What a life enhancing thought!
We can often feel overwhelmed or trapped by negative thoughts. And yet, they are just that, they are THOUGHTS. Classic CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) tells us that if we can redirect our thinking, we redirect our behaviours and our outcomes are different. This is great news.
You’re freer than you think - or maybe as free as you think you are.
There is a famous quote 'As a person thinks in their heart, so they are'.
Walt Disney said “If you can dream it, you can do it.” and also “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
What if you took this to heart, tried it on for a day … allowed yourself to be freer? Allowed yourself for just one day, to do more than you have done before.
What if you could change that one thing that is holding you back. What if that one thing holding you back, is your thoughts about the one thing holding you back. What if you shifted that barrier for just long enough to see life could be different and the difference is in your thinking.
What if changing your thoughts from
I’m stuck TO I’m traveling a beautiful path of freedom and choice. I don’t have any choices TO Life is full of creative options I’m not good enough TO I’m as good as the next person I can’t TO I am starting to believe I can
Would it make a difference to know that most of the limits on our lives are in our thinking?
Studies have shown that you can “rewire” your brain by actively thinking positive thoughts and focusing your attention on the good things in your life. I am not talking about 'toxic positivity' but possibility thinking and refocus.
What if you imagined there was a way forward. What if you saw yourself as more free. What if you allowed yourself to try; to fail; to try again; and to find a way forward. What if at the end of it all, your THINKING was the only difference between a life that feels free, and full and accomplished.
Here are some ways you can help “reprogram” your brain for possibility thinking.
Be conscious of your thoughts
Your thoughts are very powerful. The first step to reprogram your brain is to be conscious of them. If you find yourself thinking “Life is hard,” notice what you’re thinking and choose another thought to replace it. You may choose to shift your thoughts to “Life is hard and I continue to experience joy every day”- (because both can be true). Or “Life is a blast and the challenges I face simply make me stronger.” If you change your thoughts, you can form new pathways in the brain which may, in turn, change your experience of life.
Practice gratitude We all have something to be thankful for. Your job is simply to discover those things and give thanks for them. Once you start focusing on the good things in your life, you’ll start finding more and more things to be thankful for. It’s always good to begin your day with gratitude. When you get up in the morning, acknowledge the beauty of the day and all you have to be grateful for. When you start your day with gratitude, you’ve wired your brain to notice the good in your life.
Surround yourself with people and things that support a positive attitude People can take on other people’s energy without even being aware of it. If you find yourself feeling negative, find some positive people to hang out with. Read a book with a positive message or listen to music that inspires you.
A good practise is checking in with yourself and reflecting on where you are at. Identifying those things that are not working as well for you as they could be, or as they have done in the past.
Having identified one or two or more things that are not working for you. Identify parts of those that you can change right now, and parts that you can change over time. Also identify parts that may not be in your area of control but may be able to be influenced by you.
In this way you may decide to change something right now or work toward the change that you need over time.
Lets say you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, tired and stuck in life and in work. You may reflect on what feeling relaxed, invigorated and free may feel like and this may be represented in getting out in the fresh air and enjoying nature. The next step may be as simple as putting on a pair of shoes and getting outside. Or taking a drive to a waterfall, river, lake or ocean and breathing in the fresh air.
A 5 min self reflection.
Take 5 minutes for yourself for a check in. Notice what’s on your mind and what’s feeling good (or not so good) in your body. Free from judgment, just being present, be free as your beautiful self. Ask yourself what you need.
Then practice a slow, deep breath in—feeling the air enter your body, all those sensations in your nose, throat, chest and stomach. • Slowly release your breath through your mouth—noticing how the air feels passing over your lips and leaving your body. • Notice what you are thinking about. If your thoughts become distracting or they start to wander.. It may help to imagine your thoughts are bubbles. Touch them with a feather as they pass, but try not to pursue or grab them. They will pop! • Practice slowing down the thought bubbles, watching them pass and naming what they are. Just the act of naming them can make your thoughts less overwhelming and get you in touch with what’s really occupying your mind.
•Now focus on what is really occupying your mind. Allow yourself to explore this one theme. Feel the weight of it.
•Ask yourself, what do I need to do in order to feel more free in this area.
If you need help with this. Reach out. We are available most days (not Thursdays) for confidential counselling and psychotherapy.
You are freer than you think.