When asked how to eat an elephant, an African wise man’s answer was to eat it one bite at a time. And the same is true of changing your mindset.
If you’re stuck in a low mood, with negative thoughts coming one after another, it can feel unrealistic or even overwhelming to try to “cheer up” or “snap out of it”.
Especially when you consider that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts per day. That’s a lot of negativity to shift!
So I recommend to my mindfulness coaching clients to just take it one thought at a time.
Practive being the Watcher of your thoughts, instead of the Thinker.
Take a step back, and wait for the next time you have a thought about yourself, or a situation you find yourself in.
Notice whether that thought is positive and productive, or negative and potentially damaging. If it’s the latter, then use this simple trick to turn it around.
Is that thought true?
Can I be sure it is true?
How does this thought make me react?
How would I act without that thought?
This 4 step process is based on The Work, by Byron Katie, and it’s a simple yet effective way of removing yourself from your thoughts, and analysing their usefulness.
If you find a thought that is unwelcome, and you would prefer to think the opposite, you can simply practice changing it and tell yourself the thought you wish to believe.
For example, if you think, “I shouldn’t have said that, they are going to think I’m so stupid!”
You can shift this easily, because you can’t be sure of what they think, and they are likely to be thinking nothing of the sort – they’ve got their own random thoughts going on, and are probably feeling exactly the same as you!
Since 99% of our thoughts are based on our own personal beliefs and filters, it’s likely that someone else could easily believe the exact opposite, so it’s possible for you to change your thoughts.
This is not delusion, or self manipulation, it’s simple psychology.
And it will help.
Once you start rewriting your own thoughts, you’ll realise how much of a superpower it is, and you’ll be unstoppable!
Let me know in the comments how you found this exercise, and which thoughts you’ve rewritten.
You are amazing!