How to stop a negative spiral

Are you on your third day of Wendy's Triple Classic cheeseburgers?

You're stressed out.

Screw it! You're ordering chinese food again, who cares?

In the process of changing yourself, you will, without a doubt, find yourself in the midst of a negative spiral. Negative spirals are like self-supporting episodes of behavior that go against the direction of our goals.

A simple example could be that you got in a fight with your significant other (the catalyst), which depleted you of the usual strength you use to make good eating choices. To relax, you put your diet aside and order some take-out chinese food. You order a few extra items because who cares, today sucked and you need those crab rangoons! You zone out and stuff your face until you're uncomfortable. You wake up the next day with a pain in your stomach, bloated with water, feeling not yourself.

You can see where this is going.

You've started that day feeling bad about yourself, prompting you to continue numbing the pain in your usual way.

Negative spirals will happen despite your best efforts to avoid them, so the trick is how to get out of them. I've noticed a pattern for how I get out of them so I wanted to share it with you.

(Watch the video version of this post instead of reading, or continue reading below...)

Declaring a reset day

The best way I've found to pull yourself out of the grips of a negative spiral is somewhat ritualistic. It's a matter of beginning the day on the right foot to tie the knot on spiral and start moving it back into the upward direction.

This isn't all that amazing of an idea, I know, but it works so give it a shot.

If you can, the night before, while still under the negative spiral, make a mental note that tomorrow will be a reset day. This will probably be automatic for you, as many people naturally will think they want to straighten themselves out.

Next, set a reminder on your phone or a calendar, somewhere that you'll see right when you wake up. Today I will reset!

When you first wake up, try to remember to tell yourself today will be better. You're doing fine, today will be good. You're going to take care of yourself.

Have some water, maybe some coffee or tea, enjoy your morning routine.

The final, most important part of the reset day is that your first meal is on point. Do NOT go crazy in the other direction and attempt to do a 24-hour fast or some kind of detox, you'll only add more stress and can easily continue the negative spiral.

What works for me is to make your first meal healthy but something you really love. Remind yourself that healthy and delicious exist in the same meal. I like a big salad with chicken or some salmon and broccoli. It tastes so.. damn.. good.

If you make it this far, you've done well. Your reset day is in full effect. The negative spiral has reached its base and is going back up, becoming my favorite thing, an upward spiral.

At this point your mood will likely be back to normal and you can continue your life as usual. Congrats.

Have you had these negative spiral experiences? I'm curious if you have any other kind of ritual that helps you reverse them?