Whatever you do don’t think of a big piece of chocolate cake – a lovely big piece of chocolate cake with a nice blob of vanilla ice cream melting over the top . What happened? You found yourself thinking of a big piece of chocolate cake didn’t you?
The fact of the matter is we can’t stop ourselves thinking – we can try but we simply can’t do it.
So, we can’t stop ourselves thinking but what we do with the thoughts that pop into our heads is definitely something we have a choice over – we can either hang-on to the thoughts that pop into our head (if we want to), or we can simply let them go. It’s really up to us – it’s a personal choice each and every one of us can make.
Let’s say for example that an unhelpful, negative, thought such as; “I’m rubbish at maths” pops into my head. I may, of course choose to keep this thought – I can brood, ruminate and dwell upon this thought even though I know that doing so will probably make me feel worse or I can dismiss it immediately and replace it with something more helpful and beneficial such as; “Maths may be a challenge for me but I can improve simply by working hard, putting in the effort and persisting until I get the results I’m looking for.”
The first thought, “I’m rubbish at maths” apart from being negative is rigid, inflexible and offers no possibility of change unlike the second thought, “Maths may be a challenge for me but I can improve simply by working hard, putting in the effort and persisting until I get the results I’m looking for” which by contrast suggests a positive, optimistic, empowering way forward.
Positive thinking is clearly of value but what really makes a difference is learning to think positive, empowering thoughts consistently and continuously throughout each and every day. It can certainly help starting the day by asking ourselves an empowering question such as; “What kind of day do I want to have today?” And it can certainly help to end the day reflecting on the positive thoughts, feelings and experiences we have had but why stop there – why just start and end the day positively, why not get into the habit of thinking positively and optimistically consistently and continuously throughout the day – why not get into the habit of creating positive, helpful thoughts on the hour every hour. I call this your POWER on the HOUR. In time the habit of thinking beneficial thoughts constantly and continuously will become your default way of being and who knows, in time those pesky little nuisance thoughts may stop all together.
With warm wishes
This blog post was contributed by James Woodworth