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Dislike Is The The Impetus To Change

It’s so easy to identify what you don’t like or want, we all do this very well. But there is trouble in dwelling on it. Everything in our reality is energy, including our thought, so where it is focused is important. Our thoughts and feelings are the steering mechanism for our energy. When we focus on what we don’t want, we are giving it our energy.

In recent years science has been proving this age old wisdom that everything is energy vibrating at different rates. This is everything, from solid rock, to flesh and bone, to our thoughts. This is how a plant can be registered as responding in a way that could be described as fear when a person in another location thinks about doing specific harm to the plant. All of the energy we are all a part of is interconnected.

Our thoughts are like seeds, there are predictable results based on the energy focus. The intention of an onion seed is to express as an onion plant, the onion cannot change this energy focus. The Universal Spirit ( whatever term you use for the intelligence and power that we are a part of, commonly God.) responds by fulfilling the ‘request’ of the seed, as intended.

We, on the other hand create seeds with our thoughts, which can be changed. Our thought seeds are acted upon in the very same way by Universal Spirit. What we think and feel is a request for something which is fulfilled. We may not be able to see this directly in many cases in our lives because we are not usually clear about what we are requesting. Spirit puts the pieces together and provides an appropriate response or outcome.

When we harbor the negative thoughts and feelings about something that someone did that we dislike, we are actually perpetuating this. Have you ever noticed how a person acts that is stuck on how awful it was that something happened to them. Through their actions, many times they are acting out being a victim, or they may have some kind of retaliatory attitudes and behaviors.

When you feel bad about something, I’m sure you have noticed how it affects your attitude and behavior. One very common way that we perpetuate things is by continuing to talk about them. Griping, complaining, expressing resentment, cutting down the ‘responsible’ party or group are all just the extension of the original occurrence.

So, this makes it sound like we are doomed to be stuck in a continuous mire of expanding negativity and unwanted experiences in our lives, but that is not the case. It is actually very important to notice what you don’t like, not for the purpose of carrying on with it, but as a way leading to noticing what you do like. In fact you should recognize and accept something undesirable as what is, trying to ignore it can also just perpetuate it.

Once noticed we should release our focus on it and bring our attention to our true spiritual self which is calm and of good feeling. This is the point where what you want, that is different, is energized. You may not be consciously aware of the exact details. Now you can develop specific thoughts about what you want, which then is what you should be focusing on.

Now this doesn’t mean that the only way to get to what you want is that you must experience something unwanted, but it is one common way. We can see what we want in what others have experiences, or in ideas on how something can just be even better than it is. But, generally it requires a point of notice, I’ll call it, where we become aware of something.

The pivotal point is in accepting what is, becoming at one with your true self and noticing what you do want. Then, keeping your thoughts away from the dislike and more on to your true self and what you do want, is important to guide your energy more to the experiences you would like. I know how it is so easy to continue to dwell on something, but if in this very moment you can’t do anything about it, you don’t need to be thinking about it.

Think of the seed analogy, and that every thought and feeling you have is a request to Spirit, God. Now, what do you want to think about? If you treat your thoughts as if they are seeds, just like a physical plant seed, you can come to realize their affect on your life. They are acted upon just as any seed is, it gets what it says it wants.

In fact, by dwelling on something undesirable and allowing your fear, doubt and worry thoughts to become most prevalent, you are closing off your connection to Spirit. Negative thoughts actually cause your brain to shut off the intuitive, creative, receptive faculties, it puts you into ‘fight or flight’ mode.   So you are less likely to get an inspired idea on how to best deal with an ongoing undesirable situation.

Our power is in our command of our thoughts and feelings, which is why paying attention to your thoughts is so important. Setting aside time each day to consciously analyze your thinking and how you feel allows you to discover more about yourself and allows you to then notice how you ‘do’ want to think. Just as you can notice how you would like society to be different in some way, you can notice what you would rather experience in your life, then how your thoughts can be more in alignment with this.

Noticing what you don’t want is the impetus to change. Your feelings about something are meant as a signal to you to notice it, but not to continue to experience long term. It’s like a fire alarm, it’s no longer needed once you know there is a fire. Harboring negative or low level emotions is very destructive to you mentally, spiritually and physically, choose to step away from then as soon as you can. Replace them with a higher level emotional feeling as much as possible.

How To Reduce Anxiety With More Economic Problems

With what is going on right now with the financial industry, housing, the stock market and the economy anxiety levels are running high. The more things appear uncertain, the more we can imagine ways they can be even worse, humans are creative creatures. And it seems we can imagine the negative quite easily. As we create more undesirable possibilities I our mind we have more to be fearful about.

This can snowball out of control when we collect our worries from several different areas at once, it can be overwhelming. We can feel totally out of control, which can bring on more anxiety by itself, bringing about emotional overload. When this happens we can cease to function in our normal way, giving the vast majority of our attention to all the worries and fears. Your behavior will change, to be more in following your thoughts and feelings. You will find yourself complaining a lot and not able to focus on accomplishing tasks which will increase your anxiety too.

We become consumed with it. As our thoughts are more focused on these fears, then on the anxiety itself, then on worry about being fearful and anxious it becomes a spiral you can’t overpower. You can feel like a beach ball caught in a hurricane being whirled around with no control. When you actually feel you have little to no control apathy can set in, which also will increase the anxiety.

So, you can see, this worry thing can become all encompassing if you allow it. And this is the key, if you allow it? Here’s the thing, any of the situations that you point to as the basis of your fears do not come with these feelings. In fact they come with no feelings at all, that is your doing. This is hard for many to accept but it’s true. Even when someone treats you badly, how you feel about it is all of your doing.

Yes, there are some very common reactions and feelings that you can have, but ultimately you have command over these. They are brought up from your unconscious programming automatically on cue, with out your conscious permission. Much of the reason you have these common reactions is that you tend to easily buy onto concepts and how to feel about when you see this exhibited by many others. You don’t realize how much of your inner programming was developed through modeling others. These common reactions and feelings are passed on by the masses without knowledge. 

However, you don’t need to keep them in place. You can choose to have any reaction you want to something. So, back to your reactions to the fear, worry over the state of things in the economy, you don’t need to continue with them as you have. You can reduce or even eliminate them, thus the anxiety level drops as well. 

The tough part is that right now it is much easier to fall prey to the negative news and your existing reactions than it is to take command of your thought and consciously consider other ways look at the situation and new interpretations that don’t include so much fear. 

I would suggest not listening and reading current news as much as possible, stop allowing yourself to be continuously ‘prodded with a hot poker’ antagonizing your fears. The more news you get, the more this is reinforced. If you are directly involved in one of the problem areas, be concerned based on facts and look at what you can actually do about it, then take action. But just to worry is self destructive because it is based on fiction, choose not to get wrapped up in. And choose to not let yourself worry about anything you can’t do anything about.

Many try to find ways to eliminate anxiety without much success because you must actually look to changing what the anxiety builds on, in this case self chosen fears and related thoughts and feelings. All of these things going on, that you can’t personally do anything about, will evolve as they will with or without your feelings about them. Well, if anything, you will be mentally supporting them with your fear thoughts and even physically supporting them if your behavior follows suit. For example, if you get so fearful that you stop spending money as you normally do when there is no actual reason preventing it, you will be contributing to the economic slowdown. You surely don’t want to do that if you can help it.

Take mental and physical action:

  • Choose to take command of your thinking and analyze the situation.

  • Is your involvement in the situation causing your thoughts and feelings about it, or is it your fears about what could happen?

  • What are your perceptions of the situations, and how can they be changed to bring about different reactions?

  • What are your reactions, and must they be this way? How else can you react that would allow you to feel better?

  • Is there an actual personal involvement that you should be dealing with rationally, or are your actions being motivated by fear?

  • Choose to stay away from the constant bombardment of the news which just highlights the negative.

  • What can you do purposefully to keep yourself positive, upbeat and productive? Look for the good and create it.

 The more you seek out why you think and feel as you do, the more you will understand, the more you can do something about it. When you change the way you look at these things, the way you see them will change, the way you react will change, the way you feel will change, the way you act will change and it’s all based on choice.

Make the choice to take command of your thinking, change it and the anxiety will dissipate.

 

Are You In Command of Your Life’s Priorities?

Are you focusing your time and attention to the right things? Are you placing importance on the right thoughts, feelings and behaviors?

 

 Did you know that for most people, much of what they do in life was not consciously chosen by them? And many times we have done these things for so long they now do seem important to us, but deep down they really are not. At least not as important as what truly is deeply important. This is because doing so requires us to take command of our thinking and analyze the state of our life. But letting our minds just run things is easier, efficient and more comfortable. Most people have not taken the time to discover what is truly important to them, life just kind of goes along with many seemingly important activities going on all the time. Your brain will ‘take care’ of you in it’s own way and understanding this is very helpful if you want any kind of change in your life.

 

 When you put your attention to something you will see and experience more of it, you will think about it more and even expound on it. Have you ever become interested in a certain model of car from reading and pictures, and then in the next few days you all of a sudden see lots of them on the road as you are driving around, and you hadn’t really noticed many before? Now that you have placed some of your attention, and maybe with some heightened emotional feeling, into the car you want your mind will help you experience more of the same. Your mind is just doing it’s job, to help keep you as comfortable as possible, and make your life easier with patterns, habits and easily repeated behaviors.

 

 When you understand the way your brain works you can better work with it to get and experience what you want. In this case, it is valuable to be aware of what your mind will tend to do automatically so that you understand that you must be purposefully proactive with your thought and attention. Your mind gets programmed through repetition to see and pay attention to what you have already paid attention to. So if you don’t consciously otherwise direct your thinking, your mind will normally keep replaying the same things you have already done and have experience with. This is makes life easier, you don’t have to ‘think’ about a lot of things.

 

 This is why we can feel as though our life has just been going on by itself, because it is. Until you step in, taking command of your thought, and direct your thinking – it will remain as it was. Well actually not exactly the same, your mind will continue to help you expand and develop on the theme – good or bad! In addition, whatever your mind focuses on becomes more important to you. This importance does not differentiate between good or bad.

 

When you place your attention on anything, this is a command to your brain telling it what you want. So, your brain works to fulfill this. Now this can be anything, even what you don’t want, or a bad experience, or a fear – anything you have focused conscious attention on your brain will help you experience more of it. This is one reason why habits are so hard to break, you keep falling into routines and have the same reactions and feelings over and over.

 

 What can be done about this? Your brain is performing as intended but you are stuck repeating many experiences you would rather not have anymore or you want something new and different. You need to consciously take command of your thinking and override the automatic aspects of your brain. This is where your true power resides, in your conscious command of your thoughts. Just because your brain throws out thought and defense of it does not mean you must follow this – your conscious thought is ultimately in control. It may not seem this way because you have become accustomed to allowing the brain to keep things going automatically, but you can step in and take command anytime you choose.

 

 You may not even know your deepest desires even though they have likely popped up once in a while. You will need to take some time and give attention to discovering what is deeply most important to you, it may not be what you have thought is important. There are different ways to go about this, with most consisting of quieting your chattering mind talk and learning to be receptive to inner information coming up to the conscious level. Doing things like asking yourself questions about yourself and becoming receptive to answers may not be something you are accustomed to doing, so it may take time, patience and persistence realizing that you are really in charge of your thinking. Even adding this kind of activity into your day means that you will need to make time by replacing something already present.

 

 There are a few factors to be aware of that can hamper your progress:

  •  Realize that new and different are not usually the easiest, most comfortable routes. Understand that your brain will certainly let you know this.

 

  • You will need to exert more authority than the automatic thoughts your brain wants to continue with. Exert your true power here, take conscious command of your thought.

 

  • Your brain will attempt to defend the repeating thoughts, throwing out ‘mind chatter’ to dissuade you from your new thinking and actions.

 

  • There is more short term comfort in what you already know, even if it is very bad for you. Keep your vision on the long term intention and satisfaction, as a way to get by the desire for feeling good now.

 

  • You must remain persistent, more persistent than the brains need to protect what you are trying to displace. Utilize whatever tools and techniques you can to help yourself stay on track. Persistence reveals the winner!

 

 When you begin to see what is truly most important, you will then want to start to change what you focus some of your time and attention to. In order for the new desired experience to come to fruition you will need to continuously give it attention and time in your day. It is like a seed that needs to be nurtured. As you do this your brain will help expound on this and gradually have it become part of the automatic norm for your life just as it has with what you experience now.

 

 Remaining in focus with what you have now or with what you don’t want will only tell your brain to perpetuate it. The first and necessary step for anything to change is your taking command of your thought and choosing what you do want based on what is important to you, then focus on it even if your brain throws up resistance. It’s up to you to choose your priorities and tell your brain what you want to focus on, not the other way around. Your brain will follow your lead once you’ve established your athority over your thinking. Take charge of your life, utilize your true power, choose your thought and your priorities. 

 

Are You Blinded By Your Life?

Your life is going on and on and on. This is a good thing of course and your brain is designed to keep it this way. Part of your brains function is to simplify as much as possible and to help you feel good which it is very good at. Now you may think that you are always feeling as good as you want this is because your brain sees keeping things the same as more comforting than change. So even what may not be good for you is perpetuated. Your brain is very good at keeping everything the same, in fact it helps to enhance whatever has already been experienced. The way the brain sees this is, you must want it – you chose it, even if not consciously.

The easiest course for your life is for more of the same and that is likely what you have been experiencing. This of course may be all good if you are totally satisfied with everything. But if you want anything about your life to be different, that’s not what your brain is in charge of. When your day is completely full of what you already think, feel and do where does the new come in? When your unconscious and conscious though are consumed with what is now going on, which I assure you they are, all of your attention is there as well. Your day to day life is essentially a habit that continues to feed and support itself, keeping you locked in as it is.

What happens is that you can become blind to other things, that are different. How this affects your life is this – You can become so involved with your repeating thoughts which increase in importance by default that you are not even aware of what you are not doing, what you are missing, and what is deeply important to you. I ran across a video that illustrates this. Pay attention to the guy speaking and do what he instructs you to do. Perception

This attention blindness keeps us doing what we have done and away from what is different and unrelated. You’ve heard the saying, “you can’t see the forest through the trees.” You may not see things that are right in front of you because your attention is already taken up with something. When focusing on the trees that are right in front of you, you are not able to see the scope of the entire forest and it’s varied landscapes.

Many of the things that you have grown to think are important because of your continual involvement, may not be so important to you at a deeper level. As you focus your attention on something it’s importance increases just from the increased presence of the involved thoughts and actions. With this higher level of importance your brain gives it more attention too making it even more prominent in your conscious and unconscious thought, thus many other things are completely shut out of your awareness.

It is important to know that you can really only focus on one thing at a time. When you are ‘multi-tasking’ you are actually jumping quickly back and forth from one thing to another. There is only so much of this that your brain is capable of doing. Plus, there is the time utilized factor. There are 24 hours in a day and when you have allowed the repetitive thoughts to inhabit those hours you are awake, there is no more time for other, new thoughts. You can easily use up your day pretty much thinking about the same things as you did yesterday and the day before. So where does new thinking fit it?

Essentially your life is easily consumed with what you have already experienced, have thought about a lot and have established feelings for. This is almost too simple. Allowing your daily life to continue on in the same way, as your brain helps you do, you are actually preventing yourself from seeing and experiencing anything new and different.

You do however have the ability and the right to make changes in your life anytime you want, you must choose to first and then follow through with persistence and determination to override what is already established in your mind. Your real power as a human lies with your ultimate command of your thought. Just because your brain functions the way it does does not prevent you from aver changing any of it. Where the problem lies is that most of us have a pattern of allowing our minds to perpetuate the same thoughts and experiences over and over rather than making frequent changes. Making frequent changes and adjustments to your thinking can become part of your normal operating system once do do it for a while. Your brain will support this just as it has supported anything else you have focused on.

To change any of your repeating life experience you will need to assert your command of your thought and make choices about what you do and don’t want to be your life experience. Just be aware of how your brain works, it wants to keep you comfortable by keeping things as they are.

 As you work on change you may experience some of the following:

  •  Un-supportive ‘Mind Chatter’,
  • Negative thoughts,

  • Doubt and worry,

  • Challenging your ability and self-esteem,

  • Brain fog, clouding your thought,

  • Anxiety,

  • Distraction,

  • Short term gratification,

  • and more.

 

Don’t let this stop you, you don’t need to remain blinded by your existing life experience. Realizing what may occur up front you will be less likely to be influenced by it. Determination, persistence and the belief that you are fully capable will help you learn to make the wanted adjustments to your thought and what you focus on. It’s your mind, use it to your benefit.

Life Distractions

What keeps us from doing all that we want? Many say that personal
growth and development and self awareness are our number one
priorities in life, yet most spend very little time and attention
towards this end. Some people do not realize how important it is to
continually grow, in fact they may not even realize they can. Many
people know that they can continue to grow, develop and become more
self aware, but they don’t do much about it.

And then there are those few that seem to be able to actively keep
moving forward on their life path. Why? They allow their thinking
to focus on their enlightenment, on how they think and act on a
regular basis, not just once in a while. They are able to let their
mind calm down and get quiet, allowing the chatter to fade away.
They are willing to allow their fears, doubts and worries to be
present in their thought, knowing that these thoughts can’t
actually harm them – knowing that avoidance just postpones not
eliminate.

There are different reasons why we all don’t actively participate
in our own personal enlightenment, but one of the main reasons is
due to distraction. The human mind can actually do only one thing
at a time, those of you that think otherwise are just good at
rapidly switching from one focus to another. So what we choose to
think about determines much of our life experience. In relation to
distraction, when we think about is something that helps us feel
comfortable or think we should be doing because of our life
responsibilities we are not focusing on growth and self
realization.

Now I’m not here to tell you what is and is not important in your
physical life, but I know that you need to apply some of your time
and attention to your inner growth which includes how you think and
act. So what keeps you from doing this you may not even be aware
of. Since it is normal for humans to seek happiness, which we
equate to comfort, we tend to avoid uncomfortable thinking and
feelings. And we do this in many ways, some are our daily
activities. We may not be aware of how our daily activities can be
getting the way of our growth and self-realization

Things you may do to avoid discomfort:

Listening to music
Listening to talk radio
Watching TV
Playing video games
Reading
Games
Hobbies
Cleaning
Tinkering
Socializing
Hold on! You say, “these are normal things.”

Yes they are, but they can all be used as a distraction. And only
you can know what role they play in your life. Like anything,
moderation is usually the best.

There are two situations you may be avoiding.

1)If you tend to go to any activity when you feel
uncomfortable, you are probably escaping. Sure you will feel better
doing something you are familiar with, but this behavior can just
postpone what you are avoiding or even make it worse. What I’m
referring to here relates to more discomfort than simple relaxation
and enjoyment.

2)One of the biggest things you may be doing without
knowing it is avoiding real thinking. This is when you are
uncomfortable with allowing your mind to run through the incessant
mind chatter, which shakes your worries and doubts in your face, to
the point where your mind is clear.

Life requires balance, and what I have found is that for most, any
self-growth is pushed into a small corner receiving only spare time
attention – sometimes. Are you running in circles doing the same
things each day and not seeing any change? Are you frustrated with
your life? There could be an initial feeling of discomfort when you
choose to allow yourself to think freely and not choose a
distraction, but this will pass. Using methods of relaxation and
meditation will help.

If you want more for yourself take a look at what you do and why
you do it. Take a look at what you do everyday towards your own
personal growth and development, to what you are doing towards
self-realization.  Only you can know if you are using activities to
avoid something that is actually more important. Choose to set
aside time to just relax and think – this is how you can get in
touch with your inner self on a more regular basis.

The choice of how you spend your time is yours and the result is
your life experience.
John Halderman,
Tips and tools for daily personal growth, increased happiness and
self-discovery. http://www.effectivepersonaldevelopmentblog.com

 

 

July 24, 2008

Increase Happiness and Satisfaction Through Gratitude

Do you think happy people have more in their life to be happy about? Well, yes and no. They are happy about more things in their life because they focus on being thankful and grateful about more things in their life.

What you focus on expands. When more of your attention is on things that bring up good feelings more than bad feelings you will be much happier and less dissatisfied with daily life. It boils down to perspective. First, what are you looking at and how are you looking at it?

For example, you may feel that the home you live in no longer suits your wants and needs, so you focus on what you see as the negative aspects. And I’m sure you have noticed how easily your mind chatter will support your thinking about what you don’t like. This automatic feature of your mind will help to enhance whatever you think and feel – it does it so easily with dislikes.

But think a minute, isn’t there a lot about where you now live that you can appreciate and be thankful for? You do have a roof over your head, you are protected from the elements, you have running water, flush toilets, etc. Think for a moment, if you did not have this home? I think you‘ll see that there is really a lot about it that you can be grateful for. This is true of most everything in your life. If you are not sure, compare what you have and do against other people that have less. Think about your home, your clothes, your job, your possessions, your community, accessibility to what you want, how your basic needs are met, what IS going right, and so much more. There is always a good side.

Teach yourself to focus on anything and everything that you can no matter how minute you think it is and your happiness will increase. You can really only focus on one thing at a time, multitasking is when you bounce between different things more rapidly. But you can’t think about the good of something while thinking about the bad of it, always one or the other. To feel better and to send out the best signal, focus on the good. You can decide to be grateful for no specific reason, just for being alive and all that entails. This is actually a great base line for your life, your attitude, thinking, perceptions, health and behavior – grateful to be here, to be you.

If you have been thinking a lot about what you don’t like or want and you switch to fairly consistent gratitude, you will be amazed at how you feel. Your attitude, disposition and outlook will be much brighter, you may feel like you woke up on the ‘right’ side of the bed. Your body will respond positively too with more vitality, less stress and even some health improvements. The thing is, none of this is chance – the more thankful and grateful you are the better you will feel. You will be improving your happiness without even changing anything in your life except your perception.

Now you may be wondering what to do with all the new and different things you want in your life and I have talked about grateful for what you have. You need to do both. One of the ‘tricks’ in life is to find the fine line between two aspects of life, which we have an example of here with gratitude for what you have and thinking about what you want. Both are required for the most happiness and satisfaction in your life.

Where most of us fall into a trap is when we think it is logical to delineate what we don’t want, actually we just find it easy to complain about it since we have attached emotions that support our dislike. The key is this – you can express thanks for what you have and feel grateful for it, and want more at the same time.

What you shouldn’t do is, to repeatedly express your dislike for something and expect it to change. When continuously expounding on what you don’t want, you get more of it. Every thought you hold is an order to the universe – for what you want. To highlight how pointedly powerful each and every thought is, “I AM” in front of everything you are thinking and feeling. If you are thinking, “(I am) I hate my hair” you are what you want, just as an acorn is saying, “I am an oak tree.” The same forces that ensure the acorn develops as requested is working in your behalf in the same way.

Be grateful for your current situation, it got you here, it is a stepping stone on the path, there is something to learn or gain from it. If anything it is a clue to what you should not be doing, if you don’t like it. But rather than going on about not liking it, let it help you find what you do want.

Also, I am not suggesting using gratitude as a way to ignore anything that needs attention and action. You can be grateful for something and be working on changing or improving it. There is a big difference in thinking about something as you are working with it as opposed to thoughts dwelling on the negative aspects of it.

The bottom line is that there is something about anything that you can find to be grateful for. Sometimes this can be tricky to find and you may need to adjust your perception in order to see it. It could be a lesson or something that needs to be experienced for you or someone else. As you know by now some lessons and experiences can be painful. I just recently had to face this as my wife passed away three months ago.

If there is something in your life that you are having difficulty finding an aspect to be grateful for, don’t let it bog you down, just look at other things that you can be thankful for now. But if you can see the lesson, it is something to be grateful for, because now you know and can do something about it and grow from it. And that is worth being grateful for!

The more you do this, the more you will. Start with whatever you can and you will notice more and more to be grateful about. As you express gratitude for a few things your perceptions will change a little

Writing down what you are thankful for increases your commitment and increases it’s power, and sharing with others does so even more, plus others will benefit from it as well. To share your gratitude and/or the results of your increased gratitude with others, plus get some encouragement and insights reading what others write – go to the Gratitude Journal – see category list.

John

 

John Halderman writes and trains in personal growth and development focusing on what can be done daily to enhance your happiness and satisfaction with life through the understanding of how life works, managing your thoughts and purposeful actions.

 

 

Be A Magnet For What You Want

Another article in the ‘Daily Action For Self Improvement’ series, articles focusing on the personal development and growth actions you can take daily to support a high level of happiness and satisfaction in your life. In looking what you can do each day to support what you want in your life - check your thinking throughout the day. Ask a simple question of yourself, “Am I a magnet for what I want?” You see, your predominate thoughts direct your magnet. Unfortunately, spending a lot of time thinking about what we don’t want seems to be the norm. But doing this just defines your creation magnet - so you are essentially requesting more of what you don’t want. You do this when you re-play in your head; What you don’t like, What you are upset about, What you worry about, What you are afraid of And, this is so easy to do, it is automatic. But it doesn’t have to be. You can stop and shift ‘thought gears’ whenever you want. The first option is to switch your focus onto something, anything that you can feel good about. Get yourself to delve into this topic for a while to divert your attention. It is easier to replace thought with another thought than it is to try to get yourself to just stop the current thinking. Replace your thought with something desirable. A second option when you catch yourself stuck in ‘the negative thought spiral’ is to look for the opposite of what you are thinking. Usually at the opposite of a dislike is something you would want. Identify this and place your focus on it, allowing yourself to feel better. Wherever your mind is - you are seeking more, even if it is what you don’t want. So, train yourself to not remain in that state of whirling around in what you don’t want - use that to look for the opposite, what you do like. Or even just switch to thinking about anything to get your mind into a happier place. To get yourself to begin to notice more often what you are thinking about try this: Get a 3 x 5 card to take with you for the day. Write on it - “What am I thinking about right now?” “Does it make me happy?” “What else can I be thinking?” Keep this where you will see it often. It’s good to put it somewhere where you will accidentally notice it without thinking about it. This helps you catch yourself off guard so you can take notice of your thoughts. Using a tool like this can help you to learn to take more notice to what you are thinking all the time. When you are aware of your thoughts, you can decide if you want to change them. John Halderman John Halderman teaches and writes in the areas of personal growth and development focusing on effective methods for self actualization, increased satisfaction and happiness. For more: http://www.effectivepersonaldevelopmentblog.com http://www.designalifesystem.com