Posted by: Jo Banks
Once we realise that we can control our thoughts, we can change everything...
One of the most transformational changes (or "ah ha" moments as I like to call them) I have with my clients. It's that moment when they realise that the negative thought(s) that they've been having about a significant life event or just negative thoughts general, can be changed in an instant.
I always ask my clients, "Where do you think your thoughts come from?" the usual answer is, "I've never really thought about it". Well your thoughts come from you ... you create them based on your values, filters, rules, programming (ie learned behaviours from our parents, peers etc) - nobody gives them to you! Therefore, if you're having repetitive, negative thoughts that don't serve you, you can change them. In fact, the only real thing that we have total control over in our lives are our thoughts. We can't control the weather, traffic, other people, our health (although we can influence it) but we can control our thoughts. Being able to control our thoughts give us much more control over a situation and enables us to make better decisions as to what that situation really means and what we can do about it.
How do we change our thoughts?
The fact is that we can't have thoughts at the same time, it's impossible therefore, the minute you notice yourself having a negative thought (and now you've read this, you will start to notice them), change it to something that makes you feel good ... think about lying on a beach or about someone you love or something you love to do/that makes you happy. The minute you do that, then the focus will shift from negative to positive and will stop your negative thoughts spiralling out of control.
Once we have one negative thought (even if we're in a relatively good mood), it attracts more - what we think about we get more of - therefore, it's really important to STOP the negative thinking as soon as we realise that we're doing it and change that thought into a positive one. It really is that easy, but incredibly powerful.
An exercise that I do with my clients which makes it easier to go change the thought is to ask them to vividly imagine something that makes them happy, I ask them to see what they see in big vivid colours, make it into a movie if possible, hear what they would hear if they were actually there and really feel the emotions they associate with it. The more they practice this picture/film then the easier it is to go to when they want to change a negative thought. It's actually very powerful.
For me to use a particular technique with my clients, it must be simple, easy to use and produce tangible results immediately ... this is one of those techniques. Why not make a pact with yourself to notice any negative thoughts over the next 3 days and make a conscious decision to change them to positive. The more you practice, the easier it will be to do and the more sustained the positivity will become.
If you consider yourself to be a negative person or have lots of negative thoughts which interrupt your life, why not contact us for a free, confidential consultation about how we can help.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.