I know of no one who awakens each morning and says, “I just cannot wait to have a bad day today!” And yet, sometimes the slightest thing seems to start an avalanche of events, one after the other, setting us up to have the ultimate “bad day”. Like everyone else, I have had those exact experiences. But I learned how to take control over my day and, ever since, while not perfect, I can definitely say that my bad days are few and far in between. I thought I would share with you how I learned to do this and what it is that I do. So, here are 5 things you can do, starting immediately, which, if you stick to them, will have an increasing positive effect on the quality of your day and, hence, your life.
The first thing you need to realize is that human beings are ultimately no different from a computer. Like a computer, we can program ourselves to experience the good and the bad. And while no one would ever choose to program themselves for the bad, we do so, unconsciously, by allowing recurring things to sink down into our subconscious and take hold in the form as a habit. Once established, these embedded “thoughts” define our “self-talk”; meaning all of the chatter within our minds that either tells us we can or cannot do something; things will or will not happen, all originate in our subconscious mind. Once you consciously understand this fact, you can, through repetition, just like practice of any musical instrument or sport, replace the negative chatter and images with those that are positive or of your liking.
Firstly, you must take control and responsibility over your thoughts. After all, it is you who choose where your thoughts dwell and, the more you dwell on something, the more it becomes a habit of doing so. If you find yourself getting angry regularly, it is because you have allowed thoughts of anger to take hold in your subconscious. If you accept another person’s opinion as fact, that, too, will take hold of your thoughts if you allow it. If you can develop the self-awareness to recognize that we each are the sum total of everything we think and believe, you can change those things and change your life. I did it. So can you!
1. Get into the habit of immediately launching into a tirade of things for which you are grateful. From the moment I awaken, I have formed the habit of immediately visualizing and repeating my gratitude for the many wonderful things in my life. I do not care who you are or the state of your current affairs, we live in the greatest country on earth. We have freedom and can freely choose who we want to be. Stop making a victim of yourself. Make a list of the things in your life for which you are thankful. This forces your mind to search for positive things, rather than negative. Do this again and again until it becomes a new habit.
2. Meditate. And no, you do not have to sit in a lotus position, burn incense and chant, “Ohm”. You can, but you do not have to. Meditation is quieting your mind to focus upon your breath. Allow whatever thoughts enter your mind to do so. Examine those thoughts as if you are a spectator. Generally, you will notice repeating thoughts which pop in your thinking. This will show you, especially, which negative thoughts have become firmly established in your subconscious. Dismiss them and realize that they are only thoughts. It is you who choose to accept or reject them. It takes time, possibly weeks or months, but if you continuously repeat this for about 20 minutes per day, you will replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts of your choosing and you will feel better about everything in your life.
3. Focus upon how you feel. Our feelings are purely a reflection of what we are thinking; mostly subconsciously. You can literally hack the way you feel by smiling. A smile actually changes how we feel by tricking our brain into releasing endorphins into our bloodstream. Also, when we become aware of our feelings, we can stop, assess and consciously choose a “default-thought”. What I mean is that we can choose to think of something beautiful, lovely and peaceful. This can be your favorite spot, an activity that makes you happy and alive, or a person whom you love. You CAN do this. You CAN choose what thoughts occupy your mind. Again, it takes time, but you will reprogram your mind to unconsciously think of what you love, rather than what you fear.
4. Practice random acts of kindness. We hear this said often, but how many of us actually do it? It is amazing how much of a positive impact this can have. Anything from complimenting someone, smiling, holding a door, picking up litter, checking in on an elderly neighbor; anything! When we engage in things like this, it causes our brains to seek more and more similar activities because we flood our brain with endorphins which make us feel great!
5. Keep a written journal. An amazing thing happens when we write things down. You should write down a list of your goals, dreams and desires. Putting them in writing makes them become more and more real. If you are like me, did you ever notice that you get so much more accomplished when you write down what it is you want to accomplish? Writing down your thoughts helps to focus your mind and will greatly enhance your ability to reprogram your life to your custom-made desires.
There is nothing in this list that is too difficult to do. Stop ceding control of your thoughts to anyone or anything else. Whether it is the news, politics, or toxic people, you can choose whether or not to allow these outside negative influences to become a part of you. And while it does not happen overnight, it DOES happen. The same manner in which you UNCONSCIOUSLY allowed those fearful, negative thoughts to take hold in your subconscious is how you can now CONSCIOUSLY choose to replace them with the thoughts you want; that which you desire; your dreams for a wonderful, fulfilled life. And, most importantly, make sure that you desire nothing but the same for everyone else. No matter how negative or toxic a person may be, they are a human being seeking happiness. They are the victim of their own pre-programmed subconscious. You will NEVER find happiness wishing ill on fellow human beings. Love yourself, love everyone, love the world and everything will love you in return.
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