In every moment we can choose the direction of our thoughts! For many, the outcome of those choices become all too clear in the long run!
We have the choice to think thoughts that paint the worst-case scenario, the drama, the tragic, the painful, the loss, and often the end of life as we know it. These thoughts produce negative feelings in the body – chemical reactions that prepare us to be ready for the worst – to run, to fight, to defend our position or sometimes our life.
Often these are thoughts with no real justification. We have no reason to think what we think but still we go there anyway in our mind, to imagine, and feel the pain.
The direction that we take our thoughts may seem innocent enough at first. “Only dabbling in drama for a while!” When those choices become habitual patterns that we no longer realize however, we become locked into a behavior, a character, a condition that can become an addiction and in severe cases a diagnosis in the arena of neurological disorders.
Specialists have conducted countless amount of research and studies to examine the impact of the thoughts we think. Titles such as: Constructive and unconstructive repetitive thoughts ; The power of positive thinking in Generalized Anxiety Disorder ; Mental Habits: Meta-cognitive Reflection on Negative Self-Thinking , are but a few from a long list.
Frightening statistics add to the discomfort of the suffering and contribute to the doubt and worry of everyone else.
A few things seem to be very clear however:
A- The direction of our thoughts matters to both our mental and physical health!
B- No child is born thinking negative thoughts. The tendency we have is not innate and most people can re-learn to better direct their thoughts.
Here are 10 practical ways you can begin to re-learn how to direct your thoughts and move towards the brighter, livelier, happier feeling direction!
Pay more attention on how you feel – inside. Keep a journal to write the reasons you feel the way you feel. Are you bored?
Try to catch your expression that reflects in a mirror or glass. Notice if you are wearing a frown most of the time?
Resist taking part in negativity for a while. Be an observer! Notice what happens! By not adding wood to the fire, it will burn out!
Practice seeing the positive side of things with small stuff! Try a cloudy day, a cancelled appointment, a phone call, a stray dog, garbage on the street, etc. Notice how different your thoughts make you feels.
After experiencing strong negativity, analyze the situation and ask yourself “Was that really the way I wanted this to go?” Re-live the situation in your mind with a more positive approach! Contemplate the impact of the different outcomes.
Spend some time with people that constantly direct their thoughts toward negativity. Observe and feel the energy and mood around them. Do you feel you want to spend more time with them? Are others attracted to them?
Spend more time with people that direct their thoughts in a more life supporting way. Experience what they feel like. Do you feel attracted to them and want to be around them more?
Do one thing a day that makes you direct your thought in a positive direction. Let someone in your lane in traffic; let someone with only a few items pass before you at the check-out; say hello to a neighbour; smile at a stranger; appreciate the sun, sky, your community, country, etc.
When confronted with a negative situation, notice that you can choose how you want to experience it. Acknowledge the power and consequence of your choice.
Contemplate often the good feeling direction and notice how other similar situations follow. Think about those often, tell the story about those, celebrate your ability and intention to choose a better direction for your thoughts.
Our ability to change is our biggest gift, our most significant Human Potential!
We also have another amazing gift: our thoughts produce feelings. Our feelings are indicators, physical expressions of the direction of our thoughts. Negative, dark, depressed, anxious thoughts produce negative feelings whereas positive, joyful, appreciative thoughts produce positive feelings. Our feelings can help us know what we are thinking!
By changing the direction of our thoughts, a small miracle happens!
We learn that we have the power to choose our thoughts and that better thoughts make us feel good. Most importantly, we realize that all we want is to feel good!