Friday, 28 April 2017

STOP THAT THOUGHT!

Image result for your mind has the powerOur thoughts have a major impact on our feelings and actions. I know what you're thinking - this is something we all know already! But lately, I have truly felt this happen in my life. And I wanted to reflect with you all on this important topic.

It is no surprise that life can get crazy at times. Right now, I find myself being overwhelmed by many things to do. I have to study, volunteer, go to Church, spend time with friends and family, think about my future career and life goals, concentrate on my health, engage in self-care, and so forth.

And at times, I simply do not want to do anything at all. Nothing. Not sleep. Not work. Not eat. Not play. Not study. Not spend time with anyone. Not spend time with myself. NOTHING. I am bored, tired, and exhausted.

Life is pointless. There is too much to do and no time to do it.

I am bored and frustrated. I cannot do all of these things, and I feel that it is impossible.

Image result for what lies behind us and what lies before usI have no idea what the future will bring, and this makes me anxious.

I wish I was like XXX. I wish I could do ZZZ. I wish I was YYY. Then, everything would be better.

And the list in my head goes on and on. If I don't stop myself soon, things will get worse - I'll keep thinking these thoughts, I'll become more sad and angry, and I'll never do anything in my life. 

So, what is one to do? The most helpful thing I have found is to think of something positive in my life. Anything. Yesterday, it was the fact that the sun was shining so nicely outside. The day before, it was that my family was alive and healthy, and that we were all together. Perhaps tomorrow, it will be the fact that I get to study medicine - my dream. Or that I am healthy and well. Or that my friends are there for me when I need to talk. You get the idea...thinking of something positive or something that we are thankful for can change our thoughts.

Image result for courage doesn't mean absence fear But, let's be real: does this eliminate the negative thoughts completely? No. Does this mean that my life is INSTANTLY ALL BETTER AND EVERYTHING IS GREAT AGAIN? No, of course not. But what it does do is force me to slow down. To take a nice, slow deep breath. And to silence all the negativity. To realize that despite the challenges and tough times, there is still some good in my life.

It also reminds me of my strength. I am a fighter. My head might be racing with a million thoughts about how busy and loaded I am. My heart may be beating and telling me that I'm on the run and that there is no time to relax. But this one positive thought stops this. This happy thought of thanks or appreciation or optimism reminds me that....

It is going to be okay. I will be okay. I will get through this. 

Because we always do. We face challenges. And we feel scared, anxious, tired, and angry. But then we muster our courage and strength, gather our resources, focus....and....before you know it, you've overcome the obstacle. You made it through.

Image result for happiness is an attitudeYour thoughts have a major impact on your emotions and thoughts. If you can think happy or positive thoughts, you can gain control over some hardships in your life. If you can change a bad thought into a good thought, you can remain calm and do what you need to do. If you can allow yourself to feel a difficult emotion, but then remind yourself of a strength you possess or a positive aspect in your life, you will persevere.

This is not easy. I have in no way mastered this ability - I still have to work on transforming negative thoughts into positive ones. I'm working on trying to stop a negative thought, think about it, challenge it, and then transform that thought into one that allows me to feel comforted, in control, strong, and thankful.

Image result for being thankful thoughtsThis is a goal that I have, and I challenge you to join me in changing our negative thoughts. I'm  starting to notice the difference this has brought upon in my health, my emotions, my productivity, my ability to concentrate, my strength, my happiness, and so on. Challenging negative thoughts is not easy, and it takes time. And just because it works today, this does not mean that I will not struggle tomorrow.

But it DOES mean that I am stronger. I have overturned an unhealthy thought today. And I will do this again tomorrow. And the day after that. Because practice makes perfect. And a healthy thought = healthy emotions = healthy body = healthy life. And that is worth fighting for.


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