Is this the Hidden Hook Keeping You from Being More Mindful?

Mindfulness

I’d uncovered a hidden hook that was keeping us from becoming more mindful, being more present in the here and now. It was so provocative, different, and spot on that it was going to be the breakthrough everyone was looking for!

It was just the piece of the puzzle that had been missing up to now and I couldn’t wait to share it and relieve the collective frustration. I confidently presented it to my meditation and mindfulness workshop this past weekend.

Before I get too ahead of myself, let me bring you on board with the actual provocative thought I’m referring to. My huge insight was inspired by a quote I had read of British philosopher Alan Watts on the phenomenal website brainpickings.org. It was in the scope of a larger paragraph but this is the sentence that illuminated everything for me. He wrote:

“… If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life.”

Secure but separate is definitely not present. Right?!? Are you with me?

It seems most of us are wanting to be secure and protected from the flux of life. We’re wanting to feel secure in our ‘okayness’ right now and secure in our future ‘okayness’. Wanting to feel secure and assured that our kids are going to be okay, secure and assured that our performance at work is considered good, secure and assured that our health is strong and finances are going to be enough… now and forever. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many facets of our lives for which we seek to feel secure and assured that everything is going to be okay.

But what if it is this very desire to be secure that is keeping us separate from life, from being in the here and now? From being able to be more mindful?

This. I think this is why being more mindful is such an elusive goal to so many of us. It requires us to hold all of these insecurities and non-assurances at bay in order to be able to turn our attention onto the here and now.

It requires us to have the trust and confidence that we can be in the present moment without messing anything up, dropping any balls and keeping all our plates spinning in the air.

This type of trust and confidence is extremely difficult and doesn’t feel natural to most of us westerners. We’re taught to be strivers, doers, summit-conquerors. All. The. Time.

We’re culturally and somewhat evolutionarily wired to be at odds with the very mindset that holds the key to being more mindful.

Fast forward to after the workshop when I was eagerly reading the feedback forms, excited to confirm my excitement. Hmmm. Well, let’s just say it’s wasn’t totally back to the drawing board but it wasn’t all-systems-go either! The participants ranked it only as ‘helpful’ but had ranked everything else as ‘very helpful’. So not a complete loss but it totally surprised me because I had thought it was amazing and yet it didn’t seem to have the same impact on the others.

What about you? Do you think our sense of security and wanting to be assured everything is going to be okay has anything to do with our ability to be more mindful?

5 "Must Try" Strategies for Anxiety

5 Must try strategies for anxiety.png
It is waaaay too easy to be anxious these days.

As we become tethered to our technology, we are bombarded and overwhelmed with more input than our brains and bodies can handle. As we get older our responsibilities seem unflinchingly complicated and arduous. Dreaming of being on a deserted island takes on a surprising appeal.

Well, the deserted island may evoke even more anxiety, so let’s slowly back away from that last one.

We all lead busy lives so I’ll keep this simple and brief. If you are struggling with anxiety, here are 5 things to keep in mind to help you start finding relief and regaining your confidence.

  1. Know that your anxiety comes from strong associations, sometimes even unbeknownst to you, that your brain has formed. When anxiety starts to appear you've got to 'name it to tame it'. Say to yourself, “I’m feeling anxious because of the break in”, “I’m feeling anxious even though I don’t know why”, “I’m feeling anxious because of things happening in politics”. Don’t enter into a long conversation with yourself. Name it and move on.
  2. Shift your attention to something else when you feel the first inkling of anxiety. Anything. But not in a panicky, ticking time bomb kind of way. Practice doing this as calmly as you can manage. My “go to” is to turn to my breath because it is always with me. I take deep breaths and just try to pay attention to how it feels. I try to breathe twice as long “out” as I did “in”. After a few deep breaths, I turn my visual attention to something in the here and now. My goal is to keep myself in the present and disrupt rising anxious thoughts as soon as I am aware of them.
  3. Know it will pass. Seriously, this is legit. Even if you don’t do anything, this overwhelming feeling of anxiety WILL pass. Experiment with it. Next time, try to just observe what it is doing. Your thoughts, feelings in your body, the time it takes, the level of discomfort. Don’t do anything and just observe it pass through. Sorta like that unexpected and inconvenient couch-surfing friend of yours from college. Phew, that visit was brutal…but they’re gone!
  4. Know that any new association, thought, action or choice you can make when you are feeling anxious will start a new neural pathway. These new neural pathways strengthen with each repetition. The key is in the reps. The ultimate goal is retraining your brain away from your past anxious associations. Repetition of new associations will do it.
  5. Self-compassion. Your first inclination may be to hate yourself for “doing this” to you again. Actually, your second and third inclinations may be the same. As soon as you possibly can muster it, you’ll need to forgive yourself and be gentle with yourself. I would bet the farm that you’d never say to a friend the things you are saying to yourself. Turn that understanding inward A.S.A.P.

There you have it in a nutshell. Minus the effort and practice.

Leave a comment and let me know if you have any other "must try" strategies to add to this list. 

Your Thoughts Run the Show. This Happened Just Yesterday.

Change your thoughts change your reactions.jpg

This happened just yesterday. We’re driving along, literally I-80 from Colorado to Minnesota, when a neutral conversation got turned on its’ head…by me. The actual back and forth conversation isn’t helpful to replay but recognizing the thoughts going through my head is.

The conversation outwardly was about the airbnb we were going to and all of a sudden, the thoughts in my head were, “That’s not how I’d have done it”, “I’d have said this” and “That’s wrong, why aren’t we doing it this way?”

Before I knew it, blammo, the easy going conversation came to a screeching halt and became, shall we say, not so easy going. 

It was a total bummer and the way the conversation deteriorated could’ve been avoided altogether had I not fallen prey to the obvious but slippery fact: what’s going on in a person’s head effects how they respond to people and situations. 

Obvious? Yes. But why is it so hard to keep this front and center? Better yet, why is this fact of life so hard to actually use in the moment and stop us before we make things harder for ourselves? I have a few ideas why we have such a hard time with them. And a few suggestions on how to change them.

  1. Conserving resources. Life is so busy and full we often conserve mental energy by just skipping along, taking things as they come without much awareness of our internal state of thoughts and feelings. When our internal stream of thoughts are good, we‘re generally ok. However, when we’re super busy, stressed, annoyed, angry or anxious, “Houston, we have a problem.” 
  2. I’m too good for this. We feel as though by virtue of just being a successful adult we shouldn’t have to pay attention to our thoughts and feelings. Afterall, we didn’t become successful adults by accident! 
  3. I’m right. Yep, common hook. Feeling right feels so darn good! Neurotransmitters and hormones strike again making this one particularly habit forming.
  4. Everything but the kitchen sink. Sometimes we’ve let so many irritations go without healthy communication and problem solving that our need to be right might not have anything to do with the conversation at hand. This one is particularly stealthy and stinky. 
  5. Winner and loser. Seriously, sometimes our competitive nature doesn’t know when to let go or to stay out of things entirely. 

Do you recognize yourself in any of those? I know at least one that reared its’ ugly head during my conversation yesterday as we were navigating our way past Des Moines!

Now, the question we all want answered is “How do we avoid those traps?” 

Here are some suggestions to help you avoid the above that’ll be worth your while attempting:

  1. Each morning or every time you walk through a door or each time you brush your teeth, remind yourself: “I value being happy over being right in my relationship.” If this is statement is more true than not, you need to explicitly remind yourself of this. Regularly. As many times as you can. 
  2. Recognize if you’ve accidentally conflated ‘being happy’ with ‘being right’, meaning you really think those two things are the same. This is a surprisingly common and easy thing to do btw, again thanks to certain neurotransmitters and hormones. If this is your case, realize that there’s work to be done to separate out the two. This will take time but with practice you’ll reap the rewards. When you find you’re getting sucked into a happy=right situation, remind yourself that you’re starting to act out of habit and that you have other choices. Recognize that you enjoy being right and that isn’t the same as being happy. Decide if you want to continue driving your point home to be right or if a different angle would serve your ultimate purpose better.
  3. Know the implications of your ignorance. Our thoughts and feelings will dictate our reactions if we let them. If you aren’t working on recognizing them as they are happening, you’re running the risk of falling into the same traps over and over. It is only when we become more aware of what going on in our head, in real time, that we have the opportunity to choose different ways of responding to people and situations.
  4. Lastly, know you can stop a conversation that is going south as soon as you realize you’re going down that familiar road. It’s hard and it takes humility but it’s possible. You don’t have to pull any awkward about-faces. If you’ve gotten sucked into wanting to be right, gently start changing your words and tone of voice to be more open. As you keep the conversation going, allow yourself to find a way out and take it. 

These things work for me. Well, most of the time :-) Leave me a comment, I’d love to know what works for you! 

Mindfulness Helps When Life Stinks…Seriously?

Mindfulness when life stinks.jpg

Your job is a dead end, your relationship with your significant other is on the rocks, you’re constantly exhausted, and on top of it all you can’t even squeeze into your Spanx anymore. I can hear you (and a ton of other people like you) sincerely and quizzically asking, “Tell me again why I want to be more mindful of the present?”

Mindfulness is a tough sell for this very reason. Why would anyone in their right mind want to be reminded of the fact that they aren’t happy with how things are? I saw this comic the other day and thought it was perfect!

Be in the present cartoon.png

 

The mindfulness barrier that no one talks about and probably the #1 reason people avoid mindfulness is that they don’t want to be more mindful and aware of the present when it could make them feel disappointed, frustrated or not good enough. I totally get it.

However, being more present and mindful is part of the antidote to fixing life when it stinks, not part of the problem.

Let me lay out the two major components of mindfulness.

Warning, most people glom on to the first component of mindfulness and totally miss the second one. And the second one is critical! Don’t let that happen to you.

The first one is increased awareness of the here and now, as it is happening. It’s being more present or aware of what you are doing, feeling or thinking in real time, not just after the fact. The second is to be aware of your tendency to automatically classify everything as either good or bad.Everyone does it. You mentally judge everything that comes across your mind as good or bad and it puts you on an emotional roller coaster. And without being aware you’re doing it, it robs you of your ability to control your own contentment and happiness.

Now, certainly, I’m not suggesting that some things aren’t bad and should be labeled bad and avoided, and good and labeled good and encouraged. That’s part of our innate protection system for self survival. It’s not going away.

The problem arises because we judge everything! And we get conditioned into using this judgment of everything being good or bad as a way to inform what we should do or how we should feel. It is exhausting!

So of course, when we are conditioned to judge everything we aren’t happy with as bad, the idea of being more mindful of that does seem like a buzz kill.

But, here’s the thing, we can learn to ditch our habit of classifying everything as just good or bad. Let me introduce the magic of “neutral”!

We can learn to view most things as what they are…neutral. By doing so, we regain control of our emotions and we stay in the present. Even when we don’t like certain things!

Wait. We’re just supposed to start thinking of things as “neutral” that we formerly thought of as bad?

Yup.

Labeling things as “neutral” doesn’t mean we are pleased with them, it just reduces their hook on us. When we are hooked by negative things we are less likely to make effective changes on them. Most people think the opposite. They think that hating things will motivate us to change those things.

For example, when you hate how you look because of your weight, you think that hatred is going to motivate you to lose weight. But it doesn’t work that way, and if you are in this category you know this by now. Labeling things as bad and being upset about them, fires up our fight or flight response system and diminishes our ability to think clearly about solutions and take the very actions needed to change those things. By labeling that same thing as “neutral” we are much better off.

The way we make long term, sustainable changes when life starts to stink is by neutralizing the way we classify the majority of things and by being more aware of the present, as it is happening.

Seriously, give it a try. I’d love to know how it works for you!

What do 6 Blind Men, an Elephant and Your Anxiety have in Common?

anxiety and elephants

In some form or another, The 6 Blind Men and an Elephant parable has been passed down through the millennia reaching every corner of the world.

Well, probably every corner. Never heard of it? Okay, so maybe it missed a place or two. So here goes twitter style.

6 blind men all touch different parts of an elephant. Each get an incomplete picture of the whole but think they have an accurate picture.

For a longer, more poetic version, definitely check out John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887) version but my synopsis gives you the gist.

What do 6 blind men and an elephant have to do with your anxiety? Anxiety touches on a particular fear or worst case scenario that has entered your thinking and then thinks it totally “knows” the situation. Trying to talk sense to it or fill out the picture with a more balanced perspective is often disregarded because your anxiety insists it knows the real story or has the full picture already.

So what can you do once your anxiety starts to rise to help it keep a more open mind than the 6 blind men in our parable?

Picture an elephant and 6 possibilities. The next time you start to feel your anxiety, allow a couple of your fear thoughts to enter the picture. Acknowledge these panicky possibilities but then come up with at least 3 thoughts that allow for the outcome to turn out okay or even great.

The #1 Question You Need Clarity on In Order to Stop Your Anxiety and It's Not What You Think.

one question for anxiety.jpg

What are you not willing to do, change, start or stop to transform your anxiety? That should be the first question a person figures out when they’re wanting to overcome their anxiety. Not in a judgmental way. Just in a be-honest-with-yourself way.

I recently came upon this realization after reading a ton of “healthy blogs” to help me be, well, healthier. Despite all the good information I was reading, there were suggestions that I simply just wasn’t. willing. to try.

The biggest example of this was the idea of giving up my morning cup of coffee. It was weird. I was reading a ton of compelling information on the benefits of giving up coffee and caffeine. And although I found myself nodding throughout,

I got to the end and thought…hmmm, no I’m not going to do that.

The evidence was clear. The arguments were objective. The intention was pure. Yet, the part of me that wanted to be super healthy totally overrode that piece of advice and wasn’t going to even give it a try.

On the anxiety front, you’ve probably read a lot of information online, listened to suggestions from your friends, family and maybe you’ve even seen a therapist or two. All offering solid advice and persuasive testimonials of ways to overcome your anxiety.

But in order to figure out what really is going to work for you, you need to get clear on what aren’t you willing to do in order to change your anxiety.

Why? Being honest with ourselves is the only way to destroy barriers to growth and be empowered to change. It allows us to be real with ourselves. We can move from sweeping generalizations of how we want things to be to the more nuanced and specific reality of how we’re choosing things to be.

In the case of coffee, my choices right now don’t mean that I’m never going to give up coffee or caffeine. And they don’t mean that I don’t think giving up coffee is a bad idea. It just means that right now, I’m at the point with my health that I’m not willing to do everything I know to do to be super healthy. Or to put it another way, my health isn’t bad enough to make me want to try everything. Good enough is ok.

Anxiety is the same way. We can tolerate a high level of daily anxiety. This high tolerance often leads us to not doing everything we know to try in order to relieve it. Good enough is ok.

If this is your situation, there’s no need to beat yourself up over it. You just need to be honest about your current choices and remember that when/if things change, there are more strategies for you to try.

Green tea anyone?

#1 Question You Need Clarity on In Order to Stop Your Anxiety and It's Not What You Think.

one question for anxiety.jpg

What are you not willing to do, change, start or stop to transform your anxiety? That should be the first question a person figures out when they’re wanting to overcome their anxiety. Not in a judgmental way. Just in a be-honest-with-yourself way.

I recently came upon this realization after reading a ton of “healthy blogs” to help me be, well, healthier. Despite all the good information I was reading, there were suggestions that I simply just wasn’t. willing. to try.

The biggest example of this was the idea of giving up my morning cup of coffee. It was weird. I was reading a ton of compelling information on the benefits of giving up coffee and caffeine. And although I found myself nodding throughout,

I got to the end and thought…hmmm, no I’m not going to do that.

The evidence was clear. The arguments were objective. The intention was pure. Yet, the part of me that wanted to be super healthy totally overrode that piece of advice and wasn’t going to even give it a try.

On the anxiety front, you’ve probably read a lot of information online, listened to suggestions from your friends, family and maybe you’ve even seen a therapist or two. All offering solid advice and persuasive testimonials of ways to overcome your anxiety.

But in order to figure out what really is going to work for you, you need to get clear on what aren’t you willing to do in order to change your anxiety.

Why? Being honest with ourselves is the only way to destroy barriers to growth and be empowered to change. It allows us to be real with ourselves. We can move from sweeping generalizations of how we want things to be to the more nuanced and specific reality of how we’re choosing things to be.

In the case of coffee, my choices right now don’t mean that I’m never going to give up coffee or caffeine. And they don’t mean that I don’t think giving up coffee is a bad idea. It just means that right now, I’m at the point with my health that I’m not willing to do everything I know to do to be super healthy. Or to put it another way, my health isn’t bad enough to make me want to try everything. Good enough is ok.

Anxiety is the same way. We can tolerate a high level of daily anxiety. This high tolerance often leads us to not doing everything we know to try in order to relieve it. Good enough is ok.

If this is your situation, there’s no need to beat yourself up over it. You just need to be honest about your current choices and remember that when/if things change, there are more strategies for you to try.

Green tea anyone?

7 Steps to Take if Anxiety is Making Even Your Spanx Not Fit Anymore

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What do you reach for when you feel your anxiety starting to rise? What helps you release the tension that builds when you’re feeling worried, freaked out? What gets your mind off what you’re anxious about and onto something that feels better, if just a little? What do you reach for to calm your nerves? Yep, food.

Why does overeating help? Seriously, why don’t we over-meditate or “over-something” a bit healthier? It sure would save us from compounding an already challenging anxiety situation, not to mention money on our ever expanding Spanx collection!

We’re wired for taking the path of least resistance. This seems to be especially true when we experience emotional discomfort. Few of us were ever taught the skills needed to get through tough emotional times in a healthy way.

As a result, most of us avoid, push down, deny or numb our feelings through whatever means most available to us at the time. Once we see that it works, it becomes a go-to habit. After that, this maladaptive strategy is employed over and over with very little thought.

Sometimes we keep reaching for “comfort food” because it reminds us of better times in the past. Other times we reach out for “treats” to get us through. And then sometimes we reach out for something that is usually “off limits” so we can subconsciously create the opportunity to stop feeling anxious and start hating ourselves. Seriously.

Eating also may serve a subconscious function of feeling like we are in control, because anxiety sure doesn’t feel that way. Or it may serve the subconscious function of feeling that we are choosing the lesser of two evils, either we can freak out or we can eat. So many possible reasons!

Each person is different, and I don’t want to make this issue sound too easy to fix. Habits are brutal. But with strategies in place and practice, it is possible to start a new habit around your anxiety and eating.

That said, the strategies I’m going to suggest may seem totally unappealing and I know it. They don’t come with any dopamine hit from getting a treat, they don’t set off a blood sugar spike in your bloodstream, they don’t release the neurochemicals involved in reaching for the “forbidden fruit” and they don’t insert a behavior that allows you to turn your emotions to anger.

I know, it is a tough sell.

Even for me and I teach this stuff! But, I ultimately believe in our ability (and need) to prevail against immediate gratification.

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Recognize you’ve gotten into the habit of choosing food to address your anxiety or other feelings that aren’t comfortable.
  2. Notice when you start to feel your anxiety (or other uncomfortable feelings).
  3. Label your feelings and body experience as anxiety.
  4. Tell yourself that you can handle these uncomfortable anxious feelings without eating.
  5. Turn your attention onto something else. Yes, you are trying to distract yourself here.
  6. Take deep breaths, with longer exhale than inhales.
  7. Repeat steps 2–5 until you’ve moved past your discomfort. It may take a little while but will get easier the more you do this.

To recap: You start being more aware of your feelings. You tell your brain what is going on by labeling your anxiety. You tell yourself that you know your brain will want you to eat. And then you show your brain that you can handle it without food by turning your attention onto something else. Then you repeat the process over and over until you safely get past the discomfort without reaching for food or something else.

Like I said before, this process doesn’t come with any of the things we’re used to. It doesn’t instantly relieve the tension, it doesn’t give us a jolt of neurophysiological anything and it doesn’t allow us to transfer our anxiety to self-loathing.

BUT what it does give us is the ability to transform our anxiety in an empowering, healthy way and that eventually will become second nature!

 

3 Ways Meditation will Make You a Better Human

meditation 3 reasons
It took me awhile to get into meditation.

I mean years. I can’t really blame my environment, I had spent the last 4 years in Eugene, Oregon and then was living in Portland. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time, single no kids.

I just wasn’t into it.

Which was weird because, full disclosure here, I’m the type of person who gets into things just because I know they’re good for me. Even if sometimes I don’t like them. For example, eating brussel sprouts and flossing every day. So meditation seemed like it would’ve been one of those ‘good-for-me’ things to add to my list. But it wasn’t.

To be honest, I don’t know how that changed? Peer pressure? FOMO? Who knows. I think I was just worn down after repeatedly hearing about all of the benefits of meditation and just kept trying it until one day it stuck.

Fast forward 20 years and it’s still stuck. Fortunately it has graduated from the brussel sprouts category.

Here are 3 reasons why I’ve kept it up and know I’m better for it. Maybe these reasons might help you give it another try, despite your misgivings.

  1. Meditation gives you a buffer between feeling irritated and ‘losing it’. Ever feel like you have too short a fuse or wish you had a tad more patience, especially when something irritates you? Me too, and actually I now do. I credit meditation but who knows actually what happened. Maturity? Nah, it’s gotta be the practice of being able to sit while tons of thoughts swirl through my head and not letting them get a rise out of me. And that is what happens after meditating for awhile. Getting in the habit of taking deep breaths, not clinging to each thought like velcro, and being able to become an ‘observer’ to our experiences allows us to better pick and choose our reactions. All of that contributes to developing the helpful thing called patience and buys us some time before losing it.
  2. Meditation helps you strengthen your ‘don’t freak out’ muscle. Although the systematic study of meditation is still in its infancy, research is suggesting that an active meditation/mindfulness practice strengthens our emotional self-regulation, or as I like to think of it, our ‘don’t freak out’ muscle. It has something to do with meditation increasing the gray matter volume in our orbito-frontal cortex and hippocampus regions of our brains. Okay, so technically it doesn’t strengthen a muscle at all but important regions that help us keep an even keel when we need it most. And that even keel feels pretty good!
  3. Meditation helps you stop your ‘broken-record’ loops in your thinking. It’s been estimated that we have tons of thoughts per day and most of them are repetitive. I actually had a hard time finding research behind the often quoted 50,000 or so thoughts a day but I think we can all agree that we have a lot. Most of them, we can probably also agree, are not unique snowflakes of thought but ones we have over and over all the time. If mediation does something really well, it’s that it highlights our active mind and helps us have greater awareness of thoughts as they happen. With practice, this increased awareness of our thoughts can help us interrupt them when they seem stuck. The more we interrupt them, the more we stop them. This was one of the first benefits I noticed.

If you’re not into meditation I totally get it. No judgement from this side because I’ve been there. However, I’ve gotta say that it might be worth that one more try. Who knows, keeping these benefits in mind, it may just be the try that clicks!

You Are The Average of What?!?

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You know the saying, “You are the average of the five thoughts you spend the most time with.”

Wait, something doesn’t sound right about that. And yet, actually, that sounds totally right.

The famous saying I’m riffing off of is by the late Jim Rohn. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” What he meant by that is that when it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced — whether we like it or not — by those closest to us. The people we spend the most time with affect our way of thinking, our self-esteem, and our decisions.

Sure, we like to think we are our own independent snowflake, but research has shown that we’re more affected by our environment than we think.

I think the same can be said for your emotions and thoughts. I think if you were to reflect on your main thoughts you would see that they shape you more than you think.

Check it out and see for yourself. What are the thoughts you have most often? Are you having a hard time remembering specifics? It’s really not much of a surprise if you are because scientists estimate we have anywhere from 12,000–60,000 thoughts per day!

If it’s hard to figure out one of those 60,000 thoughts per day off the top of your head, you can work backward from what feelings you recall having most often. We’re often more aware of how we feel then the actual thoughts that are causing the feelings. So think of the five feelings you usually have most throughout a typical day. Gratitude? Resentment? Pressure? Joy? Uncertainty? Irritation? Anger? Impatience? Creative? Stress?

Good. Once you identify the feelings you have most often you can backtrack to what types of thoughts might be causing them. You don’t even have to necessarily identify your exact thoughts, a ballpark grouping fits the bill here.

Use the feelings you just identified to recognize the thought “ballparks” you find yourself in most often? Negative thoughts, positive thoughts, worrisome, hopeful, realistic, unrealistic, anxious, assured thoughts?

It’s estimated that a ridiculously high percentage of the thoughts we have each day are repeats. That’s right, most of our thoughts are recycled over and over each day.

If you are spending most of your day repeating negative thoughts, then it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that you’re going to trend toward the negative. If you spend most of your day repeating worrisome thoughts about this, that and the other thing then well, you can see how that will end up playing out. Likewise if you spend most of your day repeating thoughts along the lines of hopeful or positive thoughts, you’re going to trend in the opposite direction.

If you want to make changes in your life, start by tackling the thoughts you spend the most time with. If you find your thoughts aren’t ones that will help you, you need to start thinking different thoughts. It actually is that simple.

Simple but not easy! I know, that’s an annoying saying…but it is true in this case. When you find yourself thinking or feeling a way you don’t like insert a different thought. Literally any other thought (assuming it is not similar to the one you want to get rid of) will do.

Often the hard part is being aware of your thoughts in the moment, which happens to be the ideal time to insert new ones. But the good news is that choosing new thoughts/feelings whenever you remember to think of them will start to produce positive results over time!