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“Why does this always happen to me?”

“I have the worse luck!”

“My boss hates me.”

“I will never get ahead.”

Have you ever engaged in negative self-talk like that? I used to always get stuck on my “poor me” story. I was such a downer and always looked at the negative and why things were not working out for me. One day I realized I was missing out on enjoying the things that were working out for me. It took a good friend to tell me: ”Get over yourself. It’s not always about you and people really don’t care about disrupting your life like you think.”

We all know the saying, “Where our focus goes, energy flows.” Getting stuck on repetitive negative thoughts (ruminating) will leave you distressed, overwhelmed and exhausted. Repetitive negative thinking impacts our overall health and well-being by causing us to have higher levels of anxiety, low moods and disrupted sleep habits.

But here is the good news: You can simply unhook yourself by shifting your perspective and changing the lens in which you are taking in the information. This takes time and effort to rewire your thinking but, when done consistently, you may feel like you are getting your life back. So how do we unhook ourselves? How do we step out of the repetitive story to see the meta-view?

First, we must embrace where we are and how we are. Recognize what truly is causing you to get hooked. Sort the facts! Write out what truly happened and leave the story and emotion out of it. A lot of the time we get caught up in an emotional story that inflates what really happened. Allow yourself to recognize what is fact, how you feel about those facts and then allow yourself the freedom to step out of the story and view it from a different more objective viewpoint with less of an emotional response.

When we step outside ourselves and remove our knee-jerk reactionary emotions, for example — putting yourself in someone else’s shoes — you allow an element of objectivity you weren’t experiencing before. Being able to look outside yourself and reevaluate situations more objectively will dissipate the fog that clouds your view and you are then able to see from a new perspective, with more clarity and less emotion. This new viewpoint can be an opportunity for you to accept what’s so (the facts) and move forward in healthy ways.

I want you to think of a situation that has had you feeling stuck. Now that you have the situation in your head, think of the wisest, most respectable, loving person you can think of. If that person were looking at this situation, what would they suggest? What would they do? What would they tell you?

You see, in shifting our perspective, we allow our brain to get unstuck from the previous emotional story that kept playing in our head, which allows us to look at what truly is factual and set aside the emotional story. You can change your perspective in seconds by shifting your emotions in milliseconds. It just takes you shifting one thought.

You have the power within your brain to feel and do anything. What are some issues or events in your life that you could look at through the eyes of a fresh perspective? Free yourself! 

Anna Marie Frank is a brain health and wellness expert, author, lecturer and human-potential coach. The views expressed are her own.

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