As we try to improve ourselves and therefore have a positive impact on our world, the first place to begin, can actually be with our thoughts. Be the observer of your thoughts and become aware of any criticisms or judgements you make against yourself and others. This is by far and away the culprit that leads us towards feelings of dislike, anger, hatred, depression and many others forms of negative energy. From those negative thoughts, hurtful behavior occurs.
In these times of fear and uncertainty, the news, our upbringing, our life experiences, our friends and families can be sources of drama and dissatisfaction, instead of being uplifting and supportive of our dreams and our goals. Upon hearing enough negative messages as a child or even as a grown-up- our mind can develop deep patterns of negative beliefs and behaviors. These are learned patterns and the great thing about learned behaviors or beliefs, we can unlearn them, too.
The recipe to replace our negative thoughts with optimism and positivity starts with becoming aware of our thinking and our actions. When a criticism or judgment enters our minds, the best step is to say to ourselves, “Erase that” And direct your mind to a positive step, goal or memory that changes the pathways within our brains. If “Erase feels difficult, just say” Stop” and move onto something productive and hopeful. If we talk to ourselves the way we would hope we would talk to someone we love, our words to ourselves could be so much more encouraging and supportive. As our thoughts towards ourselves improve, so will our thoughts towards others.
We are all doing the best we can in challenging times. Once you start to really believe that about yourself, you will start to understand that we can use that same kind of compassion towards others. We are all on the same planet breathing the same air and sharing the same source of energy. Improving our thinking towards ourselves and others can help us heal the world and our planet.
Studies are showing that our thoughts can have a detrimental effect on the composition of water. Guess what? Water makes up the majority of our body. Just imagine what negative thoughts do to our bodies and to the people around us. The energy of our thoughts travel farther than we think. If we knew that our negative thoughts hurt others, perhaps we would think twice about beating up ourselves or judging others. Most of us do not wish anyone harm, so please accept this challenge to begin to monitor your thoughts and improve your overall health and well-being with focusing on positivity and love towards yourself and all living beings on this planet.
-- Janet Whitney, MA, LMFT