6 Simple Ideas to Change Your Life
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6 Simple Ideas to Change Your Life
In this article, I want to share six ways of thinking that I'm currently etching into my mind. These are ways of thinking that will change how you carry out your days, how you respond to your thoughts, and what you focus on in your life.
Beginning Your Day With A Question
I know this sounds really simple and kind of obvious, but whenever I do it, I reliably have a better day. And it's a really simple thought practice. In the last few months at random I'll wake up, and I'll ask myself, how can I make this day amazing? How can I make this day really focused? How can I make this day really flowy and really at ease?
Sometimes I'll do this immediately as I wake up and I ask that question straight away because I know that I have a big day ahead, or I'm feeling really down. Sometimes I'll have about a few hours in the morning, and then I'll sit down and be like, okay, how can I make this day focused from here on out. When I ask myself a question like this, I'm not journaling on it. I'm not brainstorming on it. I'm just letting myself sit with it.
But as I go through my day, I find myself making my decisions based on that question. I will wake up and ask, how can I make my day a little more magical? Then as I read my book, I'll ask, how could I make reading this book a little bit more magical? And I'll look at the way that the sunlight plays on the wall a little bit harder. I'll pick a book that will make me think a little bit more. I'll sit at my desk and ask, how can I make work this morning a little more magical? I'll make myself an oat milk decaf coffee with a little coconut sugar to add some coziness to the mood.
Choose Empowering Reasons For Your Challenges
So that disempowering reasons don't etch themselves into your mind. I don't believe that everything happens for a reason. I do believe that you can choose your reasons, and the reasons that you choose can either lift you up or drag you down. They can help, or they can hinder. So you want to choose reasons that empower you.
An empowering reason for your challenge, for your circumstance, for an event that has happened is really just a reason that serves you. It could even be a neutral reason. So I had some generally like partners and people. My reason for those relationships is they told me to raise my standards. They told me that I deserve better. That reason serves me. It empowers me, it lifts me up.
I choose to choose empowering reasons for not so great stuff. The thing is that it doesn't really matter if the reasons are true. Sometimes I definitely apply reasons way after the fact that doesn't necessarily correlate, but they make me feel better, they make me feel stronger. And that is what matters the most.
The thoughts that are appearing in your mind, that you are overthinking are not controllable, but how much you engage with them is more under your control. To be clear, we're not talking about stomping down your thoughts, we're not talking about getting rid of them. The way that it's explained is thinking about your thoughts almost like a sushi train.
Your thoughts come along in the form of little plates of food, and you can choose whether you want to take them off to convey about, or whether you just want to let them continue along. There are first who encouraged this way of thinking when they're dealing with chronic overthinkers also encourage you to implement a worried hour. And this is really a way of training your mind in this way of thinking.
A lot of people talk about challenging your thoughts, reframing your thoughts, and getting to the bottom of why I thought might exist. And sometimes that is life-changing. But there are some thoughts, and usually, they have reoccurring. Ruminating about them has really just become a habit. Adrian Wells is a clinical psychologist and the founder of metacognitive therapy. And they talked about how so many people think about overthinking as a personality trait as something that is fixed, and that can't be changed.
But when it comes to overthinking, it's actually more like a strategy. It can be a defense. It's much more like a habit. And when you're looking to break the habit of overthinking, detached mindfulness is a really handy strategy. So when you get a thought that you're tempted to really dive into to worry about to ruminate on, instead of doing it at that moment, tell yourself, okay, I'm going to worry about that at 5 pm, which is the start of my worry hour.
By doing this, you'll start to realize that you do have more choice than you realize over whether or not to engage with a thought. Once again, we are not stamping down the thought, we're not pushing it away, we're just looking at it as it passes by.
Not “Me First”, “Me Too”
So right now I feel like we are just starting to overcome our era of hyper-individualistic me first, self-care. Self-care is very much like it canceling people with no explanation. Put yourself first. Never do anything that you don't feel like doing for anyone else.
If your friend is not the perfect fit for you in every way, cut them off. If they wanted to, they would. If they can't read your mind, get rid of them. No one should need any help in trying to meet your needs. These are all the ideas that I've seen floating around on the internet.
Particularly in the last few months, I feel like it really came to a peak. And now we're starting to see it move towards a me-too mentality. I get that way of thinking and don't get me wrong I think that that's a way of thinking that it's sucked me in and you do need boundaries. And if your friend is doing something that's upsetting you, you should talk to them about it, and it should be addressed.
If you have an emotional or another need that your partner is not meeting after you've asked them to meet it, you should consider whether that's a non-negotiable for you. If you're having awful mental health there, you need to cancel last minute got to do what you got to do, but I think, kind of like we do with everything in our society, we take things too far. The attitude that I replace this with is not me first, but me too.
Those That Mind Doesn't Matter, And Those That Matter Don't Mind
So in the world of anxiety people, often say no one is thinking about you. And this is said in a really reassuring way. So everyone's thinking about themselves and no one has their mind on you, don't worry so much.
I have been friends with slash have been around people who are pretty loudly judgmental. I have these vivid memories of people that I know are judging others, and they really have etched themselves into my brain, and I think they have actually contributed to my social anxiety. I've hung around people who have had a giggle at the expense of someone else's outfit, of their appearance. I've been around people who have judged someone for having fun, taking a photo in a cafe, doing something absolutely harmless.
What I'm trying to say is that people do judge, and people will think about you. People will have a laugh at your expense. When you've been around judgmental people and when you're just more aware of that kind of behavior, that advice really doesn't hit right. But in the good news here is the advice that works for me around that kind of scenario.
No one that I know, that is interesting and cool, that I would want to be friends with is out judging people. I've never met a fascinating person who's doing their own thing, living on their own terms, being their own person that isn't minding their own business.
The people that you want to be friends with are not the people that are having a laugh at other people's expense on a regular basis. They're not in group chats being judging about that person that they know who's trying to be an influencer. They're not talking about how people look, they're just not. This really is a long-winded way of saying those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter. The cliches are always it.
Focus On The Path, Not The Trees
So Simon Sinek, the author of “Start With Why” talks about this concept. And it's based on this piece of advice that a lot of novice skiers are given which is to focus on the path don't focus on the trees. Focus on the gaps, don't focus on the trees. They're also told wherever you look, your skis will go. So look at the path, not the trees.
So instead of focusing on who doesn't want to be all of the challenges that are in your way, all of the things that might knock you up as you move towards your goals, as you begin new habits, as you start new beginnings. Focus on the person that you want to become, focus on the path that's ahead of you, focus on enjoying the process because what you focus on grows.
I appreciate you so very much, and I will see you soon.