Yes, you read that correctly! This is a new concept for a lot of people, but once you think about it, it makes complete sense.
Our brains are always thinking and talking to us, and for most of us they aren’t our friends. If you wrote down everything you said to yourself throughout the day, I would bet the majority of your self-talk is not positive and is not serving you.
Let me give you an example:
You wake up and look in the “man I look tired, these bags under my eyes make me look old, man I am old, my face looks blah….”
You then do your workout “I am not in shape anymore, I hate my body, why does this have to be so hard, why is my butt so big……”
You get to work, you read an email “I don’t even know what they are asking for, I am so dumb, I this should be easy, but I can’t even think of a response never mind how to actually do the task….”
You get home from work, and you are rushing to get the kids to practice, “I am a horrible mom I don’t even have time to make them a good dinner, Amy always has time for her kids and never seems flustered, I suck at being a mom….”
It’s time to go to bed, “well I didn’t get half the crap I was supposed to do done today, another failed day, we will see what tomorrow brings….”
Does any of this sound familiar? I am sure it does, and I am sure there are a whole lot more conversations like this in your head every day. But here is the exciting news YOU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE ALL YOUR THOUGHTS!
Most of the time your thoughts are stories you are telling yourself to make sense of how you feel or the situation you are in. They are based on your interpretation of the world around you. When you become aware of your thoughts you actually have the ability to choose which thoughts to believe.
Now this does take some time and intension because most of our thoughts are automatic and we have allowed our thoughts to take over and believed them our whole life. There are different tools you can use to help you don’t believe everything you think.
- This one is fun, name your mind! That’s right give it a name. For example, let’s say Sally is my minds name. When Sally creeps in I can tell her what I think of her. Let’s take an example from above “you are not in shape anymore, look at your body, why your butt is so big….” Thank you for your input Sally but you don’t even know what you are talking about I exercise 4 days a week and have made huge progress… get out of my head Sally!”
- Write down the thoughts that come to you, the note section on your phone is perfect for this, then review all the thoughts you had for that day, which ones are actually true thoughts and which ones are stories you have told yourself. Do this for a few days and you start to recognize how many stories we tell ourselves and how many stories we don’t have to choose to believe or listen to.
- Choose another thought, this is something I use in my coaching a lot, when you have an automatic thought that is not servicing you, simply say “nope I choose another thought” and right there you have to choose a healthier, better serving thought. This can also be called “rewriting your story.”
Being aware of your thoughts are the first step, this takes being intentional and slowing down to even notice your thoughts, from there try one of the tools above to reframe them. Try it for just a day and see what happens.