There are times when I hear myself or my clients or my friends say things like: I am confused. I am tired. I am sick. I am sad. I am overwhelmed. I bet you hear those words come out of your own mouth too.
Well, they simply aren’t true!
You may FEEL tired or sick or sad or whatever is going on at the time, but it is not who you are.
When you continuously reinforce those self-limiting labels by saying them over and over again, you program yourself into believing they are true.
So, use the words “I am” very carefully. They may be small, but carry incredible power.
And, if you want to know who you really are:
Sit in a quiet place with pen and paper and start writing, “I am …” Fill in the blank with whatever pops into your head. Keep writing until there is nothing left and you have reached the deepest truth. What most people find is that the first answers tend to be negative or superficial and the last connect with the more powerful spiritual truth of who they really are.
This exercise can be extremely grounding and also works well as a meditation where you simply say the words instead of writing them down. You may want to keep what you have written available for those times when you feel low and need to be reminded who you really are.
I am. You are.
You are not tired or overwhelmed.
You are wise. You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are love.
And, that is the truth!
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It is easy to fall into the quicksand of negative thinking. You only need to have two negative thoughts in a row to settle into old remembered patterns that trap and pull you under. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
It’s all about brain grooves. The grooves are like default settings created by past negative thoughts. For some of us those grooves are pretty deep.
According to brain scientists and experts in the field of positive psychology, we can reverse this process and rewire our brains by repeatedly feeding them positive input. It is not easy and will take time, but the rewards are definitely worth it. Besides, you will be thinking anyway. Why not choose thoughts that will make you feel better?
The following Positivity Practices have supported my clients and I in rewiring our brains. I bet they can help you, too.
Observe and Record Positive Moments – there are wonderful things happening around us every day that we just don’t pay attention to. Open your eyes and heart to become more aware and then ground in these moments by recording them in some way. Once you open to them, you will start finding them everywhere. Here are some ideas my clients enjoy:
- Writing daily about what opened your heart or magical moments you experienced
- Creating a gratitude journal
- Photographing things you find beautiful or that warm your heart
- Looking for heart shapes around you as you go through your day
Embrace Positive Input – take a break from news, books, movies, and people that bring you down or feed a negative mindset. Choose things that lift you up instead:
- Books or movies that inspire you or make you laugh
- Happy people
- Beautiful or fun music – you might enjoy the Grateful song
- Meditation or prayer
- Positive visualizations
- Sign up for daily inspirational emails or fun videos – I enjoy ones from Martha Beck
- Try affirmations – if you sign up at Mind Movies they will send you 6 affirmation videos that are about 3 minutes long. They are nicely done and free.
Reverse Your Psychology – when you have a negative mind loop around a specific subject, you can shift it by building evidence that it is not true. Write at least 3 things daily that are going well in that area. Don’t just list them. Anchor them more deeply by writing at least a couple sentences.
- If you are concerned about money – write three ways money came to you or that you felt abundant
- If you are worried about health – write about three ways you are healthy or your health is improving
- If you don’t like your body – write about three ways it serves you or three parts of it you can appreciate
You get the idea …
Shifting out of negative thinking is one of the most empowering gifts you can give yourself and playing with these ideas will help your brain start to create new happier grooves. Soon you will find yourself walking around the quicksand of negative thinking without getting stuck in it.
Your turn: What positive thinking practices do you want to bring into your life? You can respond by commenting below …