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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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!

Overcoming Anxiety

Through your life there will have been times where you found yourself in situations where you have been nervous,  where you feel a little bit of fear rumbling inside, situations such as attending interviews, meeting new people, sitting exams, a driving test and many more.  Feeling a little apprehension and fear in certain situations is normal, however, you go ahead and soon the fear subsides. But what if that little bit of fear that is rumbling inside, does not subside, and soon becomes a volcano ready to explode, what do you do? How do you cope?

First of all, you need to understand that anxiety is not a condition that you were born with.   Anxiety is something that you alone are creating through your own thoughts.

If it all begins in your head, then you are in control of it, and if you are in control of it then you can overcome it.

When the body comes under stress, a message is sent to the brain and the body releases adrenaline into the bloodstream. This normal reaction stems from ‘caveman days’ when we were fighting for survival.   The nerves become more alert, preparing the body to fight or flee from the danger it is facing.  The heart rate increases, blood pressure rises and  breathing increases.  The mind becomes focused on the ‘danger’.   Nowa days you are not fighting off beasts for survival so how can you stop this fear from increasing to an anxiety attack.

Let’s assume you are going on a first date, you are getting ready, you  feel nervous,  you start to think about the person, you picture them in your head, you feel excited, you cant wait to meet them again,  you are all dressed up and ready to go, you feel good, you go out the door, you meet up and you have a great evening!

But what happens if before you get out of the door you start to have the “what if” thoughts.  This is where it all goes downhill and the little bit of  fear and excitment turns into anxiety.

You begin to play out scenarios in your head such as:

“What if he/she thinks I’m boring?”

“What if I can’t think of anything to say?”

“Whatif  he/she sees how nervous I am?”

“What if I start shaking?”

“What if we have nothing in common?”

“What if  he/she thinks I’m stupid?”

“What if he/she doesn’t want to see me again?”

What if this goes all wrong?”

“Oh god why did I do this”

By now the messages to the brain have the body preparing to fight off the biggest beast ever, you are sweating, breathing hard, shaking, heart pounding………..STOP you simply shout STOP in your head as loud as you can.  This stops all messages reaching the brain the pattern is stopped middway, the body stops reacting to the danger.  Now you start to tell yourself:

“Everything is ok”

“I am calm”

“I am confident”

“He/she will think I am great”

“This is going to be a great night”

You stop shaking, your breathing slows, your heart stops pounding, you cool down, and you take a big deep breath and blow all the fear away.

You created it and you dissolved it.

When ever a thought begins with ‘What if’, it is you worrying about a future event,  assuming an unpleasant out come, worrying about what could happen, but the truth is, you can never ever know what lies ahead,  so why waste that energy on worrying and bringing on anxiety.  The past is gone and you cant change it, the future is yet to be and you can never know what it holds, the only moment you truly have is now, enjoy it and embrace it and you will never suffer anxiety again.

You have the power within to take control of your thoughts, what you tell yourself over and over can have an immense affect on your life, ensure you are telling yourself the good stuff and not the bad stuff!

For more information see my website www.aaylifecoaching.com  its All About You!