The mind is a powerful tool that can work for us or against us. I am working through the book 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, and I am continually struck by how important it is to be proactive when it comes to the mind. Our thoughts spiral. Negative thoughts go on a downward spiral, feeding off of each other, and producing more negative thoughts and emotions. These thoughts turn into emotions, then into words, and finally into actions. The spiral happens instantly as well as over time. The same is true of positive thoughts. They spiral upward, producing more and more positive thoughts, taking our emotions, ideas, words, and actions in a positive direction.
When I hear negative words coming out of my mouth or feel negative emotions going on inside I try to correct them. I attempt to make myself feel better.
I use things like ice cream (or any sugary sweetness!), food (drive-through, overeating anything), screens (iPad games, Netflix), or sleep. What do you try when you want to eliminate negative feelings? Some common ones are food, drugs (over-the-counter ones too!), alcohol, sleep, TV, movies, busyness, exercise.
The reality is that none of these things make negative emotions go away. They may take away the sting of the emotions, but only temporarily. It's kind of like a really bad burn. Unfortunately, I have had a few bad sunburns in my day, so this comes from first-hand experience. Hanging out in the sun for hours and hours feels amazing and usually the awareness and pain of the sunburn don't come until after the sun goes down. Then, great pain occurs. We put an awesome, medicated spray on sunburns and it feels amazingly cool. But the coolness doesn't last. After a little while more spray must be applied, and a little while later more spray must be applied.
Band-aids and medicated sprays are awesome, but they don't work on negative emotions. We must deal with these emotions at their source. This is where the principles of the Joy-Filled Life book come in. In order to combat negative emotions, words, and actions, we must work on the source - our thoughts!
This is a tough one. Some of those negative (and untrue) thoughts have been running through my mind for years. Weeding those out take time and effort. I must really want to change in order to do the work required.
Do you have negative thoughts, feelings, words or actions that creep into your life on a regular basis? Do you want to create a different story and a different pattern? A pattern that is filled with positive, upward spirals? If you answered yes to these questions, then please click the "follow me" button at the top of the page so you can receive notifications of future posts. As I work though this process of rooting out negative thinking, I want to share the journey with you.
The extraordinary journey is not just about our actions and accomplishments, it begins with our thoughts.
Don't just "Do", Be Extraordinary!