The Buddha is purported to have said “what we think, we become.” If your thoughts could change your life for the better, wouldn’t you do it? Of course! But, what thoughts do you change?
All of us have an inner voice that speaks to us and us alone. Self-talk is that inner running dialogue you have with yourself. When you allow this voice to become overly negative or critical, it can deplete your energy and destroy resiliency.
Your subconscious mind does not discern mere negative talk from reality, and accepts as true what you keep saying. Ultimately, you might find yourself attracting corresponding events and situations into your life, irrespective of whether they are good or bad for you. Hence the saying “control your thoughts and you control your life” holds some truth.
You may be skeptical about all this, and you certainly don’t have to take my word for it. However, if you practice the four steps below for 21 days, you just might begin experiencing positive changes in your life:
- Pay attention to what you tell yourself about life’s situations. Begin doing some self-observation and listen for that inner voice.
- Decide what area of your life you want to work on and then decide what you want to result from this work.
- Reframe your negative thoughts by writing short, specific, positive statements in the present tense.
- Repeat them as many times as you can. This helps cement them in your memory and begin to sieve into your unconscious being.
“Positive self-talk” (also called affirmations) describes positive statements you may say to yourself toward a desired situation. The positive statements are repeated many times, in order to impress upon the subconscious mind and trigger it into positive action. To ensure rapid results, I encourage you to repeat them with attention, conviction, interest, and desire.
In this fast-paced society we live in, it is not uncommon to witness people around us trying to optimize every single second of their time. Somebody out walking their pet is, more often than not, also on some audio device, be it their mobile phone or an mp3 player. Similarly, you might see commuters on buses and trains doing their homework, reading, texting away, playing electronic games, and/or listening to music–often taking in some combination of audio and visual stimuli.
Make use of your time, whether it be during commuting or exercising or running errands, to fill your mind with positive thoughts and impressions, and truly optimize your time, instead of just “zoning out.”
I leave you with an affirmation from a leading advocate of the power of affirmations, which you can recite mentally while exercising:
“My body is a glorious place to live. I rejoice that I have chosen this particular body because it is perfect for me in this lifetime. It is the perfect size and shape and color. It serves me well. I marvel at the miracle that is my body. I choose the healing thoughts that create and maintain my healthy body and make me feel good. I love and appreciate my beautiful body!” – Louise L. Hay from Love Your Body
Begin thinking your way to better health, and consequently, a better life today.
© Copyright 2010 by Dr. Martha Tara Lee, therapist in Singapore, Singapore. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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