The average person thinks 60,000 thoughts a day, 80% of which are negative. Can you imagine the perspectives you could have about your life, yourself, and the people around you if you decreased that percentage and changed your thoughts? While it takes awareness and conscious choices, these decisions allow you to be more present with your thoughts. The more present you are with your thoughts the happier you will be with your choices and state of being. What an invitation to life that is.
Consider These Things First
Ask yourself this question first; am I a victim? If you are currently being victimized, it is essential for your health and safety to do what you can to remove yourself from the situation.
Secondly, you have absolute control over your life, especially your thoughts! Your thoughts affect your choices which affect your actions which affect how you feel. And how you feel affects your choices which affect your actions. It’s an empowering cycle and you’ve got this!
We can so easily slip into repetitive thought streams that ultimately leave us feeling anxious, dissatisfied, and unhappy. It is time to flip that reality. Here are 5 possible ways you can change your thoughts, which can unlock the door to a happier and more present life.
Gratitude doesn’t always come naturally. You have to learn how to be thankful. You can be realistic about your circumstances while still finding opportunities for gratitude. Gratitude is empowering, and it takes vulnerability. It opposes the victim mentality that is easy to fall into. Hold space for gratitude; with your job, your relationships, your family, your children. While being present and leaning into hardships, it can be a powerful life force to still notice the small things that you are grateful for, and it is one that you have control over.
If you feel caught in a loop of negative thinking, it can be really helpful to take a step back. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your thoughts, picture your thoughts on a train. Back away from the train and watch as though they are just passing by. After all, they really are just thoughts. Thoughts pass through our minds constantly. It is what we do with them that makes the difference. Practice stepping off the train that is making you nauseous, and watch the train go by. The more you do this, the easier it will be.
It can be tricky to recognize and acknowledge that you are caught in a loop of negative thinking. It is totally understandable. Oftentimes, we have been thinking and coping this way for years or decades, so it can be difficult to recognize that our thoughts are malignant and straining our sense of happiness and wellbeing.
We can be using old thought patterns to cope with pain and anxiety. These old thought patterns, such as overgeneralization and polarized thinking, are called cognitive distortions. Find a counselor that will help you reformat these old thought patterns. Many counselors use a technique called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The goal of this kind of therapy is to “change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and to change the way they feel.” It can be a really powerful way to change the negative thinking patterns you have, with the help of a licensed professional.
You are exactly where you need to be to have a full and healthy life. You are safe, happy, alive, and you. Being you is an incredible gift and journey. You are capable and lovable. You are empowered and free. Tell yourself these exact things. Tell yourself them today, and when you get up tomorrow say them again.
Empower and encourage yourself the way you would a partner, a friend, a child. Pat yourself on the back and remember you are capable of the mental space that you desire. As you say these affirmations and you envision healthier thought patterns, it will be difficult to miss the negative ones you’ve easily slipped into in the past. And that is a level of consciousness that will invite you into a fuller life.
If your thoughts are constantly racing, odds are you could really use a step back from your fast-paced life. Don’t be afraid to take 5 minutes a day to step away, and cultivate quiet. You can calm your mind by meditating or journaling. Consider watching the sunrise or sunset. Go for a slow walk in a quiet location.
Cultivating quiet will allow you to connect with your internal rhythm and let go of the racing mind that seems like it is chugging straight toward negative thoughts. Cultivating quiet will also allow you to make space for mindfulness, gratitude, and affirmations.
If you find yourself in a mental slump, I get you, and it is so within your reach to strengthen your brain health for a happier and healthier wellbeing. With the right support and intentionality, you can quickly be on your way to a more balanced self. You have everything you need within you, the choice is up to you.