how to shift your negative thinking


Why are some of us prone to negative thoughts? What are some ways we can turn that negativity around? How to change your mindset?

I consider myself to be an optimistic person, but sometimes negative thoughts can creep in and take over, and then it’s almost impossible to get out of that downward spiral. I wanted to understand why some of us are prone to negative thoughts… and by understanding the “why”, learn how to change your mindset and shift that negative thinking into a more positive outlook on life in general.

I spoke to Dr. Cheyenne Bryant about how to shift your negative thinking to be happy now. Dr. Cheyenne Bryant is a psychology expert, renowned Life Coach and a life coach and co-producer of MTV’s Teen Mom Family Reunion, a motivational speaker, author, and community activist.

As we continue to navigate through life and work balances, Dr. Bryant’s goal is to provide tangible advice to cope with mental struggles, self-care, and relationships. She’s able to examine her clients’ emotions and traumas to position them to a place of understanding, healing, and growth. Her mission is to share her expertise on how to lead a healthier, happier, balanced and more fulfilling life.

Watch my interview with Dr. Cheyenne Bryant:

Video transcription

Maria (00:05)

Hey, everyone. Today I’m excited to have Dr. Cheyenne Bryant, a psychology expert, renowned life coach, and a life coach and co producer of MTV’s Team Mom Family Reunion, also a motivational speaker, author, and community activist. As we continue to navigate through life and work balance, Dr. Bryant’s goal is to provide tangible advice to cope with mental struggles, self-care, and relationships. She’s able to examine her clients’ emotions and traumas to position them to a place of understanding, healing, and growth. Dr. Bryant’s mission is to share her expertise on how to lead a healthier, happier, balanced, and more fulfilling life. So I’m very excited to introduce Dr. Cheyenne Bryant. Welcome.

Dr. Bryant (00:54)

Absolutely. Thank you for having me. I’m excited and definitely always ready to talk about what I talk about all day, every day.

Maria (01:03)

Awesome. So I thought maybe we could talk a little bit about negative thinking.

Dr. Bryant (01:08)

Yes. Let’s dive into that changing narrative, reprogramming, reframing… absolutely. Love that subject.

Maria (01:18)

Okay, perfect. I tend to be an optimistic person, but sometimes negative thoughts can creep in and take over, and then it’s almost impossible to get out of that spiral. So first of all, why are some of us prone to negative thoughts?

Dr. Bryant (01:33)

I love that question, especially as, like, an introductory question, because this is the thing. So negative thinking isn’t something that we’re born with, per se, right? Negative thinking is something that is learned behavior from our environment, or we’ve learned folks deal with certain issues and life impairments in a way that looks a certain way or sounds a certain way. So negative thinking isn’t just something that we can hear from someone’s words. It’s also something we see from how they show up in their behavior, in relationships, as a kiddo, in our environment, as a kiddo. And so we learn how do we show up when something isn’t working for us, right?

Do we take on this negative perspective of, oh, my God, here we go again, this victimized mindset? Or am I learning in the household as a kiddo that when things don’t go right, I see someone victorious, and I see someone have a very positive, strong, convicted personality towards what looks like is not working for them. And we take on that belief, those values, and we grow up to be adults, and then we start to operate in that same space, which is called a norm. And so we create dysfunctional, distorted thinking norms, or we create very positive, healthy norms on how we look at life relationships and what we associate to problems, issues, or even problem solving.

Maria (02:55)

Interesting. Okay, so I guess depending on the environment that you’re raised in, and then you grow up and you become an adult, and then you find that you’re kind of always driven by negative thoughts, and then that leads to negative behaviors, too. What are some of the ways that we can turn that negativity around?

Dr. Bryant (03:18)

Love that. Before I fully answer that question. I love how you said it turns into negative thoughts and negative behaviors. I want to add one more piece because I always talk about, we have a three-part house. That’s how we think, how we feel, and how we behave. And so negative thinking affects our negative emotions and feelings, then affects our emotional behavior. So we’re in alignment with negativity now. And so, based on Law of Attraction, we attract more of who we are, despite of who we think we are. And if our three-part house is in alignment with negativity, what are we attracting more of? Negative experiences, negative relationships.

And then that becomes what? Maria? A vicious cycle of every time I get into a relationship, it’s negative. Every time I go to do a job interview, it’s negative. Every time I get on the phone with my mom or my sister or my girlfriend, it ends negatively. But your three-part house is in alignment with negative calibration. Right. And so that leads us to your question, which is, how do we change that reprogram that reframe that? Right. What you do is, and I give this homework to many of my clients, you pay attention to your sense of self.

Dr. Bryant (04:26)

When are the negative thoughts inflamed? And if they’re inflamed all day long, then you take a negative distorted Thought Inventory. On a sheet of paper, you write down all your negative thoughts. Those negative thoughts are going to lead you to triggers. Right. What is triggering those negative thoughts? Let’s get in alignment and come into awareness of the fruit of the thought, the root of the thought, not just the fruit. So thoughts are the fruit, and the root of what creates those thoughts is the seed we want to get in contact with. Let’s root that up. Right. And so what is the trigger? What is causing me to think negative. How do I show up when certain things happen with me?

Let’s take inventory of that. Then let’s start to reframe, reprogram, which is just recreating a narrative, your self-talk that says, okay, usually when I wake up in the morning and me and my partner, my partner doesn’t give me a kiss to say goodbye, right? I start to think all these negative things. Is he seeing someone else? Does he not love me? Is it that I’m not pretty up? Did I not look good in the morning? Was love making not satisfying for him last night? All these negative disordered thoughts that he is probably thinking nothing of is starting to come into your thought process. You change up that narrative that says, you know what? Some mornings he’s human. And so he may just forget, I am still amazing. We are still together. The day is still going to be absolutely awesome. I will see him when he gets home. I can enter a conversation that says, hey babe, just quick question. On the mornings that you don’t kiss me, just curious what’s going on with you? Not because I’m having an issue with you, per se.

I want to check in with our relationship and see if there’s something I can do differently that can shift it. Is there something that I should know about you? Because some mornings when that happens, it does this weird thing to me where it creates these thoughts in my mind that are not true. So I want to check with you so we can have this conversation, right? Because every problem is just a conversation away from a solution. But guess what happens if we don’t externalize Maria. The internal negative thoughts that we’re having, it becomes a negative experience long term. So now we get our stuff locked into this prison, this negative prison per se, for months, and guess what happens? Years. And guess what happens? Lifetime. And if we don’t stick it when we fill it and we don’t externalize when we’re feeling what we’re internalizing, it’s our problem, first of all, to get in contact with that. But we suffer the consequence of having a lifelong negative experience of life. When life is meant to be free, lived, loved, happy. You have one job in life. Yeah, one job in life. And guess what is to be happy.

And how can you be happy when you’re internalizing the things that you are having an illusion of, right? That may not even be happening.

Maria (07:22)

Sorry, go ahead.

Dr. Bryant (07:23)

I was going to say, if I can talk to Maria about my illusions, you can help me break down those barriers. We can create healthy boundaries. I can tell you what I need, which is a part of my friendship, love, language. If you’re my BFF and now I’m teaching you how to be in a relationship with me, some teach you how to be what I need. And if you love me and you’re capable. Why would you not submit to that? Why would I not submit to that with you?

Maria (07:49)

Do you find that a lot of people are not that self-aware that don’t realize that they’re in this pattern 100%?

Dr. Bryant (07:59)

It is two things. The first issue is awareness. After the awareness comes in or if the awareness is already present. The next concern is what accountability? Because without the two A’s awareness and accountability like the alphabet, you can’t go on to the next thing, which is the B, breaking the barriers and building the boundaries. You can’t do it. You can’t do it. And then the C comes in. You have compassion, you have compassion. It all goes into an order.

How to change your mindset

Maria (08:28)

So where does that you mentioned cognitive reframing. How does that can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Dr. Bryant (08:35)

Absolutely. So cognitive reframing, which happens to be one of my favorite tools that I give my clients and I give folks when I’m doing my speaking workshops and my wellness workshops because what it does is it helps you get in contact with your sense of self, right? Who am I, how do I think, how do I show up in the world? How do I problem solve? Do I even problem solve keyword? Do I even problem solve or am I just reactive? Because reactive is not problem solving, right? And then it also gets you in contact with what is your level of emotional intelligence? Because you have to have emotional intelligence to even cognitive reframe anything. Because you got to get in contact with how you show up emotionally and how do you deal with emotions. And deeper than that Maria, what are your relationships to emotions? What do you associate to emotions? Because what you associate to emotions is your experience. Let me say it again, your associations are your experiences. You want a different experience cognitively reframe your association to anything you want a different experience to. So why do I love the cognitive reframing tool?

Dr. Bryant (09:45)

Because it allows us to have the creative control that we were born to have and creatively control and create the experience we really want by reframing how we perceive that at what we are experiencing. That gives us the power that we already have. Let me reword that. It allows us to take back the power we already have. It allows us to stand in the power that’s already there, that sometimes eclipse, eclipse like the moon gets eclipsed by our pain, by our trauma and pain and trauma again, not negating that pain and traumatic experiences didn’t or don’t happen. What I am negating or what I am saying to use a cognitive reframing tool to do is the way that we have framed or the narrative we’ve given that circumstance for that trauma circumstance, that part of it is very much an illusion. Meaning we can create, recreate, tear down and rebuild what we need to feel the way we want to feel in that experience. And that is no way negating that experience. It’s not masking what happened. It’s saying I’m ready to heal. And if I’m ready to heal, how do I need to see this to be in a healing space?

Dr. Bryant (11:00)

How do I see this relationship to be loving? For I can be loving. Not so much so that and it may sound selfish, if not, it’s called the epitome of self-love. What do I need to do so that I can be in peace, so that I can be okay, so that I can thrive? What does that look like? And let me reframe my entire world, cognitively reframe my entire world to fit that result that I want. Easier said than done. But magic once you do it. Absolutely magic once you do it. Yeah.

Dr. Bryant (11:36)

So it all starts from within, right? It all starts from within. And then that affects everything else in your life, the way you see yourself and love yourself for sure.


I know it’s impossible, but can you quickly try to give me a few tips on how people can use that cognitive reframing in their lives?

Dr. Bryant (12:01)

100%. Take a self-inventory. Sense of self. Sense of self inventory has two different processes. Who am I? What does that look like? And then what do I need? What does that look like? The reason why you have to say what that looks like is because, Maria, I can give you a hammer and wood and say, I need a house. Build it. You can never build a house. I will come back. Either you would have not put one nail into a piece of wood, or you would have put all the nails in the wrong pieces of wood. And I will be upset either way because you did nothing with the tool that I gave you. If I’m going to give you a tool of what I need, I have to express to you how you use it with me. Because how you use that hammer with somebody else may be to build a home in another property or lot. It might be to deconstruct that home to build something else. I may not be in that deconstructing space in my life. I may be in the build up space in my life. And if that’s what I need from you as my girlfriend, as my BFF, I got to tell you, Maria hingles.

Dr. Bryant (13:07)

The hammer I need you to empower and build up. Build me up. I’m not in the teardown moment right now. I’m done being tore down. Build me up. And so that is the first process to the reframing after you get that information of who am I, how does that show up? What do I need and what does that look like? Then you go into setting healthy boundaries with the people who are already in your life. Okay, what boundaries need to be set so these people can operate in that space of what I need to be in peace and to be happy. And you have to be bold enough to set those boundaries with respect, with love. Nothing has to be done nasty or untasteful that is not healthy. And then the last thing is be very willing to pivot and prune. What does that mean? Pivot for what’s? Not working. And again, that doesn’t have to be ugly. It can be very loving and peaceful, may feel a little sad, but it’s okay. And then be willing to prune whatever’s in your garden that’s not multiplying. I mean, I don’t mean to go biblical, but the Bible says if it’s not fruitful and doesn’t multiply, it will be pruned.

Dr. Bryant (14:09)

It will be cut away and cut down. Hey, listen, use that principle in your life of garden. Look at your inventory of your life, your garden, and say that tree is not growing, that plant’s not growing. Let me cut away, cut down if I have to uproot and plant something different. Be willing to do anything and make whatever investment you need in your garden, in your world, in your life, so that you can obtain what we all are here for. And what is a human right? It’s a great quality of life, a peace of mind and freaking be it happy. That is what we are here for. And we can only get that by reframing what is a fantasy and illusion anyways? Here. Be playful as a child. Be as creative as kids are. Don’t limit your thinking, don’t limit your imagination. Don’t limit your fantasy world. And it’s okay to be in fantasy here. If fantasy here creates beauty externally, stay there. Buy real estate there. That’s where the market is.

Maria (15:10)

I feel so inspired. Thank you so much. Can you tell everyone where people can find you?

Dr. Bryant (15:17)

Absolutely. You can Google Dr. Cheyenne Bryant. I happen to pop up number one on Google, so that’s awesome. You can go to my website, which is drbryant.co.  and _drbryant on social media. You can Google my book Mental Detox and there’s a lot of different stuff that pops up and websites on me. And you can also email me if you have any questions. I am very good. I try my very best to get back to every email when I can, but it’s contact Dr. Bryant@gmail.com.

Maria  (15:51)

Wonderful. Thank you so much for your time. I so appreciate it. Thank you.

Dr. Bryant (15:56)

Thank you for having me and thank you for what you do. Folks need this information, and they need the tools in order to build that house and empower and not bulldoze and destruct. So thank you for being a pillar and being a vessel for that information.

Maria  (16:10)

And thank you for the work, the important work that you do.