PLEASE! Tell me you've been happily enjoying time with family and friends, without a care in the world, and SUDDENLY a great cloud of GNATS circled your head, dodged into your mouth and ears, and made you slap the air like a crazy person! Just like that swarm of gnats, negative talk can cause you a lot of trouble.
What are G.N.A.T.S.TM?
G.N.A.T.S. is my proprietary title for Generational Negative And Toxic Sayings tm.
Those are the thoughts and phrases we've carried around with us from our mama and daddy, and great Aunt Susie. Likewise, they are also the beliefs we've picked up from the friends and colleagues we spend the most time with. Without a doubt, you'll know them when you hear them.
Recognize any of these G.N.A.T.S.?
Over time, the point of view and opinions of others can turn into facts in our own mind. And before we know it, these negative sayings and toxic thoughts influence every decision we make.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Oscar Wilde
How to Get Rid of G.N.A.T.S.
It's not surprising to appreciate that words and phrases circle our brain all the time. Without even realizing it, we've already rejected many ideas our subconscious mind didn't agree with. Some of those are perfectly good, absolutely reasonable points of view, but our bias toward the GNATS shoved those other thoughts out of the running.
The first thing to remember about getting rid of G.N.A.T.S. is that we have to inspect the beliefs we currently accept as truth, and decide if they serve us and life we want to create. Once we identify the G.N.A.T.S., just like those pesky bugs that swarm around our head and ears, it's important to create an environment where they can't live.
So, let's look at some ways people get ride of regular ol' gnats and discover how we can use those same (sort of) techniques to get rid of our negative and toxic thought patterns.
Bob Vila's Advice About Gnats
Bob Vila is the superhero of This Old House. Here's his advice:
- Lure and kill gnats with a mixture of apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and dish soap. (Alternatively, achieve the same result simply by combining red wine and dish soap.)
- Pour diluted bleach down the sink or tub drain, if you find gnats hovering near plumbing fixtures.
- Mash rotten bananas into a bowl, stretch plastic wrap over the top, and poke holes in the plastic.
- Kill individual gnats by employing a spray bottle filled with water, vinegar, and dish soap.
Let's turn those ideas into a game plan for Negative and Toxic Thoughts and Sayings
Keep a journal of thoughts.
Write the sayings you've carried with you since childhood. Perhaps you can talk to your family and friends about the sayings they remember from growing up. In the meantime, what are some sayings or habits you've carried with you from school, sports, hobbies, or work affiliations?
You might use a journal to keep track of the words and how they influence you. Coincidentally, (wink-wink) I've created a Bible-based journal and workbook titled The Well-Managed Mind that helps you do just that. You can purchase it on Amazon.
Get rid of G.N.A.T.S. by creating a new environment.
BLEACH the negative and toxic thoughts by turning those sayings around into a positive statement.
For example, if you recognize your family has had a money mindset that keeps you from pursuing financial increase, instead of saying, "all rich people are selfish", try saying, "rich people are like everyone else, some are selfish and some are generous. I am generous."
Perhaps some people in your family or environment are unhealthy. So, instead of saying something like, "everyone in our family eventually gets heart disease" (or any other malady), turn the words into a positive affirmation like, "even though some people in our family have suffered from heart disease, I'm going to have a healthier lifestyle." See?
Keep your awareness up by creating a mind-trap for the pesky creatures.
With these things in mind, when you recognize a new toxic thought, write it down and see how you can turn it into a positive affirmation.
Understand you've thought this way for a long time, and the negative thoughts won't disappear immediately.
Finally, keep at it. Be relentless in getting rid of each individual thought as it shows up.
As a result of my own battles and victories (and the results of my clients), I created an entire video about a Well-Managed Mind. You can watch it here. You'll gain a lot of tips and help for the journey.