We are what we think. That’s what they say. Is it true – do you believe it? Maybe, maybe not. But there is a relationship between the quality of our thoughts and the quality of our life.

Some people try to improve their lives with materialistic things and experiences, or they turn to mind-altering substances to change how they feel or to numb their pain.

The key to a better life starts with your mind – with your thoughts, values, and boundaries. These are the driving forces behind how and why you feel and act the way you do.

Here are three tips for taking charge of your thoughts and changing them from negative to positive so you can begin unlocking your best life.

Recognize Negative Thought Patterns

Many people slip into negative thinking without even realizing it, which creates negative perceptions and beliefs. The result can be worry, stress, anxiety, depression, and physical ailments.

The first step to creating a better life is awareness. Here are some common thought patterns of people who struggle with negative thinking.

  • Minimizing achievements and magnifying mistakes and failures
  • Catastrophizing – always imagining the worst outcome
  • All-or-nothing thinking
  • Generalizing people and situations because of a single incident
  • Ignoring positive statements and focusing on the negative

Build Healthy Thought Habits

Doing something over and over again creates a habit. Thought patterns work the same way. The more you think in a certain way, the more it becomes your automatic way of thinking.

The quality of your thoughts shapes the quality of your emotions. According to research, each thought ignites a chemical reaction in your brain, triggering a certain emotion. As a result, your emotions send signals to your body, causing you to react in certain ways.

Until you take control of your thinking, that cycle repeats itself until you wake up one day and it hits you: I’m not living the life I want for myself. You look in the mirror and see a stranger. And you wonder, “How did I get here?”

Something needs to change. And that something is your thought process. Become aware of your negative thought patterns, and notice how they’re affecting your life and emotions. Be honest with yourself about the person they’re turning you into.

Because you have the power of choice, you have the freedom to think about your thinking. Psychologists call it metacognition. It’s having an awareness of your thought processes and an understanding of the patterns behind them.

Once you’re aware of your thought processes and understand the patterns behind them, you can get to work reconditioning your mindset and thoughts.

Consider Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on the idea that our thoughts, behavior, and emotions are all connected.

CBT teaches/conditions you to challenge negative thoughts and behaviors and gives you the ability to see the untruths you’ve accepted about yourself.

CBT is a combination of learning and action because you’re given assignments to complete between sessions. You will discover how thoughts influence behavior. You’ll stop living by default and start living life intentionally.

Common strategies include:

  • Coming face to face with your fears.
  • Focusing on the present through deep breathing exercises and activating your five senses.
  • Practicing new skills through role-playing or real-life experiences.

 In Summary

Negative thinking and thoughts will turn you into something that you don’t want to become. They keep you chained to self-doubt, old wounds, pain, fear, scarcity, and panic. They block you from a life of joy and abundance – from living life to the fullest.

Positive thoughts and an optimistic mindset ignite your life with power, purpose, and passion! Your mood will be cheerful. You’ll be motivated and inspired to work hard and pursue your dreams because you realize that you’re a person of value with something to offer!

You’re in charge of your thoughts. Get to work rewiring your brain by choosing to think happy, abundant, positive thoughts – thoughts that support you and make the world brighter. Will it be easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes, because a whole new life can be yours as you become aware of the relationship between your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

You will be empowered to decide what you’re about – your values. And from there, create healthy boundaries that guide you. You will regain control of your life and begin living the life that you want and deserve.

Getting started might be difficult, but it gets easier, and it’s worth it. Do something today that your future self will thank you for!

Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

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