Do you ever get stuck in patterns of thinking that are not productive or positive? Maybe its dwelling on a past experience you wish you could change, or maybe its hurt feelings and "poor me" thoughts. Whatever the negative thought you're getting caught up and the next thing you know time is lost and you are frustrated with yourself even more. Ugh!
We could also call it a bad habit. Because just like an external habit, your thoughts create patterns that repeat. If you fall into a trap of negative thoughts and repeat them on a regular basis, they become a habit.
So how do you create good thought habits? What is the first step?
Step 1: Recognize the thoughts that lead to destructive thinking. Set an alarm for yourself in your mind that goes off when you begin to think of the bad habit thoughts. This is one of the hardest steps because it is change and change is never easy. When you find that you doing it, celebrate. You have taken the first step towards creating a new habit!!
Step 2: Redirect your thoughts outside yourself. Create a new path for your thoughts to go. Focusing outside yourself is always a strong redirection. Here are a couple positive things you can redirect your thoughts to:
- Being thankful for someone or something. Gratitude is a powerful tool for positive thinking. It has been proven that when people regularly set time to be thankful they are less likely to be depressed.
- Asking the question, "how can I love better?" When we are thinking of others and truly loving them, the focus is off ourselves and the anxiety lessens. If thoughts go back to you and any insecurities about how you love others, we are not able to love others.
As you practice this thought shift, anxious thoughts will not have as strong a hold on your time and energy. Your energy wont be spent fighting the thoughts and you will have an easier time identifying the bad habits and begin to process them in a different way.
Try it and let me know what you notice...