in Personal Growth | posted by Pat
Research is stating that each of us has approximately 60,000 thoughts a day, of which 90% are repetitive (Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University). Think about the reality that 90% of our daily thoughts are repetitive.
I don’t know about your mind, but mine is filled with lots of thoughts at the same time. In meditation, it’s called “monkey mind,” which I can attest keeps me very busy. These thoughts are:
Some of my thoughts are juicy creative ideas, and I write them down immediately because I know the monkeys in my mind will crowd out the creativity that is there as well. That is why it’s important to start on a path of awareness, as it helps each of us either remove the negative monkeys or to redefine the thoughts towards actions that support us.
Our thoughts throughout the day can support us to do our best or hinder our ability to move forward in our lives.
Our thoughts impact the choices we make each day.
How powerful would it be if we became aware of our repetitive thoughts and then decide what to keep and what to let go?
If a specific thought has been repeated several times, the brain puts it in a particular groove, and it goes on autopilot. For example, if you think “I’m not good enough,” your mind will repeat it automatically when you try to do something. This thought impacts your ability to act positively in your life. Don’t get upset with your brain because that’s its job to streamline functions.
Change implies effort so to redirect our thoughts towards more productive or creative thinking will take a committed intention on your part. You can start small by evaluating one thought, how often you think it and then decide to change it and this can make a difference. All efforts to change helps us move forward towards the life we envision for ourselves. So, change your thought: “that small changes don’t matter” to “small changes are creating a new pathway in your brain.”
So how do you start making a change in your thoughts?
Learn to Listen
When we are listening to ourselves, we can hear the thoughts we repeat consistently. Listening is a powerful tool to use in your life. By listening, you can see if your thoughts are hanging out in a negative zone and how it impacts your wellbeing. Become aware and start listening to yourself daily and you will begin to make changes naturally.
So how do you learn to listen to become conscious or your repetitive thoughts? By being mindful of them. How do you become mindful? Mindfulness is a way of life. Many people start to meditate to develop awareness of their thoughts. Another way is to schedule time to write down what you are thinking at the moment. You could set your timer for every hour and stop to review what you are thinking. Carry a small notebook around to capture your thoughts. Many times, our thoughts are so repetitive that we are not aware of what we are thinking about. Selecting a simple practice, either meditation or writing, to enhance your awareness, will guide you towards the change you are open to making.
When we are experiencing an intense emotion, such as anger, sadness or guilt, then we are more aware of our thoughts. It’s a great time to capture all the thoughts. Keep in mind that these emotions do stir up the drama in your life and you can decide whether you want to act on them by repeating the story within your head.
How Thoughts Dictate Our Actions?
How Change Dictate Your Actions
The monkeys in our mind will continue to be there, though, with consistent practice, we can change our thoughts and impact the choices we make in our lives.
Have you worked on your thoughts and, if so, what have you learned that you can share with others? If you haven’t, what stops you?
Women’s Group Topics
It may be helpful to give each other feedback, gently and kindly, when we are expounding negative thoughts about ourselves. The feedback can help us become more aware of what we say about ourselves and create a different viewpoint of ourselves.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
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