What do you do with your thoughts? Are you in control or being controlled? A few suggestions on managing thoughts later.
Decades ago I’d get hung up on the little stuff.
I was the poster boy for wanting to control people or situations out of my dominion. This persona zapped my energy. Not useful. Luckily I found coaching and my world did a 170. Because of the coaching profession, I’m a much better human being.
Conversely, whenever big stuff hits the fan, I’m the calm in the middle of the storm. Granted, many situations are still out of my control however I choose who I want to be in the moment. I’ve been this way as far back as I can remember. It’s part of my DNA.
In the heat of a sensitive situation, the majority around me dive into an emotional tailspin. Their thoughts lead to other thoughts which bubbles emotions to the surface which triggers unwanted behavior which usually ends up in -anxious city.-
During a coaching conversation, I raise and deepen the awareness of the clients thoughts. My clients are cookin a half dozen meals at the same time. The coaching convo allows them to hit the pause button, slow down, and focus on what’s really important. A trained coach listens to the client’s thoughts without emotional attachment to the outcome.
Thoughts are just that. Thoughts.
The average person has 50K-70K thoughts a day; 35 – 48 thoughts per minute. That’s a lot of musing goin on.
We have a choice as to what to do with these ruminations. Whatever we decide, our thoughts will take us exactly where we want to go.
Where your focus lands, your focus expands.
What can you do with these drive by thoughts?
- Take notice of what your body is telling you.
- Hit the pause button, and slow down.
- Take a few deep breaths. Believe me, it helps.
- Change the energy. Smile, go for a walk, listen to a favorite song, or simply change your story. Anything to put you in a different state.
In regards to changing your story, do “The Work” by Byron Katie and answer Four Questions:
- Is it true? (If no, go to step 3.)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without this thought?
The final step is to turn the thought around. Find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true for you in this situation.
The Four Questions puts me in a neutrally charged place from which I can calmly, in a controlled state, hopefully make a good decision.
Thoughts become things, choose the good ones. ~ Mike Dooley
Give the The Four Questions a try and let me know what happens.
Or do something better that works for you. What has worked for you?
Ooo, what’s that? A thought? OK, I think I’ll go have a cupcake and a cup of joe.
Photo by Amella Wells.
I’d have to say that I’m somewhat confused; I guess I would be, literal thinker that I am. lol
For me, quite often one of those thoughts that comes up is from the past, and it’s rarely a good thought I hate to admit. It seems that none of the first 3 questions can provide an answer; maybe that’s not the kind of thought they’re supposed to address.
That last one though… now that proves to be interesting. In a way, it’s the ultimate battle between good and evil, or in this case between thinking positively about where you are now versus where you were then or thinking negatively about it because you view it as a setback. I’m not sure that both ways of looking at it would produce the same feeling or result unfortunately, though it probably says more about the type of person one might be.
Or am I seeing this whole thing incorrectly?
The Four Questions can be used for almost any situation. I’d encourage you to check out Byron Katie’s youtube videos regarding The Work.
After answering the questions, turn the thought around. Find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true for you in this situation.
In a perfect world you’ll get closure. At the very least, this process will change the energy around the thought and move you forward. Even if it’s only one yard forward.
Hope this helps Mitch. If not, go eat a cupcake.
I did check out a couple of the videos. Seems the main thing is a person talking about a memory that didn’t quite have as much to do with them but them taking it on as their issue; not quite my story.
But that’s okay because as you said, “almost any situation”, which also means “most people” and not “every”.
Love this Steve. The mind is designed to think, so that’s what it does best. In one of Stephen Levine’s books “Guided Meditations, Explorations, and Healings,” he describes following our thoughts as “…sitting at a railroad crossing with just the blur of the train passing by, when suddenly a bright yellow box car grabs your attention and there you are following that one car, and nothing else until it passes from view.” This is what happens when we grab hold of a thought. We create an entire universe, a lifetime in that very tiny moment. When meditating it is best not to pay attention to the thoughts, when making choices for our lives, we want to choose which of the thoughts are most helpful and give those the attention needed.
Meditation is a powerful medium.
We practice meditation in yoga class.
I need to do a better job of practicing on a consistent basis outside yoga. When I do, everything is better.