This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.
Podcast version: HERE
Quote: “Notice your thoughts without judgment”
"Why is it hard to change my thoughts?
I know my irrational thoughts can be calmed down by changing the perspective of the situation, but it's hard and difficult for my brain to think of other alternatives. What am I doing wrong?”
My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.
You’re not doing anything wrong, it sounds like this is important to you, let me see if I can offer some support.
When I hear "it's difficult" or “it’s hard” I know you're deep into your intellect, and in some way forcing yourself to think a certain way. That's not how it works.
Certainly we need our analytical intellectual mind, what I know is that’s the data channel, it’s where us humans dwell, ruminate and focus on the negative aspects of life.
Wanting and desiring to know WHY often keeps us stuck in this rut that we won’t ever figure out the “why”, or could take years or decades to figure it out. Why is often a question of resistance and judgement. Think about any situation where you’ve been asked WHY and didn’t feel like you needed to defend yourself. “Why do you wear that?” “Why do you do your dishes that way?”
Viewing changing your thoughts as difficult, or anything you do, that will be your experience, hard and difficult. You’re viewing it though the lens of hard and difficult. What if you were to choose different lenses, one that are seeing things or this situation through curiousness, willing to experiment, openness, willingness to fail and learn from how ever it unfolds?
Our brain is super smart and sneaky, our beliefs, the stories we tell ourselves, the rules and judgements we make our brain will find proof of it.
Rewiring, mental fitness, unlearning habitual survival thoughts, shifting your mindset, all the same thing worded differently is about accessing your wisdom, your inner knowing, finding who you really are your purpose, meaning and what will create and give you access to a life with greater happiness and joy.
Choose to be gentle, patient, kind with yourself, approach your thoughts with ease and flow.
When we try and force our thoughts to be a certain way, it's like pushing a LARGE pool ball under water and sooner or later it will pop up out of the water and smack us in the face.
Choose to be calm, and see your thoughts for what they are. They are an alarm. That's all. Thousands of thoughts come and go like clouds in the sky. The thoughts we feed, dwell on, feed, ruminate, get married to, well they build, grow and dominant our thoughts and create a habit of thought. Like all habits, they can be unlearned. NEW thought habits can be learned. That’s the amazing thing about our brains they are moldable.
Somewhere some how these irrational or other negative thoughts served you, protected you and kept you safe at some point. Most likely more than one time. Your brain saw the pattern and kept it and is now repeating it over and over to ensure you stay alive. Your brain doesn’t care if you are happy, sad, mad, glad, look hot or look down.
By getting angry, frustrated or annoyed with your thoughts, it makes them stronger, your brain has entered into survival mode and it will work super hard to protect you. This is why anxiety, stress an worry all grow.
Thank your thoughts for serving you, literally in your mind or better yet out load, the key is to believe this energy of gratitude.
"Thank you, you've done me well in the past, and today I will choose how I want to feel, I am safe, I am in commanding my thoughts to serve me today."
Then do that choose how you want to feel. Articulate it like you would describe to an artist how to paint an image in your mind.
When doing this several times your brain will pick up on this pattern and it will rewire your brain.
You're commanding your thoughts in a light, peaceful manner.
I hope this helps. I wish you all the best. Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!
If you want to send a question, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org please include:
- A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)
- And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it.