Changing the Way You Think
Have you ever wondered why old habits are hard to break? Many people who have suffered abuse will realize at some stage in their recovery that they have become "negative thinkers". At this point they will try to change the way they think, hoping to change from pessimists back into optimists. Unfortunately this can be harder to do than many may think, and they give up.
What they do not realize, is that trying to change a way of thinking is literally like trying to grow another arm. I compare the tendency to revert back to old ways of thinking to our thoughts choosing the "express" lane of a 4 lane highway rather than trying to follow a game trail through the jungle. Your brain has to build new networks of neurons - memory pathways. Until they are well established, it is easy to fall back into old habits.
So how do you change your thinking (and therefore turn your life around) and, if it is so difficult at first, how do you maintain any exercises or techniques long enough for your new way of thinking to become an automatic process instead of constant hard work? The process may be hard for some and easier for others. Further more, it will be different for everyone. Here are some tips to get you started:
- One way is to act the way you want to feel. If you act the way you WANT to feel for long enough, eventually you will start to FEEL that way.
- Watch the documentary called "What the Bleep do we know?"
- Self help books can help, but the trick is to keep reading them, over and over again. Try writing out some of the bits that mean a lot to you, and read those parts the most often. One thing I used to do was pick sentences from the book that I found poignant to my personal experiences, or that just appealed to me in general, and then write them on "post-it" notes and stick them on the wall above my desk, or on the fridge etc.. so that I could practice my new way of thinking without having to constantly refer to the book.
- If you think that "positive thinking" is an old wives tale, then do some research on quantum physics and the power of thought. I can tell you that thoughts are more powerful than most people imagine. Did you know that if a person could have the top of their skull removed to expose their brain while they were conscious, observers would be able to see their brain literally "light up" whilst the person was having a coherent thought. Each thought we have produces electricity. So basically, you could compare "thoughts" to the energy field of wireless broadcasting (radio waves etc...). Having said that, I now say this: "Thoughts become things" is a truth to take far! A wish is a thought, so wish on a star!
- Try keeping a "thought diary". Inside it, write down things that have happened and how they made you feel. Then see if you can pinpoint the thoughts you processed that led to your interpretation of things. Then, brainstorm other ways you could think of the same event that may help you interpret the situation differently. The way you think about something that happened or something that someone said plays a big part in how that event made you feel. This is why thinking positively can be so important.
- One other thing that is quite important but can be quite a hard choice, is to distance yourself from negative thinking friends and surround yourself by positive people. As the saying goes "When in Rome...."
Good Luck to anybody trying to change a bad habit of thinking negatively. Don't give up, and always stay positive!
Some Inspiration To Get You Started
Reach For The Stars!
Let your imagination free
And go with the flow
And then you will know
That your mind really can
Your mind is your spirit
And your spirit has wings
So do not live
In the Darkness of past
Let go of your fear
And know freedom at last
"Thoughts become things"
Is a truth to take far
A wish is a thought
So wish on a star!
The Power Within!
Never forget the quantum physics behind it all.
Do not live in the Darkness of the past,
Or let fear stop you from creating your own destiny.
You have the knowledge to liberate yourself from those fears,
And the Light of your brilliance can shine once again.
So take responsibility for your own happiness,
And be the author of your own destiny.
There is no choice between Darkness & Light,
Darkness is but the absence of Light.
And how boring would the nothingness of Darkness be,
Compared to the Light of Creation,
In a Universe of infinite possibilities?
You have the Power, now use it!
45 Ways to Improve Your Life
- Forgive people. Do not forgive them for the purpose of giving them another chance, but to give yourself the chance to let go. Then forgive yourself too.
- Let the universe seek its own revenge. Karma will be punishment enough, so leave them to their fate, and return to your own journey.
- Love and believe in yourself. Then the love and warmth you seek will be able find you.
- Dream more while you are awake.
- Watch the documentary called "What the bleep do we know".
- Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
- Don't waste your precious mental energy on gossip, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your positive energy in the present moment.
- Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.
- No matter what - hang in there!
- Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
- Don't keep dark secrets - they will keep you sick. At the very least, share them with a stranger.
- Don't waste time hating anyone. Hate only feeds the darkness and leaves you cold, alone and empty.
- No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
- Make time to practice meditation and/or prayer.
- Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of six.
- Each night before you go to bed, consider what you have accomplished, and what you have to be thankful for.
- Treat others as you would like to be treated.
- Don't be a gossip.
- Think positive thoughts.
- Take time out to appreciate a scenic view, watch children play or smell the flowers.
- Do the right thing. Give of yourself for the greater good!
- Perform a good deed, and don't tell anyone.
- Have a sense of purpose that gives you direction.
- Smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
- Keep a diary.
- Stay in touch with family and friends.
- Take responsibility of your own happiness and be the author of your own destiny.
- Live with the 3 E's - Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
- Take a walk every day, or do some other exercise.
- Play more games and read more books.
- Buy a DVR and record your late night shows and get more sleep.
- Clean clutter from your house, your car, your desk, and let new and flowing energy into your life.
- Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants. Eat less food that is manufactured in plants!
- Drink green tea and plenty of water.
- Take the scenic route for a change.
- Make a "To Do" List and try to get at least one thing on the list done each day.
- Take a moment everyday to appreciate what you have.
- Try to make at least 3 people smile each day.
- Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
- Call your family often... (Or email them to death!)
- Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
- Don't try to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
- Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
- Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
- Ask, Believe, Receive.
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Copyright © 2010 Mel Stewart, "safe-at-last", of Perth, Western Australia. All rights reserved.
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Copyright © 2010 Mel Stewart, "safe-at-last" and Licensors Nodtronics Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.