ELEVATE YOUR THINKING.
Today I've got a game changing tool for your mindfulness toolkit my friend, and it has everything to do with elevating your thinking when you're in a negative space. I can't wait for you to give it a try this week!
Before the practice of mindfulness, I heard and reached for many feel good sayings about how to live life:
'think positive', 'believe you can and you will', 'goals don't work unless you do'
blah, blah, blah.
You know the feel goods I'm talking about. Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram are overrun with these motivating sound bites and at first glance, I think we all feel like 'yeah! I want to think positive, believe in myself and slay my goals. Rah Rah!!'
So why then, do we read those pump-up sayings over and over again only to find ourselves in the same thought patterns that produce the same feelings that motivate the same action (or inaction) that eventually leads to the results we were trying so hard to change??
I'll give you my answer and you let me know if it sounds familiar:
Those words, on their own, are well intentioned but empty platitudes. I have a sneaking suspicion that if you're human, grabbing hold of those words from a negative space of mind feels near impossible most of the time. Once entrapped by a negative thought pattern that brings with it years of evidence from confirmation bias, a pretty little quote on pinterest will have a hard time actually pulling you out of it. So then, you feel even worse because you made the effort to find that cute quote, set it as your backdrop and were convinced it was going to help you get past this hurdle.
But try as you might, you just can't seem to elevate yourself from that negativity.
And now you feel worse than when you started.
If this sounds at all familiar, welcome to the human race where we are ALL familiar with this dance ♥︎.
So then .... how to think more positively and align yourself with the energy of what you want to create in your life when you're feeling like Negative Nelly on her very. worst. day?
When your thoughts are in the pits and you reach for one of those feel good platitudes, you can recite it to yourself all you want. But if it doesn't resonate deeply with you (a.k.a if your subconscious, Negative Nelly, doesn't believe this new 'rah rah' statement) you
WILL NOT CHANGE.
So! What is an empowerment seeking person to do?
Start climbing the emotional ladder, one step at a time. Take honest stock of where your thoughts are at, and think of a marginally better thought than the one you are thinking.
Just a tiiiiiiny bit better.
Better here means a little less negative but still believable to Negative Nelly 😉
For example, if you are thinking this thought: I hate my body.
It is impossible to jump directly to: Actually I LOVE my body, every little thing about it. TOTAL LOVE!
Your subconscious will fight that proclamation with everything its got. To motivate real action, you've got to climb the emotional ladder gradually.
Laddering up your thoughts looks more like this:
I hate my body.
I have a body.
I have a heart that beats and eyes that see.
This body carries me through every day.
Without this body, I would not have been able to live the life I have lived so far.
I love my family and others with this body.
I desire growth and work toward achieving it IN THIS BODY.
Can you see, how after climbing the mental ladder of thoughts in this example that you have likely moved yourself from an emotional space of serious negativity to a more neutral space of appreciation for the goodness in your reality, even if you desire to change that reality further?
A few weeks of speaking to your body like this is FAR more likely to turn into love for your body (which may include actions toward healthier eating, exercise, self care, etc. or just a total shift in perception without requiring outward action).
The point is, we cannot solve problems from the level of the problem. But often, it feels impossible to think on the level of the solution. My recommendation is to take the time to ladder up your thoughts. Reach for a better feeling thought. Not the most positive thought you 'think' you should be thinking. NO. Just a marginally better thought than the one you were just thinking.
Here are some more examples of laddering:
I hate my body > I have a body
I can't do this > There must be a way to do this. I wonder who I can ask about how they did it?
I'll never have enough money for that > It is possible I could have enough money for that.
I feel like a terrible mom > I AM a mom.
This is impossible > There is a way. I'm just still searching for it.
If we can recognize when we are in a negative thought space and reach for a marginally better thought, we take one step up that ladder. Once you've taken that first step, you are far more likely to believe you can take the next and the next and the next. Sometimes this process takes weeks or months, depending on the negative thought train you find yourself on (and how many years you have believed those negative thoughts). But I have also found that with other topics, just 5 minutes of choosing marginally better thoughts elevates me to a much more empowered space.
So there you have it! A game changing tool to empower your thinking when negativity grabs hold. I hope practicing this concept helps you access empowerment this week ♥︎