Learning to control your thoughts as they enter your mind is the first step toward being a happier person. When you begin to be aware of what you are doing with your thought life you will be able to make beneficial changes to your attitudes and moods.
At first, you may be surprised that sometimes your thoughts include excuses for why you do or don’t do certain things. It’s important to be honest with yourself, especially within your mind. This way you can continue to think thoughts that will motivate you and keep you in a happier place.
If you’re not completely honest with yourself inside your thought life you may get in the habit of excusing things in your life that need to be changed. I call this denial. Sometimes it’s easy to excuse away things that need to change because it’s easier than doing whatever needs to be done to change a situation. This becomes dangerous to yourself and affects others depending on what you might be doing that could be negatively affecting others.
Bottom line, the thoughts that are entering our minds need to be bombarded with honest, positive and motivating things (thoughts) that we tell ourselves. If it’s too hard to do this in our mind then start by verbally saying these things to ourselves.
Are your Thoughts Empowering You?
Too many negative thoughts running through our brain are a threat to our happiness but what can we do if that’s what we find? And, what if we believe those thoughts?
You’ve already taken the first step toward being a happier person if you are becoming aware of your thought life and how it may not be serving you well.
Next, you only have to figure out how to turn those negative thoughts into something that motivates you to move forward. It will serve you well to get in the habit of thinking thoughts that affirm your intentions.
Negative thinking isn’t all wrong when you are aware that by itself it does nothing for you. Negative thinking is only bad if you never change it and it’s best to change it with the first negative thought you catch yourself thinking.
Changing Your Thought Habits Will Take Work
For example, maybe your negative thought of always being bored with your job, for example, could be turned into a desire to find a more exciting job, or even to talk to your boss about a possible responsibility change. Also, you could start looking for ways to make your work more interesting by varying your tasks in a way that beats the monotony you’ve been feeling.
Maybe when you don’t control your thoughts you can’t get past the thought of how messed up your life is. It could be a divorce, financial ruin, loss of a loved one or something else. You might not feel like moving out of the negative, much less have the energy to even think of how to make things better.
Well, you need rest and time, but eventually, you should take a mini-step toward your future. You could start one small step at a time with the intention of getting better at moving ahead.
However, remember that the slower you strive, the longer it may take till good things happen.
If you’re stuck in negative, depressing thoughts try taking some time to bombard each negative thought with a positive. If you are frustrated with the way things are going in your life, work at picking a few positive things that are happening. Focus on those things every time you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself.
Control Your Thoughts by Deciding Which Ones You Need to Change
The most important thing is that you learn to act on the thoughts that aren’t serving you well. Also, start thinking of ways to improve things. When you are working on improving your life, you will begin to feel empowered even before you reach your goal. Once you are in the midst of making good choices and seeing some beneficial changes you will begin to notice the control you have taken of your thoughts, by habit, and how much better you feel.
Once you’re stuck in the negative, however, it can seem impossible to change anything. If things feel impossible, you might have to force yourself to keep hoping even though you don’t feel like it. When I feel like this I usually only find relief by thinking of something else, getting busy doing something fun or treating myself to a little luxury.
“A little luxury” could mean meeting a friend for coffee or a walk, a long warm bath, a funny TV show, a relaxing cup of tea, or a good book. Anything to get your mind off the thing that’s currently overwhelming you. Push forward with the rest of your life and you’ll find that at another time you’ll be able to deal with the overwhelm successfully.
Plan on Telling Yourself a Few of the Same Positive Things Regularly
Once you’ve experienced your ability to control your thoughts and the habit of turning negative thoughts into seeing things in a positive perspective you will continue feeling the benefits of good thought control. It’s a habit that is worth the struggle when you first start the battle. Keep checking yourself and your thought life, especially if you find yourself having crappy days or no motivation, but overall you should notice a big difference.
Some good habits to start working on concerning your thought life could be:
Don’t punish yourself with thoughts of things you can’t do well. You might not be a good dancer. Either take action to learn to dance better or pat yourself on the back about something your good at instead. Maybe you are funny, artsy, creative, a hard worker, smart, organized, friendly, sensitive, etc.
Google search for good personality traits. You’re bound to fall into several wonderful traits and compliment yourself for having these. Work on developing other traits that you find easier naturally.
Find some Affirmative quotes that remind you what is reasonable to expect from yourself as a person of worth and integrity. Read them often.
Spend time with people who have a way of making you feel good about yourself. Limit time spent with people who joke at your expense or leave you feeling unloved or unappreciated.
Lose the Thought Habits That Attract Hurtful Reactions
Some people are surrounded by others who intimidate or humiliate them most of their life. We can become comfortable with this kind of treatment but it will wear us down emotionally. Changing the people around us might seem impossible but it’s a necessity. No one deserves to be in a position where they are mistreated this way.
Maybe you are constantly saying you’re sorry, or verbally critical of yourself. This is another way negativity can creep in and you might consider being your own best friend. Criticism can wipe out motivation fast. Nobody is perfect and you certainly don’t need to put that load on yourself. Life is tough enough.
Be conscious of what you put in your head, especially if you are a sensitive person. Some people can read depressing books and watch dramatic, suspenseful movies without it affecting their mood and others can’t. Maybe you need to be around people who are more cheery and uplifting. Then you can soak up their happiness and continue to grow into a better overall outlook on life.
All of This May Sound Overwhelming to You
Sometimes life gets so tough for so long that we lose interest in trying to make changes for the better. Possibilities seem to take forever and when things get bad sometimes a bunch of things goes wrong at once. Controlling our thoughts is a major challenge if we are depressed, anxious or in the midst of unfortunate events.
Give yourself time to feel better. If you are struggling for more than two weeks please seek help with a medical professional or mental health counselor. If you are at the end of your rope you may need help with medication. Long periods of high stress and depression can change the balance of chemicals in your brain. You will be amazed at the progress you can make with a little medication, even for a short time.
Mental health is greatly affected by our mental habits. But when someone is already in a really bad place it can become a cycle of let downs to try to come out to a better place without help. I found myself in this situation soon after my third child was born. I really had nothing to be sad about but I couldn’t stop crying. The countless nights of little sleep as a mother and responsibility of four children had taken its toll on my mind. Also, if depression or anxiety affects anyone else in your family, chances are you will struggle with it too because of chemical similarities in your physical makeup.
Don’t let something that can easily be fixed with medication keep you from feeling your best! Once your feeling better you will find the strength to start to control your thoughts and mind also!