“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare
It takes under a second to have a thought – wham – and everything can change. Like the heart stopping moment when you think you have spilt a drink only to remember the cup is empty.
Changing your thoughts can change your life, yet only if you are aware of your thinking.
As the Shakespeare quote above highlights, there is nothing wrong with thoughts themselves, it is the attachment to your thinking that can become troublesome. Thoughts come and go; catching and detaching from negative ones takes practice. A great tip is to write down repetitive thoughts to help process anything you need to action or let go of. If you get into the habit of questioning your thoughts you realise you don’t have to believe everything you think. No need to battle your thoughts – just acknowledge them.
If you visualise your thoughts as clouds passing in the sky you can see that you are choosing which ones to allow, follow or believe. It takes awareness to notice your thinking yet once you begin to do so, you can pay greater attention to the destination. Where is the thought heading? Is the thought positive, empowering, uplifting, worthwhile? If you have a negative thought try asking – what would be a higher, more positive thought?
Imagine your thoughts are appearing on paper or a computer screen; you have the chance to review, reflect and delete – to edit your thoughts. Questioning your thinking is similar; it means not believing every thought is real. The tricky part is remembering to allow space and time to pause and contemplate. With practice, the gaps between thoughts become bigger allowing greater awareness of your thinking. (For tips on thought reduction and meditation see the free 85 Page E-Book Stop Thinking)
To question a thought simply ask: “Is that true?” A brilliant question from the book listed below called “Loving what is” by Byron Katie.
Can you acknowledge your thinking and notice how it begins to snowball? Quite simple when reading this you can experiment by looking at objects around you and noticing what thoughts arise. Not so easy when your thinking is in full flow.
So, the challenge is – can you remember to stop at the first thought and witness?
- Loving what is by Byron Katie
- Stop Thinking and Start Living by Richard Carlson
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle