Hey crew! Welcome back to the project. In the last post, I shared an idea that has changed everything for me.
Our thoughts create our feelings. This idea, when new to us, is easy to resist. It is easier to continue to blame my circumstances for the way I feel than to realize that a lot of what I have deemed facts about my life are merely thoughts I am choosing to believe about my circumstances. And those thoughts are creating the emotions I experience. For more detail on this concept, check out my post The Power of Our Thoughts.
Once we have accepted that idea, or even if you’re not quite there yet, I think the next question is How Do I Change My Thoughts?
Here’s the simple answer: Just start thinking positive ones.
A little too simple, right? Many of our thoughts have been firing multiple times a day for years, creating deep-rooted beliefs. We are very good at thinking these thoughts. We have practiced them a lot! And to simply change them in an instant is certainly difficult, if not impossible. In order to create new thoughts and beliefs that are strong and deep-rooted, we will need to practice them as well.
First, start to become aware of your thoughts. We think thousands and thousands of thoughts every single day. Most of them are subconscious, meaning that we think them without even being aware of them. But we do have the ability to start to notice them. So pay attention to yourself and the thoughts you are having.
When you notice a thought, do it without judging yourself. For example, when I look in the mirror, and instantly think, “Ugh. Those wrinkles are so awful!” I don’t judge myself and create further negative thoughts and emotions. That won’t help me at all. Just take note—“There I am thinking that thought again.” Maybe be curious about it. Ask yourself, “Why do I keep thinking that thought about my wrinkles?” “Why are they a problem for me?” “What about them is really so awful?” Try to notice and then understand the thoughts you are having.
Once you have noticed and explored your thought, ask yourself if it is one you want to continue to have. Ask yourself if it is creating positive feelings for you. If it isn’t, you may want to try a new one—a replacement thought. Here is one to try: “My wrinkles are mine. They are part of my unique beauty.” Maybe that one feels good to you. Maybe it doesn’t. Try it for a while and see. Maybe you like another thought better: “These wrinkles show who I am. I love to work outside, and these wrinkles are evidence of a life spent doing what I love.” (This is the thought I use and love!) Keep trying until you find one that works well for you.
Some thoughts are not real strong and are easy to replace, while others are much more difficult. I love to garden, and with gardening comes weeding! In my yard, I deal with a variety of weeds. I love to plant flowers and vegetables, but inevitably, every year I have to weed the beds before I can plant anything. Some weeds are easy to pull, and I can quickly plant what I want in its place. However, other weeds have roots that are so deep and strong that I need a shovel to help me pull them. (That alfalfa!!) Our negative thoughts are much like this. Some can be replaced quickly with new, more empowering thoughts. Others, however, will take a lot more time and effort. Keep working! Keep trying!
Sometimes, however, you may run into an alfalfa plant. You may need additional tools, much like my shovel. If you find you are having trouble getting to the root of a thought that clearly needs to be removed, I would encourage you to get the help you need. This help may come in the form of reading books or listening to podcasts by experts on the topic. Maybe you need an even bigger shovel—a therapist or life coach. I don’t know which tool will be the best fit and fix for you. But I do know this. An alfalfa plant, when ignored, only grows larger, and its roots get deeper. So do something about it. You are worth it. Your relationship with your body is worth it. And you can do it! I believe in you.
Love your body, and your body will love you. ♥