Most of our thoughts come and go without, well, much thought at all. They float in. They float out. Our patterns of our thinking become so familiar, and so subtle, that they often go unnoticed.
Typically, they grab our attention when our emotions flare up. On the bright side, we have inspired thoughts that spark ideas that immediately feel energizing. We feel an expansion that fills us and propels us forward in life. These positive thoughts unleash a cascade of neurochemicals that bolster our mood, attention, perception, motivation, action, memory and learning. (Clearly, a good thing!)
Other times our thoughts can be completely draining. They become filled with self-judgment, worry or some other strain of fear. We become trapped in negative thought patterns that release a completely different cascade of neurochemicals that dampen our mood, motivation and energy. (Clearly, breaking free from this habit is a good thing.)
We’ve all experienced it. Thoughts powerfully impact our emotions, actions, health and well-being. What we sometimes fail to recognize is that our thoughts are within our control to direct. We have the power to change our mind, change our thoughts and change our experiences. So, why not positively change your mind for the better.
Here are two daily practices to help you ingrain positive thought patterns. Each is designed to help you create the positive emotions and experiences that naturally direct your thoughts in a positive direction.
You may have heard them before. But if you’re not actively putting them into practice, it’s like you don’t know. So, give them a try for a week. They are simple. They make you feel great. And they always work when applied.
• Positive Mental Rehearsal – Before you fall asleep, visualize how you want to experience you day tomorrow from beginning to end. See everything falling into place. Feel the positive emotions that fill your day.
• Highlights – Make a list of everything you enjoyed and appreciated about your day. Share your highlights with your family and friends over dinner.
“Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Get good at living®,
Maryanne O’Brien is the founder of Live Dynamite, a life skills program that inspires, empowers and supports people to bring the best of who they are to everything they do.