There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind - you are the one who hears it.
― Michael A. Singer
Over the past thirty years, I spent my life listening to the voice in my mind and by doing this, i subsequently lost 3/4 of my life! I listened to thoughts telling me...... to lose weight and starve myself, not to go for a better job, i'm not good enough, not pretty enough and that life is scary and harsh........ !!!!
Now, we all do this on a daily basis right! What we think, is affecting our mood, actions and reactions to the world around us. This article is about becoming more conscious in our thinking and how we go about achieving that, so it becomes automatic.
If we are feeling anxiety or stress, that is because of the thoughts that are constantly circling around in our minds. These thoughts are NOT, WHO WE ARE and they can be reprogrammed to serve us, instead of hindering us!
Have you ever stopped and paid attention to what you actually spend your day telling yourself. Stop, right now and jot down what you were thinking about when you woke up this morning....... Did you wake up to feelings of joy because the sun came up on time, or because you were still alive and that you slept in a warm and cozy bed!
Or was it more like.... i can't be bothered today, I feel miserable again or were you listing the "problems" that are keeping you anxious and stressed out.
If you notice, these thoughts don't require any effort at all, they are just there. What we think about.... such as.... i've got no money.... will then determine how we will "feel".
ALL OF THESE THOUGHTS ARE FROM OUR PAST EXPERIENCES AND PROGRAMMING FROM CHILDHOOD... and they do not belong to us. So all those irrational fears are lugged around on our backs, causing unhappiness, destruction and misery.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO, IS OFF LOAD THAT WEIGHT, IT'S THAT SIMPLE!
OFF LOADING THE BAGUAGE
1) Be more aware of what thoughts are going on in your mind. It maybe ..... i'm so unfit and wish i could be healthy, I can't get a new job, i'm too old, i hate my job but am stuck in it, this economy is to blame, i have the worst luck, i will never find the right partner, im unlovable , im ugly, i've got nothing to offer ....... !!!!
2) Just notice these thoughts over the course of a few days and write them down, especially the ones that cause you anxiety or alter your behaviour.
3) Become aware of when these thoughts pop up in your mind and tell yourself, THAT THEY ARE NOT ME.
4) Lean away from these thoughts.... don't try to stop them or control them but simply recognise them, for what they are. They are thoughts that are from your past and that they are not who you are. You can then, simply bring your thoughts back to what you were actually doing..... working, exercising, reading ..... this is the process of being present.
All of these steps helped me overcome a thirty year battle with eating disorders. Realising that my mind was working against me and that those thoughts were not me, helped drastically. I still get these thoughts but am better equipped to handle them, as i dont allow them to playout fully anymore. In other words, once i become aware that i am thinking in a certain way, that is not serving me, i stop and refocus on the present moment. All it takes is awareness and practice.
TECHNIQUES FOR POSITIVE THINKING
I have discovered many ways in which to become more harmonious within my own skin. The best way to self help, for me, was by reading and learning. A great book.... "the untethered soul" by Michael Singer, is definitely one I have invested a lot of time in. He explains beautifully, what I have been trying to communicate.
Another practice i use , is Marisa Peer. She was a therapist for over thirty three years and has a real different approach to dealing with the minds negativity. It is about, rewiring those thought patterns by adopting and installing new beliefs about ourselves, that do nothing but motivate, encourage and drive us on to do anything in life.
A great way to slow down these vast and rapid thoughts, is meditation or mindfulness. Even a ten minute body scan meditation on youtube has worked for me. Becoming more present and aware of the inner chatterbox is the first step, then slowing them down with meditation is the next step.
When we slow the mind down, it then becomes clear that the mind just needs some form of controlling. By control, i mean awareness. Once we are aware of the thoughts that are causing ourselves stress, anxiety, depression and worry, we can then, through conscious awareness..... recognising the thought for what it is, refocusing on the task at hand and using meditation to calm and slow the mind down.
Hopefully, more focus will be put in to teaching everyone about the mind. With mental health issues affecting millions across the globe, due to the pandemic. Now, more than ever before, people need tools, resources and techniques to enable them to thrive during any crisis.
Therapists , medication and escaping through unhealthy and destructive behaviours won't "fix" the issue of the mental health crisis. Becoming self reliant and secure within ourselves, I believe , is the only way to secure thriving mental health.
Young adults aged 18-24, are really feeling the impact of covid. With a lack of employment and restrictions on their social lives, many are experiencing depression and suicidal thinking.
Those who are disadvantaged financially are also at greater risk of experiencing mental health problems. The lack of resources and isolation on top of the existing issues are exasperating these difficulties in many lives.
So, let's help ourselves overcome any challenge by gaining inner resources and strengths so we can handle and cope with our daily lives and during times of uncertainty. Because it all starts within ourselves. Be more conscious of what we are allowing to affect our behaviour by keeping track of those pesky thought patterns and returning to the present moment.
Becoming aware of what we are consuming daily..... cut out negative news programs, negative friends chatter, social media focused on drama. Partake in positive activities, keep a gratitude journal, meditate, do some exercise, drink plenty of water, eat good food and most of all..... recognise that your thoughts do not have to control you life!