~ Henry David Thoreau ~
In Part 1 of this 3 part series you discovered how to differentiate a neutral circumstance from your thoughts about it.
In Part 2 you learned why our human brains have a negativity bias and how that influences our default thinking.
You also learned how to write a Thought Download (TD) and how to differentiate your neutral circumstances from your thoughts.
Today we’ll dive into the direct connection between your thinking and your emotional life and how you can manage your emotional life with INTENTIONAL THINKING.
Pick any thought from your Thought Download and describe how you feel when you think that thought.
Ask yourself this question: When I think the thought______________________(just fill in the blank with one of your thoughts.) how does that make me feel?
Describe the feeling that comes up with one word only.
You may find the feeling to be a positive one that you want to enjoy feeling. That’s wonderful. Now you know a “go-to” thought to think when you want to feel good.
However, you may find the feeling the thought evokes to be a negative one.
That does not necessarily mean anything has gone wrong.
Sometimes you want to feel a negative feeling.
When you lose someone you love it’s normal and natural to feel grief or sadness for instance, you are willing to experience those feelings as part of the whole experience. You allow those negative feelings to ebb and flow, as you wend your way through them.
You never have to be in a hurry to change a negative thought that is part of the human experience and not causing you to show up as less than the woman you want to be.
But sometimes, the negative feelings are frustration, resentment, anger that create results in your life you don’t want. That’s not serving your best interests.
Circumstances need never change for you to change your thoughts about them.
Here is the best news on the planet: We never need to change our circumstances to think and feel differently about them.
Every thought you think is 100% optional. Even if you’ve been thinking the same thought about a circumstance for years, you can change your thinking about it today.
You can manage your emotional life by critically examining your unintentional thinking. Then, you can intentionally change those thoughts that are not serving you to ones that create the feelings and results you desire.
This is how you learn to manage your emotional life.
But you can only start to shift your thinking when you choose a new thought that is BELIEVABLE.
How to think a BELIEVABLE thought to create a different emotional response.
- Grab a notebook or a piece of paper and a pen. (I keep all my TDs and thought creation notes in the same notebook saved just for this purpose.)
- Imagine how you would ideally like to think and feel about this particular circumstance. Remember the circumstance remains the same.
- Write down the ideal thought and the accompanying feeling. Does this feel believable to you?
- If the answer is yes, you’ve discovered a new thought that will serve you and you should practice thinking it many times each day to groove new neural pathways so the new thought becomes easier and easier to think
- If the answer is no, you will need to build a Thought Ladder to reach your desired thoughts and feelings.
How to build your Thought Ladder.
Once you know what your ideal thoughts and feelings about a circumstance might be, it’s time to create new thoughts that are believable to you today.
Many times the ideal thought is far from what’s believable.
So to arrive at the ideal place, you may need to build a Thought Ladder of specific, believable thoughts to help you make progress. One small step at a time.
Imagine a a ladder. At the top is your ideal thought and feeling. Today you are standing at the bottom looking up at the rungs you will need to climb.
Each rung of the ladder represents a more believable thought that you can create to help you climb toward your ideal thought.
You will need to test new thoughts to see how you react to them.
Sometimes your ladder will have just a rung or two. Sometimes it will have many. It all depends on how you think about the circumstance.
These are not mantras or affirmations that are
REPETITION is the key to successful INTENTIONAL THINKING.
I can’t emphasize this point enough. Practice your new thoughts
The only way to groove new neural pathways to support new thought is constant repetition.
- Write post-it notes with your new thoughts and place them where you’ll see them.
- Create reminders of the new thoughts on your phone or tablet.
- Start and end each day with a repetition of the new thought you’re installing in your brain.
- Strike a power pose, your legs shoulder width apart, your hands on your hips with your elbows bent wide. Lift your chest and square your shoulders. Now say your thought out loud with authority.
- Look at yourself in the mirror. See yourself with compassion eyes. Repeat your new thought.
- Use a threshold as a reminder to think or speak your thought. Whenever you walk into a room, enter your car, come home after work or an activity.
Of course you can create your own reminder to practice your new thoughts.
I’m curious about your techniques and hope you’ll share them.
Do you need help building your Thought Ladder?
I’m here for you.
You can manage your emotional life with this useful tool fueled by your amazing Super Power, INTENTIONAL THINKING.
Just contact me right here to get started.
If you haven’t read them already or want a review, click here to check out Part 1 and Part 2.