You Can Retrain Your Brain!

Happy new week, everyone! Hope you enjoyed the weekend. For those of us who had spring break, it’s (hear the song in your head): “Back to life, back to reality.” On the upside, I’m looking at a few weeks until the Memorial Day break, then summer comes, extended school year program (my ‘break’ job), etc.

Life coach and good friend Diane Lang dropped another one of her gems in my inbox. Y’all know how I love to share all the positive thinking articles she passes on. Here is her latest:


Retrain the Brain – Making changes!

1. Thought patterns produce feelings. Feelings produce actions.

What you think = Feel=Believe = Who you are!

Watch what you’re thinking – it’s very powerful.

This means you can change your thoughts and control your actions. (It’s a matter of practice!)

2. What type of thoughts are you having?

You can’t make changes until you’re aware of what you need to change. Awareness is key!

Know Physical signs of negativity – The red flags of stress, anxiety, anger, etc. Do the Snap 2 Awareness Test* and find out how negative you are. Find out your triggers. (Diane speaks about this tool in her book, Creating Balance.)

3. Negative thoughts are irrational; positive thoughts are rational. A lot of character traits are learned along with habits/thought patterns. You can unlearn them and learn new thoughts/habits.

4. Clear you’re emotional debt –What are the old thoughts/habits you’re holding onto?

Why? What need is it fitting? Like fear, guilt, comfort, etc.

5. Forgiveness – forgive yourself for your old thoughts/habits, etc. You were only doing what you thought was best, you were trying your best. If you don’t forgive yourself you will hold onto past hurts, anger and not move forward. Quick way to live in the Now: forgive yourself so you can move on and forward. Forgiveness puts you in the power position, back in the driver’s seat.

Use compassion, empathy and love to forgive

6. Emotional detox – you can’t change if you’re surrounded by toxic, negative people and environments.

7. Positive Affirmations – this needs to be done each and every day. Morning and night. They are most powerful done in front of a mirror. Say them everyday until it becomes a habit. This starts changing your thought patterns.

EXAMPLE: If you think you’re no good, worthless, no-one cares, etc, then your affirmation should be: I love and accept myself.

8. Every time you have a negative thought or comments imagine a symbol that means STOP!  The hand up, stop sign, red light, etc. Something that symbolizes a change in behavior.

9. Change your words and how you talk to yourself. Remove negative words such as: Can’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t, maybe, etc. Replace with

I can.

I will.


My choice.

I’m free to, etc.

10. Learn what you can and can’t control.

EXAMPLE: I can’t control what someone says or does but I can control how I respond to it. (A great way to do so is to take a step back before responding or reacting. Takes practice too.)

11. Visualize the change – What do your changes/goals look like? How will you feel? Act? How has your environment or people changed?  Use your senses to imagine your dreams/ goals/ changes.

12. Be patient and kind to yourself – it takes time to change at least 6-8 weeks.

No instant gratification.

Be realistic.

Baby steps.

Keep up motivation with positive reinforcement.

Change one habit at a time.

*Note: The Snap 2 Awareness test is not an actual quiz but more of a tool. Wear a rubber band for a day and snap it every time you say or think something negative. At the end of the day, count how many snaps you have by keeping a tally score on a little memo pad. The normal amount is 175-200 snaps a day. Doing so helps make you aware of your negativity.

For more information visit Diane’s website or e-mail Diane at

Diane Lang, MA
Counseling Educator

Counseling Educator

4 thoughts on “You Can Retrain Your Brain!

  1. These are great tips–thanks for posting them. I’m a big believer in baby steps, or at least I need to be, as I often find it difficult to live in the now. Am getting better at it though. 🙂


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