Are Your Thoughts Driving You Mad?

Thoughts and Thinking!

Your mind is forever on the go, you may be chatting, driving, busy working or playing, and whatever you are doing you will always be thinking. Even when in sleep, your mind is busy dreaming.  You can be in conversation with someone and your mind is racing away on other subjects, when you are listening to someone, you are mostly preparing your reply, even during meditation you have to keep pulling on the reins of your thoughts to ensure you quieten your mind.

If you consider that your thoughts pretty much run your life, then you come to realise the importance of your thoughts and thinking.

We all have different moods at different times, but where does a mood begin? You may think that if someone upsets you and you fall into a bad mood, that the perpetrator of the bad mood is that other person. Or if you are short of money then that is the reason for your bad mood, or if you are having relationship problems then that is the cause of the bad mood.

The truth is that it is the thoughts surrounding all of the above issues that are the cause of the mood, not the actual issue itself.   So your thoughts create your mood.  Powerful stuff!  

You see, if someone does or says something that you don’t like, there is nothing you can do about it.  You cannot undo it, what anyone else does or says is outside of your control.  However, you are in control of you and your thoughts, and you can change your thinking.  So the next time someone does or says something that you don’t like, ask yourself “Am I going to let this bother me or am I simply going to let this go”? You can either accept it and move on or fight it and let it take over, in which case you have lost your power.

This is the choice you have and only you can make.   If you choose not to ‘let it go’ then what happens? What happens is your self-talk runs riot, you get angry, you want revenge and you blow it all out of context until it starts to eat you up. The other person is not doing this, it is your thoughts doing this, and therefore you are doing this to yourself.

If you are short of money, you can either sit and worry about why this is happening to you or you can let these thoughts go and concentrate on fixing it, so instead ask yourself “How can I change this? “What do I need to do to improve this situation”? “What can I cut back on, how can I reduce my out-goings, and what can I do to prevent this happening again”? The difference here is replacing ‘why’ with ‘how’, so instead of thinking why is this happening to me, think now how can I fix this.

If you are in a relationship and your partner does or says something that upsets you, it can become much bigger than it need be depending on how you think about it. If you start to blow it up with your self-talk it can easily become a much bigger issue.  All the negative thoughts build up and you can go from feeling love to feeling hate, in a very short time. When you finally sit down and talk about it together you realise that actually it is not that big a problem, at all. 

I know people that have been late for work due to traffic and by the time they get to work they are in a bad mood and stay that way all day.  Did the traffic cause this mood? No, it was their thinking about the situation that caused the mood. You can get angry and impatient and build up a sweat due to traffic, but where does this get you? There is nothing you can do about it, therefore just accept that it is out of your control and just go with it. This way when you arrive at work you explain the problem for your lateness was out of your control and you put it behind you.

So you see, it is your thoughts that cause your moods. Over thinking and negative thoughts can sabotage your life, but only if you allow it.

The other day I was sitting in traffic, I was listening to music and looking around and not paying attention to the hold up, when I noticed a mother rushing along, pushing an empty pushchair, and holding her little toddler’s hand.  In fact she was pretty much pulling the child along.  I looked at the mothers face, and could see she was in a rush and looked rather stressed. I then looked at the child’s face, and this brought a smile to my face. Whilst being pulled along the little toddler was muttering away and totally oblivious to being pulled along by Mummy. She was as happy as anything just watching her little feet take step after step, you could almost see that she was feeling each foot hit the floor, then she reached out to touch a flower, whilst still being pulled along, then she looked across at a barking dog pointing and muttering and all the while her mother was still rushing her along. The child, like all young children, was totally in the moment, enjoying everything around her, she was happy, she didn`t care about yesterday or tomorrow.  Children live in the now and don’t have worrying thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow and that is why children do not have moods. 

Don`t worry or get upset about what is out of your control, don’t concern yourself with what may be and what has been.  You can’t stop thoughts coming into your head, but you can take control of those thoughts. Instead of allowing damaging negative thoughts to reduce you to unhappiness, depression, anxiety etc., simply take a step back, consider your mood and then consider the thoughts that created the mood and then either let those thoughts go and move on or replace those negative thoughts with  positive thoughts.

Even when something traumatic happens, a death of a loved one or you have a serious accident, it is your thinking that will result in how well you cope with the event.  Of course you will feel relevant emotions, but it is the self-talk that will either drag you down into a big black hole or help you to accept and in time move forward.

You are in control of your thoughts; your thoughts create your emotions.

Once you realise the power you hold within, no one will ever have power over you again!

 

 

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Hobby or Passion?

I just want you to consider the word ‘Hobby’.

The Wiki definition of the word is:

A hobby is a regular activity done for pleasure – typically during leisure e.g., collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports. Continual participation in a hobby can provide substantial skill and knowledge about it.

Now consider the word passion:

The Wiki definition of the word is:

Passion (from the Latin verb patī meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.

If you go back over generations we were conditioned to believing that the thing you loved to do, that came easy to you, that was a pleasure to you, was just a hobby and that you needed to put this aside and get a proper job. A job was not something you had to enjoy, great if you did, but it was just a means to an end, it paid the bills!

Thankfully, we are awakening, and are now more aware.

Consider this:

To earn a living from doing something you love would mean you would never have to ‘work’ another day in your life!

If you are in a boring job, dread every morning and just live for the weekends, then now is the time to realise that life is for living not just for surviving.

We all have a talent, something we are passionate about, something that brings pleasure and fulfillment, and that something has been labeled a ‘Hobby’.  

It is not a ‘Hobby’ it is your Passion, your Talent and now is the time to bring your Talent to the forefront of your life. Even if you have to continue working, once you are pursuing your true passion, your life will have more meaning.

I believe we all have a life purpose and that purpose is to harness our Talent. The choice is yours; either ignore and forget your talent, or embrace it and live a fulfilled life.

As soon as you realise it isn’t just a ‘Hobby’ that it is your ‘Passion’, your ‘Talent’ then you will know the direction to follow and once you are on your path your life will become abundant.

Read my Life Purpose Blog to learn more about discovering the passion within.

Spring Coaching Offer !

Spring is in the air!!!

So it’s that time of year once again where you start to think about clearing out the old and starting a new.

You start working on the house, on the garden, planning holidays etc, but do you ever take a step back and take time to think about you.

For instance, when did you last ask yourself, Am I happy? Am I fulfilled? Am I satisfied? Am I motivated? Am I heading in the right direction? Do I know where I want to be this time next year?

If you answered yes to all the above then well done, you are on your path, you know what you want and how to get there.

If you answered no to some or all of the above then now is the time to make that change!

Indulge in some real you time! Set aside an hour alone with just a pen and paper.

Consider your life right now. For every question above where you answered ‘no’, now ask ‘why? Once you know ‘why’ then you can identify what needs to change. Once you know what needs to change, you can decide the first step in making that change.

Sometimes when we want to change things in our lives we look at the big picture and it all seems so far away and unreachable that often we push it aside and it then becomes just a dream.

The key is to break it down into smaller chunks – draw up a plan of where you are now, where you want to be and what steps you need to make to get there.  Next set weekly goals, write down the first step, then the 2nd step and so on. Once you break it down and start reaching these weekly goals, you become more motivated and pretty soon you are half way towards your desired outcome in no time at all.

Anything is achievable if you have the desire. Once you start looking ahead and planning for the future your life will have new meaning, you will become enthusiastic and positive.

If you have no enthusiasm for life then something needs to change, don’t waste any more time, life is too short!!

Coaching can provide fast and effective results. So take advantage of my Spring Offer. From now until the end of April 20% discount on all coaching sessions.

Live the Life you Love and Love the Life you Live!

Email to vicki@aaylifecoaching.com quoting ‘Spring has Sprung offer’

Self Talk and The Power Within!

Self Talk and the Power Within.

As we go through our day we are constantly thinking about and interpreting the situations we find ourselves in. That voice in side our head seems to determine how we perceive every situation. In NLP we refer to this inner voice as our ‘Self – Talk’ this includes our conscious thoughts and our unconscious assumptions and beliefs.

Practical self-talk is essential and does not cause any problems. However it’s the negative self-talk that can take us down into a big black whole, these thoughts can be unrealistic or self-defeating, such as ‘I’m going to fail for sure’, or ‘I am useless at everything”.

If you are suffering depression or anxiety it is likely that you interpret things negatively. That’s why it’s very important to become aware of your self-talk, and to then realise that you have the power to change the way you feel by changing your self-talk.

When we are worried and concerned we are usually either thinking back to the past or projecting into the future. The past is gone, you can’t change it, so don’t dwell on it, regrets are a waste of energy. The future you can never ever know, so why waste all that time playing out scenarios that may never happen. The only true moment we have is ‘NOW’ and right now we have all the resources we need and we will act accordingly. This is why in an emergency people take action they don’t worry and procrastinate, they are in the NOW.

Once you realise just how much control you truly have you will be able to turn your life around, to overcome moments of doubt, fear and procrastination. You will no longer allow outside influences to have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing.

You can challenge and change your self-talk. You can change the negative aspects of your thinking by challenging the irrational parts and replacing with more reasonable thoughts.
It doesn’t happen overnight but with practice, you will learn to notice your own negative self-talk as it happens, and consciously choose to think about situations in a more realistic and positive way.

Whenever you find yourself feeling depressed, angry, anxious or upset, use this as your trigger to take a step back and become aware of your thoughts, what is it you are telling yourself over and over?

Sometimes we can over react to a situation; we can become irrational, and jump to the wrong conclusions. When this happens it is useful to test the accuracy of your perceptions. To do this, first see the situation associated, so through your own eyes. Then see it as the other person, dissociated and then as a fly on the wall. This will enable you to see if your interpretations are factual or if you are jumping to conclusions. Consider that had you been more positive, would you have perceived the situation differently. Also consider if there are any alternative ways to view the situation. Ask yourself ‘is it as bad as you think it is’? ‘Is there anything good about the situation’? ‘Will it really matter this time next week or in a couple of months’?

Because you feel anxious, depressed or stressed, your self-talk is likely to be extreme, and you are likely to focus on the most negative aspects of your situation. Step away and consider what your thoughts are achieving, consider if you have any control over the situation, and if so what can you do to help change it.

Remember there is no failure, only feedback, so think about what you have learned from this situation in order to ensure that next time, you do things differently.
By becoming aware of your thoughts and monitoring your self-talk, you are taking back control. This gives you the power to choose what you let in and how you deal with it. You choose your state, you control ‘you’ and no one will ever be able to take that away, unless you allow it.

Instead of “why” try “how”. So instead of “why did this happen to me” replace with “How can I change this”

You and only you have the power within to change your life!

Are you Depressed or just Fed Up?

The word Depressed is used frequently but more often than not erroneously.

People who are depressed have feelings of overwhelming sadness; they feel anxious, tense, irrationally worried and irritable. They lose interest in life, lack concentration, have difficulty sleeping, lose weight, lack the energy to even get out of bed and have feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. In severe cases there may be recurrent thoughts of death or suicide and self-harm.

If you tell yourself that you are depressed but are getting up every morning, going to work, eating well, listening to music, reading, and conversing with friends and colleagues, then the chances are you are not depressed, more likely you are discontented with some aspect of your life.

Everyone feels down in the dumps now and again, but if you have a constant feeling of discontent, then it is time for you to sit down and evaluate what is wrong in your life, what needs to change and how to change it. If you don’t take action, you will continue in this downward spiral.

The first step is to identify which area of your life is causing the displeasure. It may be that you feel stuck in some way, that you are in the wrong job or in a bad relationship, or not in a relationship, maybe you are unhappy with your living arrangement or maybe you just have no fulfilment in your life.

Once you have identified the area of discontent, then you need to look deeper, zoom in, dig down, pull it to pieces, don’t leave any stone unturned. Once you decide what needs to change, you can then decide how best to take action or it may be that the only solution is for YOU to change.

As an example, you wake up every morning and dread going to work, you hear yourself saying “I hate work it’s so depressing”. But what exactly is it about your job that is bringing you down?

Now it is time to start chunking down!

Do you like the sector you are in?
Do you identify with the company and its goals?
Do you enjoy your daily tasks/duties/responsibilities?
Do you feel fulfilled in your work?
Do you feel the hours are suitable?
Do you feel satisfied at the end of the day?
Do you need further training?
Do you feel you are due promotion?
Do you feel there is no progression available?
Do you feel confident in your role?
Do you get enough support?
Do you get recognition?
Do you like your boss?
Do you like your colleagues?
Do you like the general moral?
Do you like the general environment?
Do you like the location?
Do you find the journey to and from work manageable?
Are you happy with your pay/benefits?

Now you have identified the problem area/s, next you need to decide upon your options. Are you able to make the necessary changes, do you need to address the issues with a colleague or your boss? Don’t put this off, decide upon the action required and act!

Let’s suppose that having pulled the problem to pieces you realise that it isn’t actually your job, but your journey to and from your job that is the problem. You have to get up extra early, there is always traffic, you get tense and frustrated during the journey and by the time you arrive at work you are wound up and you start the day in a bad mood. The working day ends and you know the journey home will be just as frustrating, there will be traffic; you know you will get home late and when you get home you will be once again wound up and in a bad mood, consequently you then don’t have the inspiration to do anything. So, problem identified, let’s look at the options.

1. Is it viable to resign and find a job closer to home? If the answer is yes then start looking for a new job straight away. If the answer is no go to option 2.
2. Would moving closer to work be an option? Would it be affordable, could you house share? If the answer is yes then start looking for suitable accommodation straight away. If the answer is no go to option 3.
3. What can you change about your journey, obviously you have tried other routes and to no avail. So the change that is necessary is something that is out of your control. Therefore YOU have to change.

This is where changing your mind-set comes into force; you must decide how you can approach the problem in a different way.

By reacting this way to your journey YOU are creating the problem. You are fighting against it. You keep telling yourself you hate it, you have to get up earlier, you sit in traffic and get wound up, you hate getting home late. All of this is out of your control, getting wound up and angry is achieving nothing other than putting yourself in a negative state. Your anger will not change the traffic or shorten the journey so it is a waste of your energy.

This is now a repeated pattern that only you can change! Instead of fighting it, accept it. Accept that you have to get up earlier; is this a bad thing? If it is a struggle, then perhaps you need to go to bed earlier. Accept that there will be traffic every day; is it logical to expect empty roads? Ensure you leave in time to allow for traffic, this way you won’t be worrying about being late. When you are sitting in traffic accept it, and just let it go. Don’t concentrate on it and complain about it. Listen to the radio, listen to your favourite music, relax, breathe deeply in and out, with each outward breath let go of the tension and negativity, tell yourself you are calm and that everything is fine. Think about the day ahead, plan your day, think of good things and keep positive. By doing this you will arrive at work in a calm state ready to face the day! On the way home, do the same, forget about the traffic, listen to music and plan the evening ahead.

Instead of fighting it, accept it and just let it go!

Once you look into issues much deeper you will be able to find solutions, either by YOU changing or by instigating an external change.

You may find after digging deeper, that the problem is there simply because you have not done anything to rectify it. If you are no longer challenged in your job and feel promotion is the answer, then speak to your boss. If you lack confidence and feel you would benefit from further training, speak to your boss?

So often people moan and groan over and over but do nothing! If you don’t ask you will never know!

You may come to the conclusion that the job is not for you and that you will never be happy there no matter what, so time to move on!

Once you determine which area of your life is causing the discontent, repeat the exercise, above, break it down, ask yourself in depth questions to determine exactly what needs to change, or if indeed it is YOU who needs to change.

Changing your mind-set will help with feelings of discontentment. If you tell yourself every day that you hate life, that you are miserable and that today will be crap, then it is inevitable that it will be.

Our self-talk is fundamental to our wellbeing. Become aware of what you are repeating to yourself over and over.

Start to concentrate on what you want and forget about what you don’t want. Look ahead, not back.

Life is all about choices, there is always a positive or negative side. It’s you who decides which to choose.

And Finally…

The next time you hear yourself saying “I am depressed” think about what you are saying. Are you really depressed? Or are you just avoiding taking action!

Spring has Sprung!

Its Spring time once again, although it doesn’t exactly feel like it, however I am sure warmer weather will be with us soon!!

So it’s that time of year once again where you start to think about clearing out the old and starting a new.

You start working on the house, on the garden, planning holidays etc. but do you ever take a step back and take time to think about you.

For instance, when did you last ask yourself, Am I happy? Am I fulfilled? Am I satisfied? Am I motivated? Am I heading in the right direction? Do I know where I want to be this time next year?

If you answered yes to all the above then well done, you are on your path, you know what you want and how to get there.

If you answered no to some or all of the above then now is the time to wake up to yourself!

Indulge in some real you time! Set aside an hour alone with just a pen and paper.

Consider your life right now. For every question above where you answered ‘no’, now ask ‘why? Once you know ‘why’ then you can identify what needs to change. Once you know what needs to change, you can decide the first step in making that change.

Sometimes when we want to change things in our lives we look at the big picture and it all seems so far away and unreachable that often we push it aside and it then becomes just a dream.

The key is to break it down into smaller chunks – draw up a plan of where you are now, where you want to be and by when you want to be there. Next set weekly goals, write down the first step, then the 2nd step and so on. Once you break it down and start reaching these weekly goals, you become more motivated and pretty soon you are half way towards your desired outcome in no time at all.

Anything is achievable if you have the desire. Once you start looking ahead and planning for the future your life will have new meaning, you will become enthusiastic and positive.

If you have no enthusiasm for life then something needs to change, don’t waste any more time, life is too short!!

Coaching can provide fast and effective results. So take advantage of my Spring Offer. From now until the end of April 20% discount on all coaching sessions.

Live the Life you Love and Love the Life you Live!

Email to vicki@aaylifecoaching.com quoting ‘Spring has Sprung offer’