It has long been recognized by many guru’s writers and sages throughout the centuries that the most certain to create the future you’d like is to manage the thoughts you are having now. Emerson wrote that is what he thinks about, most of the time. Napoleon Hill wrote that all great accomplishments of man have started with pure thought energy. The classic book “As A Man Thinketh” is yet another example of how your thoughts have a powerful and direct effect on the quality of your life.
What do you do if your thoughts are always focused on negative, fear or anxiety based images? What if your mind is filled with worry and negativity most of the time? Does that mean you are doomed to live a life filled with unhappiness and emotional pain?
I’m sure that you’ll acknowledge that you can’t be very happy if you are always thinking unhappy thoughts. Those that have happy and fulfilling lives are usually thinking happy and fulfilling thoughts. Because we all live in the same world, it would seem logical that if you changed your thoughts to a more positive perspective, you should see a slow change for the better.
But it’s not so simple. Thoughts are very sneaky, and have a way of running away from you when you are not paying attention. Luckily, just like any other bodily function, if you want to change a behavior, you only need to practice the new behavior long enough before it takes over the old behavior.
Unfortunately, for some this may take some time. But it is worth it, as the time you spend to change the quality of the thoughts you habitually think will have a drastic and profound effect on your daily life.
One powerful way to do this is to simply reverse your thoughts whenever you catch yourself. Simply flip everything around in your imagination that is negative, so it becomes positive.
For example, if you are having recurring worries about being fired, and you keep imagining in your boss calling you into his office and laying waste to your income, flip it around. Imagine the boss calling you in and giving you a raise and a promotion. This may seem a little uncomfortable, even impossible at first. You’d be surprised how habitual thoughts can seemingly dominate your mind to the point of not allowing any others in.
But the more you practice, and really force yourself to get into the new thought; it will slowly become a habit. It’s important to really flood your mind with good thoughts and feelings when you are thinking the new thought, that way you will train your brain to think those instead.
Because the brain naturally gravitates towards fear and protection, it might seem that the power of your new “forced” positive emotions don’t stand a chance against the comfortable worry and anxiety. That’s ok. Just like switching from eating McDonalds for lunch every day to eating turkey on whole wheat takes time, there eventually comes a point where you will crave the turkey on whole wheat, and despite even the thought of a Big Mac.
And so it is with your thoughts. The more you practice really feeling good with the opposite of your old anxiety driven fears, and quicker you will start to think those on a regular basis.
And when you start thinking positive thoughts on a regular basis, they will become unconscious and automatic. And that is when you can start creating new things in your life, almost like magic.
But it really isn’t magic. When you habitually think good, positive thoughts, that will come across in your behavior and your speech, and others will pick up on it. Your relationships will improve; you’ll get noticed more at work, strangers will smile at you more often.
It’s important to distinguish real, automatic deep positive thinking form Pollyanna style positive thinking. That usually comes across as fake and insincere, and I’m sure you know when somebody is projecting that kind of “happiness.”
The happiness you are shooting for is deep and automatic, and very subtle. And very powerful. Which is why you should make it a habit.
So remember, whenever you find your mind spiraling downward into a pit of depression and despair, just flip everything around in your mind. And be patient, as the outside world usually takes a while to catch up. Hang in there.