Do You Know What You Are Thinking?…

Do You Know What You Are Thinking?

Our thoughts tell us volumes about what is going on in our life and ultimately determine what type of life we have and how we experience our world. We all know that when we have positive thoughts we feel good and when we have negative thoughts we feel like crap. What you think about impacts everything in your life. So pay attention and notice what you are thinking.

SEE ALSO: Think About What You’re Thinking: How To Be Mindful Of Your Thoughts

Witness consciousness

Noticing your thoughts is called, in psychology, a witness consciousness and it is like having a mini you on your shoulder observing what you think. It is NOT like the cartoon devil/angel that is constantly telling you what you should or shouldn’t be doing. It is not the judge or the critic with opinions about everything. It is simply becoming aware and paying attention to everything you are thinking. Here are some questions to keep in mind when you are watching yourself, and you can start by writing the answers to these questions below as you may already have an idea about what regularly passes through your mind:

  • What are you telling yourself?
  • What are you thinking about others?
  • How are you treating yourself?
  • What are you ruminating on?
  • And how does this make you feel?

Your thoughts evoke emotions. So many or our life experiences are tied to an emotion so it is almost impossible to not have an emotional response at some level. Which means what you think determines how you feel.

  • Negative thoughts = bad feelings
  • Positive thoughts = good feelings

Notice how you feel when you think certain thoughts and what the impact of that is? So watch your thoughts but don’t make the mistake of judging them.

For example:

“Oh I am criticizing my husband, that is not going to help me achieve the relationship I want. What can I do differently here?”

All this does is make you feel worse for being such a bad person. Change it to something different like:

“Oh I am criticizing my husband, that is not going to help me achieve the relationship I want. What can I do differently here?”

What this is doing is developing your emotional intelligence so instead of just reacting to your emotions you become aware of what you are really doing”.

I am not suggesting that all you need to do here is change what you are thinking and say some positive affirmations then your life will instantly change and be prefect.  What I am suggesting is that the more aware you are of what you think the more opportunity you have of making changes in your life that benefit you. It is about being aware and bringing mindfulness to everything you do. So what do you do when you have taken notice of what you are thinking?

Change your language

When you notice that you are being critical of yourself then change your negativity to praise, even if you do not believe yourself at fist, just do it!.

When you are getting annoyed at others or events that are occurring then find a way to look at it differently. What is going on in their life that triggers them to take it out on you? Where are you judging others or events? What is the learning in this situation? What is the silver lining?

Having negative thought patterns is a habitual response that you can counter by consciously training yourself to take a more positive approach.

Express gratitude

is an amazing way to change your perspective;

  • Instead of getting annoyed that the train is late again! Be grateful that the trains now come every 5 minutes.
  • Instead of getting annoyed at the rain, be grateful you have an umbrella
  • List everything in your life you are grateful for, and if you want to go hardcore list 60 things each day for 2 weeks
  • If something breaks down be grateful for all the times it did work. Fore example the car wont start because the battery died, be grateful that for 5 years it started every time.

Practice mindfulness

Research shows that mindfulness can:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Increase resilience and peace of mind
  • Enhance cognitive performance e.g. concentration, memory and processing speed
  • Improve study and work performance
  • Improve relationships and overall wellbeing

Monash University had some great tips. There is even a mobile app, the Smiling Mind app!

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Jan Gibson

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My commitment is to life long learning and to share that with those on this wonderful journey of self development…

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