Loving What Is

Loving What Is

Four Magical Questions To Reframe Garbage Thoughts

As a clinical multi-modality therapist, I am regularly seeking and providing interventions for clients. One of the most powerful tools I share is what I call the ‘circuit breaker’.

By this I mean, that when you consciously acknowledge that you’re experiencing a garbage thought – something that is negative, hostile or not loving of self — when you first notice this sensation, you get to insert a circuit breaker to change the mental thinking habit.

It’s worth noting that we can upwards of 60,000 thoughts a day. It shocks my clients when I advise that approximately seventy-five per cent (75%) of those thoughts are negative! And of those thoughts that are negative, ninety-five per cent (95%) of them are simply repeated from yesterday.

It’s human nature for our brain to not want to have to work or think of something positive unless your subconscious habit is to reframe negativity and actively seek positivity.

We all have moments where we experience ‘garbage thoughts’. But when we have too many of them in a single day, this can leave us feeling heavy and dull.

My suggestion is to insert a ‘circuit breaker’ into the conversation occurring inside your head. 

After reading Byron Katie’s “Loving What Is”, I fell in love with the simplicity of her four-question process to change thought processes and ultimately thinking habits.

Here are four circuit-breaker questions to reframe negativity out of your thinking habits

Question One — Is that true?

When we find ourselves stuck in our survival program, and associated thoughts, it’s so easy to produce garbage inside your head. When we have too many of them in a single day, this can leave us feeling heavy and dull.

The moment you observe or consciously notice the garbage thought ask yourself the following question, “is that true?”. This question forces the brain programs to return to the present moment and activate the frontal lobes to become solution-orientated. In other words, asking whether something is true allows you to observe and reflect if in fact that thought is true.

Question Two — How do you know that’s true?

Ok so you’ve asked yourself “Is that true?”, and perhaps found your first response was to say “yes”. This response is a component of the negative thinking habit. When we become unconditional in the thought process, we’ve not reflected or re-assessed the value of the response, we’ve merely automated it.

This second question — “How do you know this to be true?”, allows you, in the present moment, to seek validation with a fresh perspective, is that old garbage thought your actual reality?

There’s so much power in realising that a garbage thought is not real, wanted or warranted.

Question Three — How do I react when I have these thoughts?

Often when I’m working with a client, the second question instigates a level of reflection and active questioning about whether the thought is true or merely a habit. I follow up with the third question, which empowers the client to get out of their thinking and reflect on their behaviours — in other words, what actions are they taking when the garbage thought pops up?

When we reflect on our reaction(s) we can actively and gently explore the triggers and the old story of how the negative habit arose. Asking someone without judgement, “How do you react when you have these thoughts?” enables them to decide that this old behavioural response is now outdated. This creates an incredibly powerful space for a positive choice point to be created.

Question Four — Who would I be without that thought?

I liken this final question as if you’re stepping out of the situation and thoughts, taking a good look at the experience and saying “Yeah no thanks”.

Asking yourself “Who would I be without this thought?” directly connects you to the vibration and intention of unconditional love. It’s the ultimate destination for positive change.

There’s power in immediately recognising an outdated negative thought and realising you can cancel it, reframe it, or simply state “delete”.


Recently, I was wrapping up a client program, and she told me that I had been inside her head, challenging her garbage thoughts. After working together for several months, this amazing human now instigates this empowerment circuit breaker herself as part of her new habits.

She calls bullshit on all the stupid self-doubt-based negativity that had been bubbling away over the years. She now chooses to change and feel safe again. She did and continues to do the work, and actively uses all these four questions, creating circuit breakers daily. Best of all, she now reports that the frequency and volume of garbage thoughts have vastly reduced.

You too, can attempt these four circuit-breaker questions the next time your life becomes a rollercoaster of thoughts. You can get off the negativity ride when it gets bumpy and insert positivity into your life.

First published with Illumination, a Medium Publication. 

Want to read more like this?

This is My Roarsigned copies of my first published book can be purchased from this website. Self Reflection – A little Look Withinclick here 8 Hot Tips How To Journal – click here Can You Risk Not Stepping Up To Mother yourself?Click here

About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Clinical Resource Therapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist (including psychotherapy), Health & Business Coach, LEAP & NES Practitioner, Intuitive Meditation Facilitator, Training Counsellor, and published author. She is a self-confessed laughaholic.  She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

Karen Humphries, Change Chick, Change Facilitator, Kinesiology, Wellness Coach, Australian Bush Flower Essences, LEAP Facilitator, Trauma, Public Speaker, Cancer Ambassador, Blooming From Within, Traralgon, Victoria, Gippsland