Too often, we’re bogged down by our very own negative thoughts ... and you don’t even realize it. Research indicates you have 60,000 of these a day! These thoughts, leftovers from your past, can really damage your self-respect and self-esteem … and negatively hurt your relationships.
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But there’s good news! These thoughts can be changed once you’re aware that you’re having them. Whenever you’re feeling upset, you’ll also experience a physical sensation like tightness of tension in your body. (A fuller description of how to change old patterns and re-wire can be found more fully in my book, Mindfulness and The Art of Choice: Transform Your Life.)
If you notice that your body is feeling something other than relaxed, it’s a good time to check in with what you’re thinking. This is what starts the awareness process. And although you can think up to 60,000 thoughts a day without realizing it, when you consciously have a thought in mind, you can only think one at a time.
So, once you tune in and realize what you’re thinking, it’s time to stop the thought. Since, as I said above, you can only think one thought at a time, replace the negative thought with any other neutral thought. For each of you it will be different.
For me, a picture of a flag served as my neutral thought – it had no meaning to me. But if you’re a veteran, a flag would not be neutral. I suggest something neutral rather than positive because often a positive thought will start leading to other images.
The old negative thoughts you’ve been having have been “wired-in” for a long time. Therefore, expect that they are going to come back automatically, and you will have to keep working at replacing the thought with your neutral one. That’s why I recommend using the same neutral thought each time; it will be easy to access.
So, every time you become aware that you’re having a “garbage thought” replace it with your neutral one. Though this will take time since no change happens immediately, the process will get faster and easier.
I want to assure you that soon, you will no longer be weighed down by negative-impairing thoughts and you will be moving to a more Empowered YOU!
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