Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S p r i n g 2 0 1 9 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 45 ISTOCKPHOTO By Anna Marr ian M any of us fall into the trap of negative thinking. ese thoughts fl it through our brain, including in the workplace. "My boss doesn't like my work," or "I should have spoken up in the meeting. What is wrong with me?" But negative thinking can be managed, if not conquered. Experts approach managing negative thinking as an ongoing, healthy lifestyle adjustment, not a quick fi x. Here are techniques to help tame those nega- tive thoughts and address the accompa- nying stress. Disrupt the cycle e fi rst step is not to try to control a negative thought cycle but, rather, inter- rupt it. A negative cycle can be tamed with practice, according to Wellness at Dartmouth, a resource center for Dart- mouth employees. is is a two-part process: accept you are in a negative cycle, then confront the Negative thoughts dragging you down? Here's how you can regain control. thoughts. Wellness at Dartmouth empha- sizes not trying to control and obsess over a negative thought, as the more you focus on the negative, the more your brain be- comes adapted to negative thoughts. Tell- ing yourself to stop worrying about the thoughts will only exacerbate the negativi- ty. It is better to accept the negative cycle than resist it. Incidentally, acceptance is the basis of mindfulness meditation, one of the suggestions for tackling a nega- tive thought pattern. Controlled breathing Intentional deep breathing is a technique that can be used to manage an intense moment of stress, which often occurs during a negative cycle. Deep breathing, also called diaphragmat- ic breathing, brings air through your nose, fi lling your lungs and lower belly. Harvard Medical School pioneered the study of breathing to slow the heart rate and lower or stabilize blood pressure. Intentional breathing helps you disengage your mind from distracting negative thoughts. Another controlled breathing tech- nique is resonance frequency (RF) breath- ing. RF breathing slows the breath to six breaths per minute instead of the usual 15 to 20. You breathe in through the nose for four seconds, then out through the mouth for six seconds through pursed lips, which provide resistance and in- crease the length of the breath. Abdomi- nal breathing is recommended—the belly pushes out on inhale and falls on exhale. Placing one hand on the chest and the other on the abdomen is a simple way to check. David Eddie, at the Rutgers Cen- ter for Alcohol Studies, a fellow in clinical psychology at Harvard Medical School, gives a demonstration of the technique online. Meditation Especially when practiced regularly, med- itation is useful for quieting the mind and calming the nervous system. When Kelli Douglas, a successful Man- hattan real estate broker, became a single To Your Health DW Life > DW Life > Tackling Negative Thinking

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