Taking Control of Your Thoughts

Thoughts can be a glorious thing. When they’re good, you have no problem with them. If you’re remembering how well your OKCupid date from last night went then you welcome those thoughts. When you start thinking about how you nailed your work presentation yesterday then you start feeling those feelings of happiness that you had when you were giving the talk. If you start thinking about how you were finally able to run for an hour nonstop during your morning run after you had been working up to that for months then you’ll be more than okay when these thoughts start to make their way across your mind. And that’s because these are the type of thoughts that we love.

Your thoughts can also be pretty pesky. When you start having negative ones then you want them to go away as quickly as they came. If your date last night was horrible and you made a complete fool out of yourself then you won’t be very happy when you start to replay the evening over and over again in your head. When you start thinking about how unprepared you were for your work presentation, you may start to groan when your mind wanders back to that moment. And if you’ve been trying to run for an hour straight for the past year and you can’t ever seem to last that long then you may start to get frustrated whenever you remember your failure. These are the kinds of thoughts that we would love to live without.

It may not be possible for our thoughts to stay positive 100% of the time, but we can get pretty close if we try. It just takes practice. If you’re having a good day then just focus on all of the good that’s happening. Every now and again those unwanted negative thoughts may pop into your head, but when that happens you have to be aware enough of it to push them to the side. When they come, you can’t just keep focusing on them. All that’s going to do is bring your good mood down. Instead, try to start thinking about all of the good that you’re experiencing during that day. If you’re too busy remembering that great stuff that’s been happening to you then you’ll have no time to think about those annoying negative thoughts.

When you’re having a bad day, it may be harder to keep those unwanted thoughts at bay, but it’s definitely possible. If you’re feeling down and out, it’s pretty easy to keep thinking about how horrible your life is going at that moment. In order to stop doing this, you have to be aware enough of your thoughts to make a conscious decision to stop thinking about that negative thing that’s putting you in a bad mood. If your brain is on autopilot when it comes to focusing on your bad thoughts then you may not want to get out. Staying on autopilot is much simpler than getting out of it and taking control back, but it’s what you have to do if you want to start focusing on those happier thoughts. So once you take your brain off of autopilot you can start doing the real work by searching for a happy thought that you can focus on to help pull you out of your bad mood. And try thinking about something good that’s happened to you recently. These are probably going to be easier to recall than something that’s happened a long time ago. And picking something quickly is going to help you to get out of autopilot sooner. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you stay there for longer than you need to be, so pick the first happy thought that comes to mind and don’t stop focusing on it until your mood is better.

Positive thinker, you’re going to have bad days, but don’t allow them to ruin the good things that you’re experiencing in your life. Focus on the good so that you can keep on attracting more of it. And it may be hard to focus on the positive when you’re feeling bad, but it’s something that you’re going to have to do if you want to keep on experiencing more of it. Better days are possible. You just have to be willing to work for it!