Have you ever felt sad, unhappy or down and not understand why you’re feeling these things?
Sometimes this happens to me, and I know to everyone but I’m learning through awareness of what I’m thinking what’s caused it – and normally it’s just a thought!
Below are some of the things I’ve found help me control the thoughts I’m having and the power the thoughts have on me in the moment – try them out, let me know if they work or if you found they had a positive benefit share them to people who you think could benefit from them.
Don’t judge the thoughts as they happen
One of the mindfulness techniques I’ve found interesting and one that came up in our coaching course is to just observe thoughts as they come into your head rather than investing too much energy into them. Don’t judge them good or bad, just observe. When you observe rather than judge they have no power over you, and you choose rather than react which ones you focus on and which thoughts you make important! I’ll be doing a blog post on mindfulness soon as I think it’s an amazing area and one I want to explore for myself and to share some tips on for everyone else too!
Focus on positive thoughts
They say the mind can only focus on up to 7 things consciously at a time – I think this is less for me anyway – but another one of the things that you can do is to condition your mind to see positive thoughts rather than the negatives – this will stop your negative thoughts having power over you. It’s harder to focus on positive thoughts, it takes effort. It’s easy to focus on negative thoughts because they’re in the news, radio, TV, social media so there’s no escaping it! So fill your mind with positive thoughts – whether they be affirmations, reflecting on your success journal (below), things you’re grateful for etc. and notice the difference.
Write a success journal
One of the things I do is write out all of my successes that I’ve been lucky enough to have achieved. Not only will this help your self-confidence but it will also boost your self-belief and help condition your brain to see positive things. Remember that goal you achieved? Remember that challenge you overcame? Write these out and focus on the great things you’ve been able to do!
There’s a brilliant book on gratitude called 29 Gifts by Cami Walker which I read last year and because of this book I have practiced gratitude as many days as possible since. Focusing on the things that you’re thankful for at the end of a day (or the start!) will help you feel more positive and change the thoughts that you’re having. If you think you’ll be happy when you get that car, or that holiday, or that girlfriend etc. then you’re wrong because happiness is not achieved externally long term. If you’re to be happy, a great way of doing it is to be grateful for the things you have in your life that money can’t buy.
Don’t take things personally!
In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements, which I refer to often, one of the agreements is not to take things personally. For me this is and was one of the hardest ones to follow. Often our thoughts are taken up thinking about events and situations where someone has said something to you, about you or around you that you’ve taken personally and have spent hours afterwards thinking about and ruining your day because of this! It’s something I’m guilty of and something only today I found myself applying what someone said in a group coaching session to me and my failings rather than seeing it as totally separate, not personal and without doubt not about me! But it was funny how my brain was applying it to me, making it fit into my thinking about myself and making me feel horrible! It was about someone different and when I found this out, and it was really apparent it wasn’t personal, I was able to see it differently, react different and move on!
Try these things out daily for a week, or a month if you’re brave and let me know if your mood improves, your thoughts are more positive and you feel better! I’d love to know it’s had some kind of impact on you!