Aren't thoughts fascinating? And complicated? And simple?
Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed and feel very down? It’s based on your thoughts. And then by the time you get back in bed for the night (or hell, even after that first cup of coffee) you’re considerably more hopeful and happy? This is also based on your thoughts.
Sure, you might be rolling your eyes right now and saying, “Wow, Kelly, that’s some mind-blowing revelation you just made.”
I know ;) So hear me out.
We are thinking beings and think all day and all night. In fact experts say we average 60,000 thoughts per day.
Have you ever stopped to observe your 60,000 thoughts? If you’re like I was for decades I rarely questioned them.
If one showed up I had to honor it and prescribe the corresponding emotion or feeling to it. I became the thought. And it was typically the same negative and stressful thoughts that I paid the most attention to over and over and over. Of course.
Side note: Lots of studies prove we have a negativity bias which is why we pay closer attention to worse case, focus on what’s wrong, etc.
Five minute challenge: I challenge you to write down every singe thought you have for the next five minutes. You may get a hand cramp but it will show you just how many thoughts you have and how random they are or what pattern you’ve developed.
So what can you do when you’re thinking negative thoughts, positive thoughts, any thoughts?
Learn to observe them, let them flow, and stop giving them all so much power, especially the negative ones.
Our thoughts are supposed to flow like clouds and you can choose how much focus and attention you give them as they’re passing by. You can observe them as they’re passing or you can literally go to painstaking efforts to follow them and not allow them out of your sight.
Flow vs control. Big difference.
Us humans like control, fyi. And that gets us nowhere.
What you focus on grows and so it never makes sense to give your unproductive and negative thoughts so much power that they break you, keep you stuck, or chronically stressed.
Your thoughts are designed to flow yet by controlling them and keeping them as is you are not allowing new, better, more creative, and hopeful thoughts to show up.
What you focus on grows and when you become an observer of your thoughts vs always having to ‘be’ your thoughts you turn into a powerful human who stops getting so wrapped up in identifying with stress, worry, anxiety, and other negative ways of being.
Another benefit? When you become the powerful observer of your thoughts you can begin questioning them and pondering their validity.
Here’s some powerful questions to ask yourself and answer:
- How long have I thought that?
- Is that even true?
- What evidence have I been seeing based on this line of thinking?
- What better evidence would I see if I changed my thinking?
- What is another way I can view this?
- How would I like to move through this situation?
All thoughts can be just thoughts that pass by. It’s when we give them a lot of time, attention, and emotion that we mess it up, start identifying with those particular thoughts, and then find evidence for them in our daily lives.
- You don’t have to be your thoughts, especially the ones that are shitty
- You have the power to be an observer (vs a slave) to your thoughts
- Ask better questions of your thoughts and take action on your better answers
- Thoughts turn into emotions/feelings, which turn into words, which turn into actions and evidence, then habits and beliefs, then how you live and go through life
- When allowed, thoughts can change and this can change everything
Thoughts are powerful, no doubt, but you have the power to pick and choose which ones will serve you best in life and this is powerful shit to know, internalize, and practice because when you do everything else falls into place and life works 100% better.
Cheers to your 60,000 thoughts! Use them well and prosper.
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