a new course from Ron Huxley, LMFT, and FamilyHealer.tv. Here’s what you will learn:

6 ways to deal with upheaval at work

Worry only 30 minutes a day

Be more supportive of your friends

Don’t let disagreements ruin your relationships

Defeat perfectionism!

How avoidance actually creates more stress

5 ways to get out of your own way

Create a plan for your family life

>> Click here now to take this course for free <<

The Self-Care, Self Assessment

Self-care is no longer a luxury for our busy, stressful lives. It is a necessity! Use this self-care self-assessment on how well you are taking care of yourself. The examples here can be used as ideas, but you are not limited to this list…work to be consistent with your self-care plan and/or add new ideas to keep things fresh.

Taking care of yourself better is not only important to you but also to everyone around you. When you aren’t practicing self-care daily, you are probably not as healthy as you could be. This means you aren’t at your best, and you aren’t able to help others much.

To help you optimize and/or increase your self-care, fill in each section of this self-care assessment sheet to give you an idea of what you need to work on to feel better yourself, and to be there for others. 

For each of the following, rate how well you rate each item. Use the number system with 1 being poor and 5 being the best. Write your score in the line by the item. Then total up the numbers in each section and put it on the total score line by the section title.

Physical Self-Care – Total Score ________

___ I exercise 3-5 times a week.

___ I eat 3 healthy meals daily.

___ I eat healthy snacks.

___ I follow a healthy sleep routine.

___ I avoid eating at fast food restaurants.

___ I visit my family doctor regularly.

___ I visit my dentist regularly.

___ I drink water for better hydration.

___ I incorporate weights in my exercises.

___ I take medications as prescribed.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Mental Self-Care – Total Score ________

___ I write in a journal regularly.

___ I keep up with current news & events.

___ I play cognitive games that challenge me.

___ I engage in at least one hobby a week.

___ I listen to relaxing music.

___ I call or write to keep in touch with people I care for.

___ I volunteer regularly.

___ I visit places that I enjoy at least twice a week.

___ I learn to do something new each week.

___ I practice self-compassion and acceptance.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Emotional Self-Care – Total Score ________

___ I journal about things that bother/worry me.

___ I talk about troubling thoughts with a trusted friend.

___ I make it a point to be kind to others.

___ I don’t take hurtful things to heart.

___ I listen to upbeat or sad music as needed.

___ I watch inspiring or funny movies/shows to cheer up.

___ I don’t allow my anger or frustration to affect others.

___ I read the news or books to keep my thoughts in perspective.

___ I tell people what I really think, in appropriate ways.

___ I effectively limit the time I spend with toxic people.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Social Self-Care – Total Score ________

___ I schedule one-on-one time each person in my immediate family. 

___ I participate in community events regularly.

___ I am part of several community groups.

___ I encourage my family and friends to try new things.

___ I check on my friends/family regularly.

___ I tell my friends and family why I appreciate them.

___ I effectively balance the time I need for myself and with others.

___ I ask for help when needed.

___ I offer help when I see another’s unfulfilled need.

___ I make new people feel welcome and valued.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Business Self-Care

___ I arrive/begin work on time.

___ I work with a peer-support group.

___ I work with others a team-player.

___ I compliment others on their work.

___ I follow the rules/instructions set for my job.

___ I read industry-related information regularly.

___ I regularly build and enhance my job skills. 

___ I keep my desk/office clean and organized.

___ I take time off only when needed.

___ I take 15-minute breaks as needed.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Have a Power-FULL Morning!

Did you wake up in a mood today? We often wake up thinking about the problems we have to face today. We rehearse the past memories and circumstances that create a hyper state of arousal, using the natural cortisol levels of the morning to increase anxiety, fear, irritability, and anger.

Before your feet hit the floor, use gratitudes to change how you think and feel. Use the natural energy of cortisol to direct your thoughts and behaviors in the morning. Engage in meditation and focus for the day and be more productive and creative with using that cortisol. Make today better than yesterday. Make your inspiration greater than your suffering!

Use your cortisol to have a power-full morning!

Let Ron Huxley help you find more power in your life by scheduling a session today or using the power-full tools at FamilyHealer.tv

5 Beliefs That Keep You from Attacking Your Goals

Everyone has dreams, but not everyone makes their dreams into goals. You may have a few of these too. What are the reasons you tell yourself late at night to put the shutdown on making them a reality? These reasons are beliefs that you have, but that doesn’t mean they are valid reasons.

  1. Not Enough Time

Everyone is busy these days. When someone asks how you are doing, you probably respond with “Busy.” But that might not be the truth. Everyone has the same twenty-four hours in the day. For a week or maybe two, keep a time ladder of how you spent your time. This includes sleeping, preparing and eating meals, social media, getting ready for work, cleaning your house. Take a good look at how your time is spent, and you might realize you have more time than you realize.

  1. I Don’t Have ‘X’ Talent

It doesn’t matter if you want to write a book or paint a picture, you have as much talent as you are willing to work for. You may not have been born with the natural ability to paint, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn and practice. 

  1. After ‘X’ I Will Do It

“Once I get through this (insert tough project at work), I will start training for that marathon.” “After I lose twenty pounds, I will take a salsa dancing class.” Why are you waiting? Maybe that marathon training will help you work through the stress of that project at work. Perhaps salsa dancing lessons will allow you realize that no matter your weight, your body is worthy of fun and sexy movement. If you have a goal, go for it now.

  1. I’m Not Good Enough

What ruler are you using to measure your “good enough”? You are always good enough to go after your own dreams and goals. If this is an internal dialogue, then you need to work on liking and loving yourself first. If this belief is coming from external sources, then consider those sources and if they are holding you back.

  1. ‘X’ Person Has it Easier

The grass is greener where you water it. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. There are many sayings that sum up that you really don’t know what someone else is going through. So do not assume that someone has it easier, and therefore can achieve their goals while you cannot. That person may think you have it easier or better.

Self-limiting beliefs can be a slippery slope. They can also keep you from even trying to reach your goals. Take time to examine your reasoning and come up with better beliefs to counter the negative ones.

Let Ron Huxley help you today. Schedule a session or take a free course at FamilyHealer.tv

6 Tips To Make Fear Your Friend

What makes you afraid? Is it losing someone you love? Or is it having to see your dentist? Maybe you fear thunderstorms or heights or elevators.

Whatever it is, fear is normal. It’s how our body warns us of dangerous situations and that we should be careful.

Yet, sometimes, our fears can become so great that they hold us back from living up to our full potential. They fill us with dread and uncertainty that we soon become constantly stressed and anxious over the smallest things.

Although surprisingly, fear, in its positive form, can actually be good for us. It can inspire innovative ideas and motivate us to reach new heights.

So, we’re here today to help you make fear your friend. Follow the six tips below, and you’ll know how to turn what was once your foe into an ally.

Let’s get started.

  1. Identify the Source

This is probably the hardest step, but it’s absolutely worth it. But first, you need to come to terms with the source of your fear in order to overcome it.

Being aware of the root cause will be difficult in the beginning, but it’ll make you stronger. You’ll no longer live in the shadow of that big, insurmountable fear.

  1. Embrace It

You’ve come face-to-face with your fear. Now, it’s time to embrace it.

But before you do that, you have to actually admit that such-and-such scares you. There are several ways to do this. First, you can either say it aloud, preferably to someone else in a natural setting.

You can also write it down in a journal or diary. The point is to get it out of your head and into real life. That’s when your fear loses its control over you.

It also feels better to get it off your chest and share it with the world. You’ll be surprised to know just how many people are just as afraid as you are.

  1. Think Rationally

Fear makes us panic, and panic makes us do stupid things. In fact, studies show that when we panic, our prefrontal cortex shuts down. This is the region of our brain responsible for rational thinking.

So, case in point, learn how to think rationally despite your worries and panic. Make fear your friend, and you’ll be able to go a lot farther in life.

  1. Take Stock

People deal with fear, stress, and anxiety in different ways. Some people like to be challenged and are great under pressure. Others find it better to work at their own pace without any tight deadlines looming overhead.

Whichever way you prefer, the important thing is not to let fear get the better of you. For example, say you’re afraid to speak in public. But then a colleague suddenly got sick and asked you to take over the presentation you’ve been preparing for weeks.

In this scenario, you have to pick whether you’ll let your fear overpower you or whether you’ll rise to the challenge.

The latter won’t be easy, but it’ll definitely be worth it in the long run. Be objective and tell yourself that others have held presentations before and have lived to tell about it. So, what’s the big deal?

Remember, your mind tends to blow things out of proportion. So, find a way to deal with the stress and take stock. It’s the only way you’ll be able to harness your fear and get the job done.

  1. Find Support

No one ever failed by having a strong support system. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to do better. These are the people who listen to you when you’re venting about your fears and anxiety, and they still choose to love you unconditionally.

A lot of research has been carried out on the benefits of having a support system. It empowers you with good coping skills while boosting your self-esteem and overall well-being.

Moreover, a sound support system can lower stress, anxiety, and depression rates. 

  1. Be Positive

Whenever you’re afraid, you’ll tend to focus on negative thoughts and emotions. But then, they fester in your mind and transform into this big, ugly thing that you can no longer control.

Why not try some positivity for a change? Remember, the mind is quite powerful; it just needs a small push in the right direction.

By thinking positively, you can overcome your fears and actually live to tell the tale! All you have to do is believe it, and everything else will fall into place.

Start Each Day with Positive Intentions

If you struggle in the mornings, there is one thing you can add to your daily routine that will help, and that’s positive intention. Helping to set the tone for your day, starting with positive intentions can deliver a lot of great benefits.

Below, we’ll look at the benefits positive intentions provide. You will also learn exactly how to create and use positive intentions to your advantage.

What Positive Intentions Are

A positive intention is much like a map. It tells your mind where you want to go in life and what you want to achieve. When you are adding a positive intention into your day, you are basically telling your mind what it is you want to accomplish in the next 24 hours. 

We all set intentions at the start of our day, whether we realize it or not. Even bad habits can stem from positive intentions. For example, your intention may subconsciously be to feel good, so you indulge in your favorite junk foods. By taking control consciously of your positive intentions, it can deliver a lot of great benefits.

Benefits Positive Intentions Provide

Positive intentions provide a lot of awesome benefits. Some of the biggest advantages include:

  • They help you to get out of your head
  • They improve your focus
  • They can help you to develop a more positive mindset
  • You will be more likely to achieve your goals

Positive intentions give the mind a clear focus. They help you to become more present in the moment and focus on what it is you need to do today to achieve your goals. Helping you to get out of your head and provide a clear path to where you want to be, you will notice you are much more productive, less stressed, and happier overall.

The thing is the mind is going to set its own intentions for the day if you don’t intervene. Unfortunately, the mind finds it easier to focus on the negative. With positive intentions, it can help you to train the mind to be more positive.

How to Start With Daily Positive Intentions

Now you know some of the benefits of starting each day with a positive intention, what types of intentions can you set? Knowing where to start can be tough, but it’s much easier than you might think. Some examples of positive intentions include:

  • “Today my intention is to accept love and joy into my life”
  • “Today, I will remain silent for 15 minutes and listen to my inner guide”
  • “Today, I will remain focused on my to-do list and not give in to distractions”

These are just some basic examples you can follow. Think of what it is you want to achieve or feel by the end of the day. Then, set that as your intention and remember to keep it positive.

When you start each day with a positive intention, it can add real meaning into your life. You may just be surprised by how beneficial this simple act can make you more successful. 

To create a powerful day, create a daily routine. Follow your routine to structure your life more efficiently and receive many powerful benefits.

1. Develop good habits.

One of the best reasons to create a daily routine is that it can help you to combat bad habits. By replacing bad habits with good ones, you can gradually improve all aspects of your life. It can be tough to overcome bad habits, but a routine can help massively.

2. Boost your efficiency.

Do you ever wish you could get more done and make the most of your time? With a daily routine you can. Adding structure into your life, a good daily routine will make you much more efficient. You won’t waste as much time as you once did, helping you to achieve much more during your day.

3. Improve your health. 

One of the most powerful reasons to create a daily routine is that it can help you improve your health. Whether you need to improve your physical or your mental health, a good routine can prove invaluable. By using it to introduce healthier habits, you’ll start to notice fast changes in your mood and general wellbeing.

4. Sleep better.

Did you know when you have a routine you sleep better? If you go to bed at the same time each night, and awake at the same time each morning, you’ll feel much more refreshed. You can also implement things into your routine that help you sleep better, such as switching off technology an hour before bed. When you sleep better, you feel better and it improves every aspect of your life.

5. Incorporate more structure.

To achieve your goals, you need willpower and motivation. A daily routine can incorporate both. Exercise is a good example of this. When you add it into your daily routine, it quickly starts to become an automatic habit. You won’t need to force yourself through willpower or motivate yourself with a reward, once it becomes a habit.

6. Reduce and relieve stress. 

A daily routine can help reduce and relieve stress. As you know what your day mostly consists of, and you use it to introduce healthier habits, your stress levels will naturally decrease. You can also schedule in time for relaxation each day to help.

So, there you have it, 6 reasons you should create daily routines. While developing an effective routine can take time, once you have it in place you won’t regret taking the time to create it. To become successful, happy, and healthy, we all need structure and routine in our lives.

Why Self-Improvement Should Be a Priority

As children, many people were taught that focusing on yourself was seen as being selfish and they believed it. It’s understandable that they believed it because ‘self’ is part of the word selfish. The latter word means, “…lacking consideration for others.” The good news is that self-improvement is not selfish. On the contrary, self-improvement is good for you and society

Self-discovery, development, and improvement need to be a rite of passage for all adults simply because it’s so helpful and, simply put, develops valuable people. Plus, the benefits of continuous lifelong self-improvement are all the reasons you need to prioritize self-improvement. 

Clarify Your Vision 

As you plan your personal development, it helps to envision what you want your future to look like. Some people find it helpful to write their obituary and mention each area of their life, as they want it to be. They need to think of it as if they got everything they ever wanted, and all their dreams came true. 

Part of documenting your plan requires explaining the missing elements to arrive at the goal. For example, if your vision includes being happy and in good health; however, you eat burgers every day and you never exercise. You need to be realistic to be effective. 

Enhance Your Strengths

An effective self-development plan focuses on strengths over weaknesses. It’s not that you will ignore your weaknesses. You won’t. You can outsource, delegate, automate, and learn anything you want to learn. However, it’s far more efficient to focus on what you’re naturally good at and like to do. 

Your personal development plan requires you to perform a SWOT analysis for each area of your life to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that may exist. Therefore, if you focus on your strengths, you’ll be far more successful because it feels so good. 

Find Your Purpose 

As you set goals and determine why you desire that goal, the process will lead you to discover your purpose. It may not be your life purpose because that may change as you learn and grow. However, it can supply you with a reason to keep looking for your life purpose. The continued search gives you the energy to keep going. Of course, your reasons may differ at each stage of life and area of your life. The principal factor is that the planning will explain why as you take each step toward the goal. 

Improve Your Mental Health

It feels good to understand yourself. For example, knowing why you are afraid of loud sounds can help you deal with the feelings when you hear loud sounds. Being self-aware enough to note problems with your mental health will also make it more likely that you stay healthy because you will be more likely to seek professional help if you need it. If there is one thing personal development does well is to keep you self-aware. 

Create Strong Relationships 

Learning what your thoughts and feelings mean to you and how your actions affect others goes a long way toward building super-strong relationships. Whether friends or family managing your emotions and moderating your behavior turns you into someone viewed as safe and stable. In addition, being someone trustworthy helps others bond with you more. 

Make Every Moment Count 

Finally, just knowing for sure what you want and how you’ll get it makes all the difference when you get it. It’s so much easier to schedule your life in a balanced way when you’re honest about what it takes to do the things you’ve scheduled yourself to do. 

Claiming these benefits is as easy as starting on your self-improvement journey today by setting your intention by beginning creating your self-development plan. The sooner you begin your journey of self-discovery, the sooner you can start taking massive action on realizing all your dreams. 

Had any assumptions shattered lately?

The last two years have been one of daily uncertainty and fear, but a crisis is also a great revealer of the myths and idols we hold. It “knocks us off our thrones” and breaks our “assumptive worlds.” Our assumptions are the beliefs we hold about who we are and the world we live in…at times, like these, they don’t hold up. In fact, they can shatter into thousands of meaningless thoughts.

In social psychology, shattered assumptions theory proposes that traumatic events can change how victims and survivors view themselves and the world. We all have three inherent assumptions including “overall benevolence, the meaningfulness of the world, and self-worth.” They are the bedrock of our conceptual system, and as such, they are the ones we are least aware of and least likely to challenge. We become confident in our beliefs and use them to plan and act in daily living. If nothing challenges them they allow our lives to move along smoothly.

Sadly, traumatic life events shatter core assumptions, and coping with them requires a new effort to construct more realistic and viable assumptions. We have to rebuild our belief systems to fit the new world we live in.

Core Beliefs:

The world is benevolent

The world is meaningful

The self is worthy

This can be painful for people of faith who end up questioning their faith. When our assumptive worlds shatter, it causes believers to questions the goodness of God. They might “assume” that God is silent or uncaring. The promises they believed must be wrong since things didn’t work out the way they “believed.” Trying to reconcile a good God to their adverse life situations may turn some to question themselves, wondering if they ever heard God speak into their lives or if some sin or trauma from the past has made them unworthy of mercy.

I mean, if God never changes, then the problem must be ourselves, right? Christians believe that when they become followers they are “new creations.” New creations have to have renewed minds to find new beliefs about God’s goodness and nature in their lives. Renewal is exactly what we need when our assumptions become shattered. Neurologists called this neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to restructure itself through training and practice, thereby creating new neuropathways in the human nervous system. Neuroplasticity, renewed minds, and rebuilt belief systems are about personal growth that is sometimes only possible after trauma.

The reason that believers feel peace after giving their lives to follow the Christian faith is that new neuropathways are being created. Transformation or growth is occurring. From a more secular viewpoint, life has a way of creating maturity in our thinking. The trick is how to not become bitter and negative afterwords.

There is a favorite verse of mine that goes: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  –Philippians 4:6-7 (NRSV)” Prayer and meditation increase brain neuroplasticity and makes renewal possible. Allowing our minds to let go of distractions and slow down helps us focus on what we control and let go of what we cannot. In Alcoholics Anonymous, this is the path to serenity.

After a shattering event, people are able to discover strength they didn’t know that had in them. They also find new purposes and seek out deeper connections than before. Faith also grows in people after difficulty. They start to see deeper meaning and value in their life. This is called Post-Traumatic Growth in contrast to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Would you like assistance recovering from a shattering event or trauma? Need new tools for your organization or group? Contact Ron Huxley today!