What Are You Thinking? the Path to Mental Excellence
“I have suffered much in my life… and most of it never happened.” Thoreau
Change Your Thoughts To Change Your Life
The subject of thinking is an intriguing one. Our mental excellence begins and continues to grow with the question "What are you thinking?" As we broaden our understanding of how powerful our thoughts are we learn to broaden our understanding of other principles. We learn to open our hearts which enable us to live a life of safety, trust and unlimited creativity.
There is no limit to the amount we can improve upon when it comes to the quality of our lives. It all begins with what we are thinking. This is the path to mental excellence. I will introduce you to four main ways to change your thoughts. You can do it with the following powerful principles and practical techniques.
Change your thoughts to change your life. Audrey Hunt
"There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so -William Shakespeare
Negative Thinking Can Become A Bad Habit
One of the top causes of negative thinking is worry. We worry about an entire kaleidoscope of possibilities most of which never happens. What a waste of time and energy. Do we really think that by worrying things will change? Let me see now. " I'm going to sit myself down and think of all the negative results that may happen in a particular situation. I think I'd better dwell on these negative thoughts, which keep me up at night, because by doing so it just might help."
Are you that powerful? Rubbish! Imagine for a minute that your mind is a garden. You can fill your mind with beautiful flowers or you can choose weeds which become overgrown and out of control. What will it be? You can"t think about two opposing thoughts at the same time. What ever you focus on will be.
Life is made up of thoughts and how we think is exactly what kind of life we will live. By controlling our thoughts we determine our actions. We can choose to stay on a path leading us to mental excellence or we can become a victim of our own negative mind and be miserable.
It's never too late to form good habits. You deserve to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Would you like to learn how to disrupt your negative thoughts? Check out the information below.
An Effective Way To Interrupt Negative Thinking
I'd like to share an effective exercise that I use when a negative thought begins to take hold of me:
- The instant I become aware that a negative thought is turning into self-talk I yell "Stop It."
This interrupts your state long enough to go to the next step.
2. Immediately replace the negative thought with a positive one.
3. Repeat this process several times.
- If yelling stop doesn't work the first time, I repeat the word again and again until I've replaced my state with a positive thought.
- I immediately visualize something wonderful. A scene in a movie, a favorite song, the ocean, the one you love, something funny - anything works as long as you change your focus.
This will take practice - a lot of practice. This exercise is called "thought stopping" and it works. Do this for at least 15 minutes several times a day.
I'm not saying that it's possible to control our thoughts every minute of every day. After all we aren't robots. We have feelings and emotions. We want to avoid labeling these feelings because when we do we block our energy flow. Furthermore, whatever we are feeling it's important to allow ourselves to feel it fully. Repressing feelings can lead to physical health problems.
Look at the chart below for replacing negative thoughts.
Negative Thoughts VS Positive Thoughts
I'm just not worth anything
I'm a valuable person
I'm just plain stupid
I always make mistakes
I do many things well
I don't deserve a good life
I deserve to be happy and healthy
I have a problem at work
I have a difficult situation at work
I am fat
I honor and love my body
I am a mess
I am wonderful
I will never be able to do this task
I can complete these steps which will lead me towards being able to complete the task.”
I have the ability to
It is what it is
It is what I choose to make it
I refuse to lose
I'm determined to win
The Book That Kindled The Belief In Positive Thinking
Food For Thought
The first self-help book I ever read was written by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. In his book, "The Power of Positive Thinking," Dr. Peale has this to say about our thinking patterns:
"Feelings of confidence depend upon the type of thoughts that habitually occupy your mind. Think defeat and you are bound to feel defeated. But practice thinking confident thoughts, make it a dominating habit, and you will develop such a strong sense of capacity that regardless of what difficulties arise you will be able to overcome them."
I could read this quote again, and again, and I have. It will forever be my "go-to" book when I need a few sprinkles of positively.
Loretta Siani, PhD gives this good advice in her book, " Everyday Miracles." "If you want to stop any bad habit you can start by laughing at it. To reclaim your power all you need to do is laugh at the absurdity of thinking you don't have it."
Gangrene And Amputation - A True Short Story
James Leonard Kerr (Jim) lay quietly in his hospital bed waiting to hear what the surgeon had to say about his foot. Jim suffered from type2 diabetes and regardless of his careful diet, an ugly ulcer developed on the bottom of his right foot.
He could still picture himself sitting in his brown leather recliner with his feet elevated and his blonde-haired daughter massaging his feet. She was careful not to touch the growing ulcer which might cause pain to her beloved father.
Suddenly a voice interrupted his short trip back in time. "Hello, Jim. How are you doing today?" "Oh I am just fine" Jim replied to the familiar face of his doctor. Immediately, the surgeon joined the doctor trying to muster up a smile. He placed Jim's trembling hand in his. "Jim, the reason your foot has turned black is that gangrene has invaded the entire area and unless we do something about it the gangrene will travel up your leg to your heart and you will die."
Jim was silent for a minute and then asked the surgeon what his options were. "You only have one option, Jim. Your leg will have to be amputated above the knee." At this point, both doctors and nurses were fighting back salty tears. They had all come to love and respect this man who faced unbelievable challenges in his 60 plus years with humor and a huge sparkling smile.
It didn't take long for Jim to respond to what lay before him. "Oh that's ok...don't look so sad. I'll get a brand new leg someday There's one waiting for me in Heaven."
Jim recovered from his surgery and never once complained of pain or discomfort. As the prosthesis was measured to fit what was left of the thigh area he was warned that it would take months before he could walk with it. Determined not to let anything stop him he worked endlessly every day regardless of the pain. He proved the doctors wrong when he walked without a walker or cane in 3 weeks.
Jim is my father. He now resides in heaven walking with two perfect legs. Through my father's example, I have learned how the power of positive thinking brings joy to one's life regardless of the circumstances. For me, negativity is a waste of time.
Thank you, daddy.
The Amazing Power Of Your Mind
Fact About Short-term Memory
Short-term memory is a lot shorter than many think. It lasts about 15-30 seconds.
Four Main Ways To Change Your Thoughts
You may be saying to yourself, "It's impossible to change the way I think." Well, it isn't impossible but it does require some work. I'm referring to repetition. It's through repeating an action again and again that we begin to notice a change in our habits.
In order to change your thoughts it takes these four actions:
- Reflection. Reflecting on past behaviors leads us into judging what has happened in the past which creates automatic behaviors in the present. Replace this thinking with new thoughts to bring about positive actions. Replace your dwelling in the past by living in the present moment.
- Disputing irrational thoughts. If you think to yourself, "I'll never be able to do this," you'll have a feeling of hopelessness. Instead, replace the negative thought with a positive one such as "I can complete these steps which will lead me towards being able to complete the task." You will feel more hopeful and will be more likely to engage in the desired behavior.
- Being mindful or focusing your attention on the present moment. Begin to look at the world as though you've never seen it before. Avoid the "what-ifs and the should-haves." Keep your attention directed to the present. You will succeed.
- Intentionally thinking about positive thoughts or new ways of narrating your lived experience. Our reality is our perception and is perceived through different filters in our mind. As we focus on the positive we change our feelings and behavior leading us to the path of mental excellence.
Words Used In Negative Context
Here are some words to avoid in order to be a positive thinker:
- No one.
If You Think You Can't You're Probably Right
As a vocal teacher, I have found that those who think they can or those who think they can't are usually right. When a client comes to me with a negative attitude, believing that they sound terrible when they sing, they usually do. They may sing off-key or lose control. But when a singer enters my studio believing they can sing they will give me their best performance. They sing with confidence and joy.
Negative thinking closes the door to progress and possibilities. Positive thinking opens the door to growth, development, and success. When we allow ourselves to dwell on negatives, hurts, and mistreatments we become negative thinkers.
We have a choice. When we choose to think big and remain positive we open our horizons. When we think we can't we close the door leading to all possibilities. Our attitude plays a tremendous role in achieving mental excellence.
And here's one more reason for developing a good attitude. When it comes down to it, positive, optimistic people are happier and healthier and enjoy more success than those who think negatively. The key difference between them is how they think about and interpret the events in their life.
Do You Believe You Are What You Think?
Summing It Up
I'd like to send you on your way with a few key tips to remember:
- To change your circumstances, first, start thinking differently.
- It is only our ego that wants us to keep judging, fighting and striving against others and against life all the time.
- Give up the need to control.
- Acceptance is the beginning of enlightenment.
- The psychological stress of negative emotions has a toxic effect on the immune system.
- Negative thinking closes the door to progress and possibilities.
- Use the words "Stop It !" to disrupt negative thinking.
- Be aware of your bad brain habits. As Dr. Phil says, "You can't change what you don't acknowledge."
- Use visualization to change from a negative thought to a positive thought.
- Practice the four ways to change your thinking.
- Avoid all-or-nothing type of thinking.
Begin now to laugh often and start a gratitude list. These two factors are a powerful key to leading a positive life.
Life is thought, and when we cease to think, we're not living. How we think, is the kind of life we live. Since we are able to control our thoughts, we can determine the course of our life and the way we feel during our time here.
Thank you for being here. I invite you to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
"Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too."
http://www.32keys.com/05thoughts.html reference https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_89.htm http://www.drdgoodman.com/uploads/6/0/8/8/6088462/changing_negative_thoughts_about_yourself_to_positive_ones.pdfthoughts diagram credit - http://www.thoughtsfromatherapist.com/2012/07/12/thoughts-emotions-behaviors-triangle/http://www.thoughtsfromatherapist.com/2012/07/12/thoughts-emotions-behaviors-triangle/
© 2015 Audrey Hunt