Tag: changing thoughts

Emotional Awareness

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Let’s say elevating your level of positivity and happiness is a daily intention for you. You utilize mantras, affirmations, and/or other tools on a continuous basis. You are letting go of unsupportive thoughts and adopting supportive ones. But there are many moments, or even days, that you are far from a state of bliss. What gives?

Well, we’re not robots, so it’s perfectly normal to experience unexpected emotions even after a lifetime of positive focus. No one is a happy, smiley person 24/7. Nor should that necessarily be the goal, nor a marker for successful personal growth. A more helpful goal is to achieve emotional awareness, or being conscious of how we are feeling and why.

Here are some points to keep in mind regarding our emotional experiences:

Emotions are not destinations. They are road signs. Your emotions are a result of your thoughts. So if you recognize you are in an uncomfortable emotional state, take a look at what you are thinking. For example, if you’re feeling despair the thoughts creating that are likely defeat, hopelessness, and powerlessness. Once you’re alert to your thoughts, you can start shifting them to ones you consider more positive and higher energy. “Happy people” are not always happy and “unhappy people” are not always unhappy…they just engage in more of that particular kind of self-talk and, therefore, resonate the corresponding emotion.

All emotions are the same. Yes, you read that right. Emotions are neither “good” nor “bad.” They are just different from each other, and some we prefer over others. However, being able to identify what kind of emotion we are experiencing gives us the opportunity to shift our thinking in another direction. We can create more of the feelings we like (referred to as “positive” feelings) by changing or shifting the language we use in self-talk from words that create emotions we feel badly about to words that create feelings we feel positively about.

All emotions are useful. Emotions like despair, fear, anger, and frustration may be uncomfortable and undesirable, but they are signals that something isn’t sitting well with us. Uncomfortable emotions can nudge us into awareness and can help us define what we want in life. As we work to move on to preferable emotions, we may see beneficial results we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience in the absence of that initial unwelcome feeling.

Recognize and accept all of your emotions for what they are. Emotions are part of the human experience. Take comfort in knowing it’s ok to feel unwelcome emotions, and feel confident that you have the power to change your thoughts, and therefore your emotions and your experience, at any time.

 


How to Create Affirmations for Attracting Your Best Life

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An affirmation is a declaration about what we want to manifest in our lives. When stated in its most supportive form, it vibrates truth from within your heart. Affirmations are an effective tool for mental, physical, and spiritual wellness, personal growth, and attracting what we desire.

While affirmations appear simple, there are several important components to be aware of in creating a powerful affirmation that will work for you:

Make your affirmation positively positive. If your goal is to be out of debt and therefore want to create an affirmation that will support you in that mission, take care not to use the word “debt” in your statement. While getting out of debt is a positive idea, the word debt isn’t. Our brains naturally focus on the main subject, which in this case, would be debt. You’ll start thinking about all the bills you owe and before you know it, an affirmation that was meant to inspire you is stressing you out instead! A better stated affirmation would be: Every day I am attracting more wealth and abundance or I am moving towards financial independence! See how these affirmations focus on what you DO want, instead of what you don’t?

State your affirmation as if it has already happened or been resolved. Your unconscious mind will agree with everything you say. So if you declare, “I will soon have plenty of free time to spend with my family,” your unconscious will pipe up enthusiastically and agree with you. However, what is being agreed upon is that you WILL have that freedom sometime in the future…but not now. Avoid using wish, might, will, going to, try, and want in your affirmations. These types of words (future tense), will keep what you desire in the future instead of manifesting it in your present. By saying “ I am in the process of creating plenty of free time in the next week to spend with my family” you are allowing your unconscious mind to have a boundary to work within and assist you in getting what you desire in present time.

Make it believable. If you don’t believe your affirmation, it’s of no use to you. For example, if you say “I am a millionaire” and then your inner critic has a lot of things to say in response—Yeah, right. How’s that going to happen? Maybe you’ll be a millionaire in a million years!—this affirmation isn’t going to do you any good. This is a great time to use a transitional statement, which means you are in the process of getting there. For example, instead of:

I easily trust people. –> Each day, I am getting better at trusting people.

I have my soul mate. –> I am in the process of attracting my soul mate into my life.

I am financially solvent. –> I am in the process of increasing my income 30% over the next 3 months.

Using these “in the process of” affirmations can be more believable when “happening right now” doesn’t sit right with you.

Go for emotional impact. The whole point of an affirmation is that it makes you feel good and will assist you to create change in your life! Therefore, check in with how your affirmation makes you feel. You want to experience emotions such as excitement, joy, optimism, love, peace, and gratitude. What you think creates what you feel and what you feel creates what you believe and what you believe creates vibrational energy. This vibrational energy is what assists you in creating the life you desire.

Want to know more? Read one of my previous posts about affirmations.


How to Talk Yourself Out of a “Bad Mood”

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We’ve all experienced a “bad day.” Even people who always seem to be in a good mood have days where they have low energy and aren’t seeing the world in their usual positive light. There are a million reasons why we might have low spirits, but the common denominator is the kind of thoughts we are having prior to and during a period of negativity. What are your thoughts (aka self-talk) when you are in a “bad mood”? Perhaps this line of inner conversation sounds familiar:

Wow, what a crappy day. I feel terrible; I can’t seem to concentrate on anything. I’m never going to get anything done today. What a waste. Why can’t I snap out of this funk? There must be something wrong with me. Great, another thing I have to worry about. I don’t need this. Why can’t things go my way? Ouch, my neck really hurts. Why does this have to happen now? I should probably do some yoga or stretching. Ugh, I’m so tired. I should start eating better and working out more. Who am I kidding, it’ll never happen. It’s just too hard. I don’t have any discipline. Whoa, where has the time gone? I never have enough time! I just want to crawl back into bed. I wish this day would end.

Yikes! This self-talk would put anybody in a bad mood!

Often, the shift from a not-so-good mood to a good one is triggered by something great happening to us. And suddenly, we’re in high spirits! How did that happen? We interpreted the stimulus we experienced as positive and began having a different conversation in our heads. Our thoughts changed from being down on ourselves to telling us how awesome we are and that things are going our way. We feel more confident and happy, body pain fades or goes away completely, and we have so much more energy. We literally talked ourselves into a good mood!

As I tell my clients, sometimes the shift from negative thinking to positive thinking is as simple as changing the words you use:

Eliminate these words: Replace with these words:
should it would be better
have to I choose to
ought to I could
must what I prefer is
can’t I can
don’t I will
weak empowered
supposed to  

It works best if you write the positive words on post-it notes and place them everywhere…on the dash of the car, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and so forth. Seeing the positive words will remind you to be aware of your self-talk, and adjust it if it’s not supporting you.

We have the power to change our state of mind in an instant by using positive self-talk to flip our perspective. How empowering to know we don’t have to wait for our external world to show us something positive…we can talk ourselves into a positive outlook!

For added support, here are some other posts that relate to positive thinking and lifting your spirits:

How to Shift Your Unconscious Beliefs and Create the Life You Want

Support Yourself Through Transitions by Changing Your Thoughts

Shifting Your Perspective to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Anger

Living in Abundance


How to Stop Procrastinating

cat hidingWe’ve all been there: You have a task that has to get done—cleaning the house, exercising, clearing out the garage— but you always find something more important to do, or you just can’t make yourself do it. If this happens to you often, you might wish you were more disciplined, and even mentally beat yourself up about it.

Procrastination is easier to tackle then you might think. The following tips will share how you can cross those important items off your to-do list and become a more organized, disciplined person:

Reframe your attitude about tasks and “being disciplined” in general. Your thoughts shape your beliefs, which create your reality. So it can be beneficial to examine your thoughts around the activities you are avoiding. Ask yourself: Why am I avoiding this? Why do I think it will be hard or unpleasant? What is my perception of discipline? Often, the story or drama we create in our heads is an inaccurate representation of reality or possible reality.

Do you think of yourself as an “undisciplined” person? How so? Could you let go of that belief about yourself? If you have beliefs that you can’t finish anything you start, you’re lazy, or have no focus or attention span to do anything…these thoughts are sabotaging you, and may be contributing to a negative experience by fulfilling any expectations of failure that you may have.

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

– Henry Ford

 

Get your thoughts into a headspace of success. Change your thoughts of “I can’t” or “I’m not” to “I can” and “I am.” Visualize yourself beginning the task with ease, successfully completing it, and feeling the result of accomplishment. Will you feel proud, happy, or grateful? Take the time to feel and enjoy that moment now. Your body doesn’t know the difference between what’s real or imagined, which is why you can get upset again when you recount a story to a friend about how someone did you wrong as strongly as you had during the actual event! So why not use the power of thought and emotion to support you instead?

Just start! The hardest part is starting a task or chore that you have been avoiding. Try this: tell yourself you are going to do the activity for 10-20 minutes and set an alarm for that time. Having an end point will allow you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you stop when the alarm goes off, that’s more than you would have done if you had kept putting it off. If you keep going with your activity after the alarm sounds—either because you’re in the groove or it’s not as challenging as you imagined it would be—excellent!

If you can get into the habit of reframing your thoughts to support you in accomplishing tasks, embodying how great you will feel afterwards, and then taking that first step, you will soon be a more organized person. You can avoid feelings of guilt, worry, and disappointment for not completing tasks, and the time you previously spent procrastinating will be spent accomplishing your goals.


Support yourself through transitions by changing your thoughts

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Losing or changing jobs, experiencing the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship, becoming a parent, having a birthday that ends with a five or a zero….what these events have in common is they signify a change. Times of transition can create stress and discomfort as we adjust to our changing lives.

Transitions are a natural part of life, and aren’t the cause of our stress. What we say to ourselves about a situation creates our feelings and beliefs about the transition. We can support ourselves through a transition by changing any unsupportive or unproductive thoughts into supportive ones. Putting the three tips, below, into action will automatically shift your feelings about your particular transition and your beliefs about transitions in general.

There is more available to us than what we see. Before Isaac Newton “discovered” the invisible force that keeps us on the ground, gravity already existed and was working for us. Therefore, just because a solution or next step isn’t readily apparent, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Often when we take the time to be calm and still— such as during meditation—the answer we seek will come to us, or we will be presented with an opportunity that takes care of our current issue.

Allow the idea that Life is in our corner although it may not always seem like it. If you can’t fully get on board with this idea, be open to the possibility. Many belief systems say that if you are here than you have a purpose. I believe that we have many purposes. When we are on ‘path’, it will feel as if life is working with us. So, how do transitions fit in? As transitions are a part of life, just because we may not like a particular transition does not mean that it is ‘wrong’ or ‘off our path’. Sometimes we just do not like everything that happens in our lives. Many believe that we learn best from the more difficult challenges that come into our lives. I however see all as equal.

Do what can be done and let the rest go. Transitions are life unfolding before us. We respond to them as best we can. Not allowing our expectations or fears to control us, will keep us in the moment fully able to see our options. There are things out of our control, knowing which those are will make any transition easier. The knowledge that everything does pass and that you will come out the other side of the transition with insight and understanding will make any transition easier. Do take action when it is called for–realizing that sometimes the thing to do is nothing.


How We Can Support Gender Equality

butterflyWe’ve learned gender stereotypes from a young age—how females and males are supposed to behave and look; what societal roles and jobs they take; even how they think and feel. When we view someone not as an individual but as a member of their particular gender, and judge them on their ability to live up to those standards, it’s a form of prejudice and discrimination.

Although modern society has become more cognizant and open regarding diversity and individuality, there may be subtle things we do, say, and accept as fact that seem harmless, but are actually damaging to self-esteem and worth. It happens when someone assumes a woman has children or plans to. When it’s assumed a father is the one who works instead of choosing to stay home with the kids. It happens when a woman is expected to be a good consultant for matters of the heart or a man for practical issues. When a woman is expected to help in the kitchen or clean up while a man is expected to be on point with his sports knowledge. It’s most damaging when we stop ourselves from doing something because it goes against our perception of gender expectations.

We might be contributing to gender bias without even realizing it. So what can we do to support gender equality? Awareness is the first step. In your interactions with others, be on the lookout for:

  • Jumping to conclusions about someone based on gender
  • Expecting someone to behave or perform certain tasks because of their gender
  • Shaming or criticizing someone because they didn’t live up to a gender stereotype
  • Rewarding someone because they exemplify their gender stereotype

When someone does or says these things to you, keep in mind that the person may not be aware of their message, or that it is offensive or demeaning. Resist letting their ignorance become a part of you. Know your worth and value as a unique individual. You don’t have to ignore it, laugh it off, or keep it inside. You can say something if you choose. What you say and how you say it is a personal choice. Perhaps you can think of a way ahead of time to respond in such circumstances.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer.”

~ Emma Watson in a 2014 speech at the United Nations Headquarters

Keep in mind that the macroclimate of our society trickles down into our personal relationships. If your view of gender roles is rigid, it will restrict your ability to be fluid and grow in your relationships.

Let’s be aware of our words and actions. Let’s be kind and respectful to ourselves and others. We are all human beings, and we all matter…equally.


Are Your Thoughts Making You Sick?

Flu season is upon us, and we are all trying to be as proactive as possible to avoid getting sick. Coming down with the flu, a cold, or any kind of illness is not pleasant, nor convenient in our busy lives…especially with all the holidays approaching! So we might get a flu vaccine, try to eat right and exercise, get enough sleep, stock up on vitamin C and hand sanitizer, and stay away from people who look sick. We’ve done everything we can. Or have we?

One very important factor we might not have considered as contributing to sickness is…our thoughts! We know from numerous news reports that being in a constant state of stress has negative health consequences, but what about our thoughts in general? Can the way we think make us sick?

Studies show that our thoughts are so powerful they can affect our physical well-being. Try to recall the last time you came down with a cold. What was going on in your life? What was the gist of your inner dialogue the days leading up to your sickness? Were your thoughts focused on worry, fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, or resentment?

Our health can also be compromised when:

  • We keep our feelings locked inside, instead of dealing with or expressing them.
  • We don’t speak up for ourselves and then experience feelings of powerlessness or other energy-depleting emotions.
  • We can’t let go of past experiences that brought us pain, distress, or tension that continue to affect us as we relive the experience in our minds and through retelling the story to others.
  • We think negatively about others, and ourselves focusing on faults and mistakes instead of positive traits or actions.

While thinking negatively or in an unconstructive way will not necessarily make you sick, it can play a part in it. If that kind of thinking can make us sick, then thinking in a way that is positive, loving, and caring toward ourselves and the world around us can contribute to our well-being. So why not add, “wellness thinking” to our regimen of healthy living?

Here are ways to break the cycle of thoughts that can harm our health that you can incorporate into every day:

  • Be aware of the focus of your thoughts. When you bring awareness to what and how you think, you can change or redirect the inner chatter as needed.
  • Think about what the consequences might be to you by continuing to think or feel a certain way. Will they benefit or harm you?
  • Try laughter yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, or other methods to center you emotionally/ spiritually/mentally. Even a few minutes can act as a reset button.

Change Your Mind – Change Your Life

Life does not NEED to be hard.

It is all about shifting ones attitude by changing thoughts, which shifts feelings, which shifts ones belief systems. Positive thinking really works and yes it does take intention and determination to create a positive life. Now some people might call this work; but I call this process and flow and attitude shifting.

When we catch our negative thoughts and dispute these irrational beliefs i.e. that the cup is half empty (I mean after all if you want to be irrational why not hold the belief that the cup is half full), then you will move forward in life and you will feel great. It is worth disputing negative irrational beliefs so that you can think and feel better. No reason to dispute the positive ones, usually.

If you shift into dreams than you can learn how to achieve your dreams by creating bite size goals and then tasks that will allow you to complete your goals and then eventually create your dream. If your intention is set and you are willing to put the time in, anything is possible. Of course accepting that yes there are limitations and knowing what your limitations are; will allow you to dream dreams that you can reach.

If you are grandiose and your ego is bigger than your brain well, most likely you will make yourself unhappy. So, if you have one leg, dream dreams that a person with one leg can achieve…no you are not going to grow another leg; but you can perhaps get a bionic leg and win the race.

If you find that you are angry a lot at the unfairness of the world consider what you can do to shift your world so that you are treating yourself fairly rather than wishing the world or other people would be different. No one is going to change for you and certainly not the world. It is unfair and so what, if the cup is half full it will not matter…