Dear Jennifer and the horses,
How can one begin to stop the negative talk that is always cycling through my brain from morning to night?
First off, great awareness around the fact that you’ve got negative talk going on from morning to night. Becoming aware of what you are saying to yourself is the first and most important step.
All change begins with awareness.
It sounds like your negative thoughts have been working out hard at the gym of thoughts. If you work your muscles at the gym or you practice something over and over again, whatever you are working out or practicing becomes stronger and stronger. It’s the same with your thoughts and it sounds like they're ready for a new program!
Before you can change anything, you must first become intimate with what you are saying to yourself (which it sounds like you've started doing). This is what I call, thought watching. It's when you begin listening in on your thoughts (eavesdropping) on what you are telling yourself each and every day. Thought watching allows you to recognize the interpretations you are making about yourself, events or the people around you so that you can question them.
Once, you've become aware of what you're saying to yourself, you can begin to notice how these thoughts and beliefs make you feel. If you're not feeling good, your thoughts need a little realignment.
When you've recognized that you are in a negative pattern of thinking ... without any judgment, you can call a spade a spade. "There are those thoughts again. Hmmm there they are. Oh there it is again. And again. Isn't that interesting I'm saying negative things to myself." (No judgment here ... just noticing.)
Once you practice this technique and you're able to truly notice, letting go of all judgment, you'll find that your negative tendencies begin to magically disappear. You're no longer taking your negative thoughts to the gym, they're evaporating to the clouds.
While you're learning this process try being as gentle and patient with yourself as you can.