These are things I have learned from my reading and researching around the topic of our minds and they have changed the way I feel about my life . In particular these 5 things have given me the confidence to take control of my own life and where my life is going. I hope these things can help speed up your process of being able to take control of your own life and your own happiness.
#1 That we can control our thoughts, which can change our behaviour, which can change our feelings! Writing it like this it seems so simple! But it isn’t and I don’t want to downplay the complexity of our minds by giving this impression. Though it is true! We can decide what to think – if we can create even a moment of space before responding to something, we have the opportunity to think about how we want to react.
For example if someone is rude to you in the street, you could react in many different ways. If you are offended by them, without thinking you could respond by being rude back, which if you value being kind, may upset you. If however you took a moment to control your thoughts – this person has been rude to me, but I value being kind and so I’m not going to respond, I’m going to just carry on walking, you would feel much better. You have taken control of your thinking, and therefore your behaviour and therefore your feelings.
#2 That catastrophising is a real thing – Again not easy to control but possible. Catastrophising is when we interpret an experience as the worst possible, with the worst possible outcome likely. If this sounds like something you do, first of all, you are not alone – this is a common response for many people. So remember to be kind to yourself, the first steps to being able to stop doing this would be to recognise it. Once you have started to recognise it, it would be a good idea to reflect on it, at a different time and ask yourself – was the situation really as bad as you thought?
#3 That focusing on how others feel in a conversation or situation rather than on how you feel can help you to be more present in the moment – and you are less likely to come away feeling bad. This is a game changer – something I keep in my mind maybe when I don’t feel like socialising (because sometimes I don’t) or even if I’m not feeling my best and it works, it really can make a difference between coming away feeling good and coming away feeling bad
#4 That people remember you for how you make them feel, not what you say. I suppose this is similar to #3 but again so true and another easy thing to remember to make sure I am present and conscious of the way I am making others feel.
#5 That it’s ok to spend time on yourself – in fact to be able to give to others, you need to be at your best and you can only be your best if you spend time on yourself. Be honest, do you truly spend enough time on yourself? What is enough time? I would say I have spent enough time on myself when I feel able to give to others, emotionally or physically without feeling like I am emptying my cup. This of course will be different for all of us. A good place to start would be to recognise or write down the things that you do that make you feel refuelled – and then make a plan to include these in your day to day life.
I’d love to hear from you if you put any of these into action, I’d love to know how they work for you too. If you would like to read more about values, how to explore what yours are then click here for the blog ‘Why are values important’