Tag: stopping negative thoughts

Are Your Beliefs About Money Keeping You Poor?

_1647Before money was in the form of paper or coins, people traded goods of value such as cows, fish, rice, salt, weapons, and clothing. The value of money is what we put on it. While our government has decided the amount a piece of paper or coin is worth, individuals place an additional, intangible value on it based on upbringing and experience.

For many people, money has emotion attached to it. As children, we observe how our families react and interact with money, and we receive messages about how they perceive it, which forms our money “beliefs”. See if any of these sound familiar: Money is the root of all evil, troublesome, difficult to get, hard to keep. Having money equals power, control, happiness, security, and solves problems. Are any of these your beliefs?

Money is neither good nor bad; it’s neutral, simply a tool that we use for the exchange of goods and services. However, that is not how most of us perceive it.

Do you have an emotional charge about money? What are your feelings about wealth or lack of it? Does your perception of money change in different circumstances? Do you feel that your self worth fluctuates according to your bank account?

Here is an exercise that might clarify your perception of money and its potential for change:

  • Visualize a pile of cash in front of you. How big is the pile? How does it make you feel?
  • Substitute the cash with one of the examples of ancestral trade before money, like exotic spices or shells. Do you still have the same reaction to your alternate pile of wealth? Now, how do you feel about having more, giving some of it away, or saving it?
  • If you feel more comfortable or less comfortable that your wealth isn’t money as we currently know it, examine why that is.
  • Do your feelings about money support you? If not, ask yourself are you willing to examine those feelings about money and adjust your perspective to a more supportive position.

Consider what adjustments around money you could make in both the long and short term. Perhaps it is focusing more on where your money goes each month (budgeting, consulting a financial advisor) or perhaps focusing less (if you feel you control it too much). Maybe you could adopt a positive mantra on money and wealth to say throughout the day, such as: Money flows freely, easily, and abundantly to me.

While changes toward your desired view on money may not occur overnight, clarifying what your current views are is a significant step.


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.


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.