Mindset Shift Methods To Stop Troubling Thought Loops

tips to shift your mindset


If you are prone to negative thought loops and worry (and who isn’t), get ready for some powerful mindset shift methods in this episode of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast.

Discover how to easily shift your mindset to a more empowering, positive place and create opportunities for everything to work out in your favor. You’ll learn a couple of simple ways to do this with several examples of how this has worked for me and my clients.


Mindset Shift – The Magic Power of Viewpoint

tips to shift your mindset

One of the most powerful types of magic I have ever used has to do with shifting my point of view. When you consciously choose the mindset you want to focus on, almost anything becomes possible.

I’ll begin by sharing what I consider to be a dramatic example from my life of how this works.

I was freelancing as an account executive at a marketing firm. The man I reported to was a complete idiot. An authoritative, irritating, know-it-all who was maddening.

On Friday we had words and clashed. Then for the entire weekend, I proceeded to worry, rehash, and relive the conversation in my mind. What a massive waste of time and energy!

By Monday morning I was incredibly worked up and angry. As I was driving to work I was boiling over with negative emotions.

Then something odd happened. Somehow, I snapped out of it for a minute. It was as if I had woken up from a bad dream and asked myself an extremely powerful question. What would I rather be thinking?

This is an amazing inquiry and I can only say that spirit interceded for me to break me out of the downward spiral of negative thought loops I had created for myself.

I started to consider what would be better to think about. What would be more productive and maybe even…dare I say it…more fun?

My Mindset Shift Came in a Vision

A vision of what I really wanted popped into my head fully formed. I actually had a load of work to get done that day and wasn’t sure how I could accomplish it all. Not that I had a choice – there was a big deadline looming. The work had to get done.

However, if I continued to spend my time rehashing the argument, it would be a tremendous energy drain and waste of time. Time I didn’t have. Never mind how unpleasant and upsetting this viewpoint was.

This is the mindset shift that came to me.

I wanted to get all my work done easily and leave early, and I didn’t want to see my boss at all. I was hoping to avoid him completely.

Next, I thought about how I wanted to feel. My emotions had been on a downward spiral as I ruminated over this situation. The emotional component of the mindset shift needed became crystal clear. I wanted to feel victorious!

Be Like Rocky Balboa

mindset shift tips for victory

That’s when the movie, Rocky, from the 70s, came to mind as the perfect way to embody the feeling of victory. I imagined myself as Rocky Balboa who had been pushing hard to get in shape for a comeback with a boxing title.

He regularly climbed the steps of the Philadelphia Library as part of his workout. The signal that his hard work had paid off was the day he ran up the steps with ease and raised both arms in the classic pose of victory.

He was victorious over the library steps and back in shape! Happy, excited, proud of himself, and victorious – yes that’s how I wanted to feel too!

I leaned into this feeling and felt an incredible mindset shift that was positive, optimistic, as I became completely capable of getting through my day as I envisioned.

I still had 15-minutes of driving left after my revelation. And even though I was so happy with this mindset shift, before I knew it I reverted right back the negative thought loops of worry and fear.

What? How could that happen? I thought I had conquered this.

Thought Loops Have Deep Grooves

My original negative thought loop was a deep groove and so familiar, it was easy to get dragged back into it. Your mind naturally falls back into patterns of worry because it knows that path well. Your brain works to protect you from danger, and this is one way it does it.

The only thing to do was to go through the whole exercise again, stating my intention to complete my projects and avoid my boss all day. And I had to keep doing this for the rest of my trip until I got to my desk. I just kept repeating the entire vision over and over again to keep the natural negative groove at bay.

My Day Was Magical

have a magical day

Here’s the cool part. My day was magical! I’m not sure how it happened but I managed to complete all of my projects. Everything was done and early.

But wait, the most amazing part was that although my boss was in that day, I never saw him!  I could tell he was there because he had stuff on his desk, but he was never in his office when I walked by.

We never crossed paths all day. You can imagine how happy this made me. Let me tell you I literally felt victorious like Rocky Balboa on those library steps!

I was so thrilled with my day and the surprising results of my mindset shift that I was practically jumping up and down. For me this was pure magic and completely unexpected.

By waking up from destructive, frantic and troubling thought loops, I allowed myself to take the time to ponder how I could create a mindset shift about this situation.

The Mindset Shift Method I Used

Since my true preferences came to mind, I spent 15 minutes diligently creating that vision. I brought it to life through repetition and visualization. This is how I used mindset shift to consciously choose what I wanted and change the course of my day.

The process I used incorporates seeing another viewpoint on the outcome and allowing that it be possible. I made room for another option.

I also used a powerful manifesting technique by deeply focusing on the feeling of the outcome I desired. The emotions raised my vibration and energy to the level of my desire. The whole thing was shockingly easy.

Pre-Paving The Day

prepaving your day for success

Another name for this process is “Pre-paving.” You have a situation you want to create and the way you want an event to happen. Then you imagine all the steps that get you there.

This sort of thing is perfect for when you travel or even a simple shopping trip. For example, see yourself getting in the car, going through all green lights, and arriving at your destination quickly.

You find the perfect parking space and enter the store. Once inside, you find the items you need, browse a bit, then off to check out. There is no line, so you’re done quickly.

You head back to your car, start the engine, and drive home sailing through all green lights without traffic. You see yourself pulling into your driveway, garage, or parking space and entering your home again with your purchases.

This is the perfect shopping trip. This is another way of looking at the process I used to create the exact day I wanted.

Another Example of Mindset Shift

Sometimes my knees hurt. There’s nothing actually wrong with them, but from time to time one or the other have a little mysterious discomfort.

When this flairs up I dread going for my walk. Yesterday was a day like this. But then it occurred to me, why am I worrying and fearing that my knees will hurt during my walk?

Instead, what if I expected everything to work out perfectly? Imagine feeling good the whole way and enjoying my walk. This thought created a mindset shift and I went for my walk. What happened you ask?

I had turned on an engaging podcast while I walked and completely forgot all about knee pain! When I returned home and went through the door, I realized, “Hey, my knees were totally fine!”

Why Does the Mind Prefer Fear?

why does the mind prefer fear

Here’s the big question – Why does the mind naturally go to the problems and the fears?

Apparently this is totally natural and exactly how the mind functions when left to it’s own devices. It leans to fear and problems because that is most familiar. Your mind and ego keep you safe, which is why it constantly scans for problems and how to avoid them.

Turns out it’s up to a higher part of you to overcome this tendency and consciously choose the mindset shift. Even though I’ve had a lot of success with this, I still have to make an effort and guide myself back to the positive opportunities.

When I remember and do this, it works to eliminate troubling thought loops. The more I do this, the more often I will be likely to look for the mindset shift.

Dopamine and Cortisol

I found an article in Inc. Magazine which explains the science behind this. It all goes back to our brain chemicals. Dopamine produces good feelings and thoughts, and is triggered by positive experiences.

On the flip side, your brain really enjoys cortisol which is the stress hormone. As a result, there is often a tug of war between these two chemicals and which one stands out.

Your brain works to keep you safe and when something goes wrong, it releases cortisol. If you are in true danger – this is actually super helpful. However, stressful situations are not always about danger.

When a stressful situation comes up at work or home, the default reaction is to assume the worst producing anxiety. That’s why its so easy to develop negative thought loops because, as it turns out the brain actually prefers that!

Damn! This is called the negativity bias.

Cortisol’s job is to help you fight back, but the problem is every situation doesn’t require a fight. Yet, the flight or flight response gets triggered calling up negative thinking.

The 4 Question Method

break thought loops with the four question method

The four question method offers a lot of help to see another way or viewpoint and make that mindset shift. This is a classic coaching process.

Question #1 – Is what I am thinking 100% true?

Most often the answer will be no, because unless you are talking about history that has already happened, there is always a possibility for another outcome.

Question #2 – Is this way of thinking helpful?

No way is that true if you are worrying about something. Worry is never helpful.

Question #3 – What does this way of thinking keep me locked into?

This is looking for the limitations in your current way of thinking. Is it keeping you locked into feeling failure, fear or unworthy? If you are having negative emotions – look for the limiting belief behind this.

Question #4 – What would I rather be thinking?

When I was going to work that morning, this is the empowering question that came to mind and changed everything for me. Go for what you want! Think about what would work or at least a better way to view the situation.

Skip to the Fourth Question

Interesting thing about the fourth question. Sometimes you come up with a new or creative solution dealing directly with the issue. Yet, where it seems you may have no control, you can simply choose any happy thought as your focus.

It might not solve your problem, but I have found over the years that distraction can be just as good as a solution. Having something joyful or fun to think about creates the mindset shift quickly.

Remembering a great vacation or a romantic moment or the satisfaction of a big accomplishment nourishes your inner self and spirit like nothing else can. Spending time in this type of expansive, happy energy absolutely uplifts your vibration. This is always a powerful option vs. ruminating on something that makes you miserable!

Contract with the Universe

create a contract with the universe

Here’s one more of my favorite life-changing, mindset shift examples. My client, Caroline, was divorced, but her ex-husband was constantly dragging her to court and hounding her by phone. He was demanding, unreasonable, and made her life miserable.

I suggested she write a contact with the Universe. She was an attorney, so that appealed to her. I encouraged her to keep it simple and brief. Caroline wrote a contract that said she wanted her ex-husband to let her be free of his constant presence and have him out of her life.

This was a tall order because they had a child together. Still, she asked the Universe to take care of it, signed and dated the contract, filing it away in a drawer. Then she let it go and did her best to handle situations as they came.

Six months later, Caroline called saying the most amazing thing had happened! Out of the blue, her husband moved to California (she lived on the east coast). For whatever reason, he stopped constantly bothering her and didn’t see his child much which also eliminated a lot of friction.

For Caroline and her daughter this was nothing short of a miracle, which occurred when she created the space for this shift to happen. She opened to the possibility that this dire situation could end, even if she had no idea how. Drawing up the contract helped her stop the downward thought loops and enjoy a mindset shift.

Which Method Will You Choose?

This is such a simple thing to do. I hope that you will use mindset shift and create new opportunities and maybe a few miracles in your life. Even if you have to repeat the positive shift over and over again – its completely worth it once you see the positive results that are possible.

If you liked this episode, please share it today with a friend who might find this helpful. I appreciate that so much. Thanks for listening.

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony, MSN.com, MORE.com, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.