October 20, 2011

Change Your Thoughts; Change Your Life

I wonder what life would be like
if I was able to change my
thoughts?
Over the years, I have been listening closely to the thoughts in my head (no...not the voices, I leave them alone...just the thoughts). You know the kind those that bring you down and make you feel bad. My thoughts are usually around my own "thinking errors". These involve jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, blowing things out of proportion, and gossip. 

To put it bluntly, I used to be a big old bitch. I was envious of others, I was competitive of others, I would debate with the intention of "winning" vs. enjoying a challenging bout of discourse (with a slight hint of pontification). I judged, I gossiped, and I did it to make myself feel better. I can say now that I am still a bitch (but one in recovery). I am trying my hardest to manage my thoughts and direct them towards the positive (for everyone's sake).

Why? Because I'm a firm believer in Karma, the universe, doing unto others, and that, in the end, the race is only with yourself. It doesn't matter how much I make a year, or how many degrees I have. What matters is the relationships I have with others. As that old saying goes...the things that are important in life aren't things. At 43, I think I'm finally starting to get this. I am trying to make choices that will be good for me and aren't about competition or pretending to be someone else. I am choosing my friends and not letting them chose me. I am trying not to absorb the negative attitudes of some people around me (without personal judgement). Most importantly, I'm trying (although it is a challenge) not to assume that someone doesn't like me when they aren't positively responsive to my greetings, my help, or my friendship.

Above all, I am trying to challenge or stop the thoughts in my head that remind me "I can't", or "I won't" be able to do something. "I'm not enough", "I'm a loser"....you know the kind. I don't know whether this is a human characteristic or something we assume in our culture, but I do know we all have our own little negative thought patterns and I'm here to say do what you can to stop them in their tracks. They will come out in behaviour. They will get in your way of doing and being what you want. The worry of looking stupid, the stress or not fitting in, and the self-depreciating thoughts that what we are doing isn't good enough may chip away at any happiness we do have in our lives.
Of course, "thinking positively" is more challenging
than just making the decision to do it. We are
influenced by our environment and our history.
Some feel we need to stop focusing on the past before
we can change our future and others feel we must
understand our history before we can move on.

One of the first things we can do is change how we think. Thoughts lead to emotions which lead to behaviour (classic cognitive behaviour theory).  If we truly feel positive about eating healthy or exercising every day or loosing the weight, the chances are better that we will succeed. One of the practices I try and do every night before I fall asleep is visualize the person I want to be, how I would like to look, and perhaps even in the occupation I would like to have.  What's that saying? If you see it you can achieve it? Sports psychologists swear by visualization to enhance their teams performance. Did you know that your brain can't tell the difference being visualizing an exercise and actually doing the exercise? The same motor units (located in the muscle) fire...wow, eh?

Anyway, today's post is all about how we (I) think and how our thoughts definitely have an influence on our health. Take stress, for example. Stress is a product of our perception of a threat....not the actually threat. For example, a bill isn't paid on time and we may stay up at night stressing over it. We are stressing over the perception of what could happen and not what is happening. Two people could go through the same stressful event and one may go up the wall with stress and the other could easily walk away without a scratch. Why? It all comes down to our perceptions; our thoughts about the event. Amazing.

God love you Stuart, and
your fuzzy blue carnigan!
For me, I will continue to work on this with the goal of becoming that person who is able to give everyone a smile and a greeting without expectation, who is able to accept the rejection of others without self-criticism, and the one who is able to show patience and forgiveness to herself as she does with others. Sounds kinda saintly to me, but I'll try my best.

K

2 comments:

  1. we know this so why don't we DO this?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Kimike666;
    Thanks for your comment. I have no clue but I
    Do have a feeling women may do it more than
    Men. All I know is it ain't good.
    Thanks for reading. Hope to hear from you again.
    K

    ReplyDelete

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