Are your thoughts dragging you down? Learn how to love your own company by choosing the quality of your thoughts.
What if your thoughts could actually improve the quality of your day?
What if the act of choosing your thoughts could reduce your stress levels and improve your attitude?
What if harnessing the power of your thoughts made you more positive and pleasant in your everyday life?
What if everything just started to flow – instead of feeling like you’re always going against the grain of your own life?
What if I told you it all starts by simply paying attention to the thought patterns that keep you from living in ease and flow?
Would you be willing to try?
Then stick with me – because today we’re discussing the four key principles to choosing the quality of your thoughts.
4 Keys To Choosing Positive Thoughts
1. Not every thought is true.
When it comes to harnessing the power of your thoughts, the first and most important concept to understand is simple yet profound: Thoughts are not facts – and not every thought we have is true.
Think about the negative thoughts you may have been taught to believe about yourself (i.e. I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, good enough, etc). None of those thoughts are true. They are simply taught to us by other people and the world.
So the first step in harnessing your thoughts for good is to ask yourself: If this thought really true, or is it just a feeling I’m having in this moment?
You see, sometimes our thoughts can be triggered by an event, person or situation, and if we’re not present enough to catch it, we let those false thoughts propel us into a trauma loop. An old trigger creates a present reaction that makes the hurt seem real and fresh again – even though that past hurt really has nothing to do with what’s happening in the present moment. Instead of breaking past it, we succumb to it – and we believe the damaging and disempowering thoughts that simply aren’t true.
That’s why having the presence of mind to stop this cycle in its tracks is so important. It allows us to remember that not all thoughts are true, and instead of adopting a trauma response, we can adopt a mindset of curiosity and problem-solving.
2. Thoughts can be controlled.
The best part about our thoughts, in my opinion, is that we can control them. I can decide exactly how long I want to spend thinking about someone or something that hurt me. I can choose to break a thought pattern and stop thinking about all the things I didn’t say or should have said. I decide how long I stay in a thought pattern.
For example, in the months after the passing of my son, Drew, I was still struggling with negative, torturous thoughts of his accident. I couldn’t stop imagining the moment he fell into the canal behind my house and drowned.
The pain of that thought pattern was quite literally driving me crazy. I wasn’t functioning in a healthy way because I couldn’t break free of the cycle.
But I still had life to live, and my son, Devin, needed me. So I had to make the decision to learn to control my thoughts. Since I couldn’t make them stop yet, at first I just focused on controlling the amount of time I spent thinking about Drew in that way, even if that meant setting a timer each day.
For the rest of the day, I did things that reminded me of the positive moments in Drew’s life. In the early days, I even carried around a picture of him smiling, so I could remember the joyful, playful soul he was when he was living.
Eventually, it started to work. One day, I woke up and the first thing I thought about was Drew smiling. The more I practiced, the more often I woke up to Drew’s smile. I had conditioned my mind to think about Drew at his happiest, and the pain started to become more manageable.
I’m not saying I never had those thoughts again. Of course I would slip up from time to time. But at that point, I knew how to get myself out of that destructive, soul-crushing thought pattern.
Today, my memories of Drew take me to the adventures we had while he was alive. Every day, I bring him with me as I continue to think of and love him in this new way.
I even apply this to other thought patterns in my life, too. I can realign my thoughts to get through a tough moment. I can move forward in the face of criticism or adversity, instead of falling back into an old trauma loop. I can command my thoughts to lift myself out of self-sabotage and elevate my mindset to positive thinking.
3. Be the vanguard of your thoughts.
One of my mentors has a pretty powerful expression: The mind is a pig. It will consume anything you feed it.
Think about a flaw that you may have perceived about yourself. I’m not talented enough. I don’t have what it takes. I’ll never look like the women in magazines.
Now, you can either obsess over that negative thought, or you can interrupt that thought pattern and become the vanguard of your thoughts.
How? Simply take that negative thought and use it to create a positive affirmation. For example, if your negative thought is “I’m not good enough,” simply state the opposite – “I am good enough.” Create an affirmation that’s going to help you disrupt the negative thought and replace it with a positive thought.
Then redesign and recreate your environments, relationships and routines to support that new thought. Unfollow triggering accounts on social media. Stop watching negative TV programs. Limit the amount of time you spend with friends who see the glass as half-empty.
Take ownership of your negative thoughts – and the elements of your life that enable them – and use them for self-love instead of self-criticism.
4. Thoughts influence emotions.
The final key principle of harnessing your thoughts is understanding how they influence your emotions – because our thoughts contribute to our emotions in a big way.
For example, let’s say the thought is: My home life is tense, so I don’t want to go home. If you’re focusing on that thought, then you’re likely to start feeling dread or frustration toward the end of the work day. You might even become irritable or start an argument as the day comes to an end. Now you have a great excuse to go out for a drink after work with your buddies.
As you continue to focus on that thought at the bar, you might vent to friends, making the problem feel bigger and bigger, while you order more drinks to dull the feeling. When you do finally go home, there’s now added frustration from your partner, who provokes a fight. Simply by focusing on a single thought, you’ve re-ignited a trauma loop.
If you tend to have a repetitive negative thought, you can disrupt it by causing a behavioral interruption. Make the conscious choice to take action that helps you pivot your thinking. Here are a few ideas:
- Write it out. Journal or make lists until you feel like you’ve gotten it all out of your head and emptied it onto the page.
- Move your body. Get outside and do something active. Go on a hike in nature, swim or even dance – whatever you enjoy most.
- Ask for help. Tell someone you’re struggling and see if they will act as an accountability partner who will help you redirect your thoughts.
- Spend some time quietly reflecting on the root of your negative thought pattern. Ask yourself if it’s based in any form of past trauma. Then use your new awareness to notice when you need a behavioral interruption.
- Try different therapies, energy healing and body work to help you release pent-up feelings in your body and mind. I like Cellular Release Therapy, Emotion Code Therapy, Map of Consciousness Technique, Reiki, Aura Healing and more.
- Spend some positive time in your own thoughts. I like to meditate or pray. Even cuddling with a pet might help because animals show us so much unconditional love.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is you have to understand how thoughts work, develop awareness about what your thoughts are saying, and then commit to daily practices that help you interrupt negative thought patterns before they turn into behaviors.
This is not something you can try once and expect to be done with the work. It’s something you have to dedicate yourself to on a daily basis.
But I promise you it will make a difference. How do I know? These are the same techniques I used to transform my relationship with myself – and discover a more joyful, fulfilled and empowered way of living.
Ready To Take Action?
If you, too, are in desperate need of a positive relationship with your thoughts, then please know I am always here and happy to help.
In fact, you can learn to choose positive, empowering thoughts with my new self-discovery program designed just for women like you and me.
Get on the list to learn more.