Hey back :)
I've been taught different strategies to manage negative thoughts ...
The common one is 'leaf down the stream' visualisation ... you put your thought on a leaf, observe it without judgement, and let go of it so it flows down the stream . My therapist taught me that, I liked the idea.
But soon after I came up with another visualisation that really worked for me .
When I have an unproductive thought, I blow that allllllll into a balloon. Imagine it rises like a helium balloon , but still has a string tie to it and you hold on to it , I think that symbolises when we are not ready to let go of that unhelpful thought yet ... it's okay to observe the balloon and observe what's inside, and process it until I'm ready to let that balloon go .
If I'm holding onto too many balloons, the force would pull me up and away , I would lose control. Therefore , I need to let those balloons go, so I can stay grounded .
Regardless of strategies , its important to notice them as they are , and not dismiss them. Acknowledge them they are there , and when you see they are not serving you well, you can say , 'thank you Mind, but that's not helpful and I try to let that go.
For me, it's a matter of practice and time to test your strategies. And knowing your triggers, and staying hopeful .
That's what I try to do. You can come up with your own analogy, or visualisation, if that helps.
It takes practice, and its deliberate , it takes a lot of awareness, and non judgement .
I can see that you are motivated to change, and that motivation / inner incentive will be your fuel to practice these resilient strategies . Your exercise/mindful journaling and other self-care activities will be help refuel your brain :)
You may also look up 'postive reframe' and 'growth mindset' materials to help build some strategies to replace with more helpful /positive/ productive thoughts. Ted talks are great, I also like beyond blue and black dog institute resources too.
There are some videos on neuroscience of negative thoughts, that explains why we all have them from an evolution point of view, and how to get 'unstuck'
This is an example.
Be careful with internet sources . If in doubt, start with names and sources from tedtalks / beyond blue etc
Brene Brown also has some beautiful ways of explaining why sometimes we feel need to be a 'perfectionist ' , which explains the feeling of shame and guilt and how they are interlinked. I thought that was really interesting .
Its easier to have compassion when we understand more. I hope you will find additional ideas from the mindspot course. And make use of the phone call catch ups with the clinician , I found them really helpful just talk stuff aloud in exchange for a clearer mind , and at the same time you get some feedback too
More warm wishes coming your way :)