Last month I made the decision to concentrate on increasing positivity and gratitude in my life. Life is made of highs and lows, this is nothing new but the way you think can determine not only how you participate in life but how you process these events. With this in mind, I am so happy to introduce to you, a new partnership on For the Style Seeking Girl. My beautiful friend Sarah from Creating Contentment will be sharing guest-posts with you fortnightly, I could not think of anyone better to join us on the journey to creating and maintaining a positive attitude. Read below for her first post called ‘Thoughts’, I can’t wait to read your comments. Thanks Sarah – over to you….
Thoughts are powerful. They construct and inspire. They have created beauty and amazement. The best things in the world have all originated from thoughts.
Thoughts also form our words, what we say to others. If we are thinking negatively, then we also tend to speak in a way that comes across as harsh, or terse, and without tack. Our words in turn affect our behaviours. If you are thinking and feeling bad, and voicing your sadness, then you are more likely to be physically expressing your distress in your posture and activities. And, if all this continues, then habits are formed. You become more likely to wake up and think those horrible thoughts again. It is a cycle.
Therefore to stop this cycle, you need to start questioning your thoughts.
We tend to believe everything we think. And we shouldn’t, because a lot of the time, our thoughts are not the truth. What evidence do you have to support your thoughts? Often questioning your thoughts in such a way, shows the holes in your thinking.
Thoughts are also constraining and critical. They can be mean and hurtful. They are often nagging and obsessive. Our thoughts spend a lot of time in the past reminiscing or ruminating and in the future, planning and worrying. Even when we are in the present, often our thoughts are comparing and judging.
I think one of the first steps to thinking more positively, is to first notice this.
Start to notice when your thoughts are being negative and run away from you. To help you recognise your negative thinking it is a good practice to label them. When you catch yourself thinking something negative, label it ‘unhelpful’, ‘worrying’ or ‘judging’. Use words that make sense to you.
I find that by labelling my negative thoughts as ‘unhelpful’, it also stops the spiralling, out of control feeling of your thoughts running away from you. In a sense, “I get off the train” and instead watch my thought float away. One practice I use is called leaves on a stream. I have found it really helpful and hope you do to.
Once you become more aware of your negative or bad unhelpful thoughts, you can then start working on replacing them with more kindness and positive affirmations. But it is important to have realistic expectations. It is important to start at the beginning and take small steps. Do not expect to be all sunny disposition tomorrow if you have depression today. It is not realistic. And becoming more mindful of your hurtful thoughts is an important first step of the process to becoming more positive about life and yourself.