As spring continues and the days get warmer (hopefully!), Kat is feeling happy!
Is the weather having a positive effect? Or could it be something else? Can we all harness that ‘feel good factor’ come rain or shine?
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. Anon.
This sums up beautifully how I’ve been trying to train myself to improve my positivity and outlook. If you read it from the end to the start, everything you are and do originates from your thoughts. We all know that positive thinking can have massive benefits on every aspect of our lives but how to train ourselves to think positively?
Self-talk is the manifestation of positive and negative thinking. It’s where you can catch yourself and be aware of what‘s making you feel good, or not so good, on any particular day. We all do it. It’s the inner conversation we have with ourselves and it may go something like this:
“I’m not going to be able to do this, it’s too difficult.”
“Stubbed my toe first thing, then dropped my cup of tea… it’s going to be one of those days!”
“Well, this looks quite easy, think I might enjoy it.”
“The sun is shining, I’ve got a cold beer… life doesn’t get any better!”
It’s all about trying to be more mindful by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. Learning to be more aware of our thought processes and feelings helps us start to change any negative thoughts to positive ones. Ask questions to challenge the negative self-talk, such as:
“Are my thoughts rational and factual?”
“Is this thinking helping the situation in any way?”
“What’s the worst thing that could happen? Is it actually likely?”
A friend told me a beautiful example of ‘catastrophic thinking’, or if you like, ‘catastrophic self-talk’, which I’m going to leave you with. I like to call it ‘The Lawnmower Story’:
“I’ve got a lovely garden, but the grass is getting long, and what I haven’t got at the moment is a lawnmower. It blew up last time I used it and I haven’t got round to getting a new one yet, and the shops are shut now. I’m working all week so I won’t be able to get one until at least next weekend, but it’s going to be rubbish weather next weekend so I won’t be able to mow then anyway. It has to be done today really.
Now… wait a minute, Ted next door has a lawnmower; he used it yesterday. It looks like a good one and new. I think he’s only used it once or twice. I’ll go and ask him.
But, hang on… what if I break it? It’s new and if it blows up like mine I’m going to be in trouble with him, and he’s always been a really good neighbour. Of course, I’ll have to buy him a new one and it’ll be more expensive than I could really afford. On top of that, he’ll probably fall out with me, and things will get awkward between us whenever we see each other. His wife and my girlfriend are good pals and it will cause friction between them too. And, if I cause my girlfriend to feel like that, I’ll be a let-down to her. In fact, she’ll get so fed up with it that it’ll cause a rift between us that will be hard to come back from, and she’ll probably walk out on me and go back to her ex-boyfriend.
Goodness, if she leaves, most of the white goods in the kitchen are hers, as well as the bed, sofa and TV too! I’ll be left with an empty house and not enough money to replace it all. Actually, without her help with the rent, I’m going to struggle to keep the house in the first place! I’ll have to sell whatever I’m left with and move out. I’ve got nowhere to go, so I’ll end up homeless. And, with no home, nowhere to wash, eat and sleep and the stress of it all I’m bound to lose my job. And, with the only money I’ll get being unemployment benefit, I’ll end up spending it on drugs to escape the awfulness of the situation, and then I’ll end up overdosing, and someone will find me dead in an alley somewhere one day…
My grass is even longer, and I’ve still not been to the garden centre…”
Have a nice day, even if it’s raining! 🙂