This curated column is authored by self improvement expert Emmaly Beck
I’ve been going through a spiritual awakening. I am remembering my own power and realizing how liberating it is to know that I can manifest anything I want because my thoughts create my reality.
But one morning I woke up and realized: something was still wrong. Why wasn’t I waking up excited in the morning, even after my awakening? Why wasn’t I springing out of bed with excitement? If this is truly an awakening of my own power and I know what makes me happy, then why am still thinking the same things?
That’s when I realized: it’s habitual.
Here’s the thing. Our brain is focused on being efficient. It wants to be on autopilot most of the time. This is great for surviving, and horrible if you’re trying to build a life on purpose.
How do we make that shift from autopilot to consciousness?
How do we step into our own wisdom and awareness when negativity is so ingrained in our psyche?
1. Detach from your thoughts
This is a zen concept. We are not our thoughts. Our brain thinks about 60,000 thoughts a day. We do not have to be responsible for every single one, or any of them if that is what we choose.
Our brains want to be efficient. It is neutral. It doesn’t care what it is thinking — if it is trained enough times, it will keep thinking the same thing over and over again.
We don’t have to identify with our thoughts. They do not have to be us. We can learn to live our lives through detachment to thoughts that do not serve us.
2. Understand your thoughts once you detach from them
Detaching from our thoughts give us so much freedom to actually explore and question them. All too often, we have an archaic desire to completely cut off the things we don’t like about ourselves. I personally have gone into my Life Coach’s office and said, “I want to get rid of this.”
The response has always been the same: Hold on a second.
Then he walks me through my thinking. We have to understand that these thoughts come from somewhere.
For example, if we can understand that we have been TAUGHT to think in these ways — or, trained our brains to think in certain patterns — we can start the process of unlearning these thought patterns and creating new things to believe.
If we understand that these negative thoughts stem from our fear, we can objectively look at that fear and work on understanding why it’s there. Once it’s understood, it is so much easier to deal with.
We can then make the decision on whether we want to continue giving it our energy or not.
3. You can PICK the thoughts you want to listen to
This is so important to know. We do not learn thought management growing up, yet it is absolutely life changing.
We can actually CHOOSE which thoughts we’d rather think and then just keep thinking them. No one can stop us or tell us that we cannot think those things. We have the power to focus on what we decide is important; we get to choose which feelings we’d like to feel. This is how emotions are created because our thoughts create our emotions — it is never the other way around.
It is simple, but not easy. It takes practice. But guess what? Our negative thinking is what created habitual thought patterns in the first place. So all we need to do is start practicing this new way of thinking and believing.
4. Observe your thoughts with loving compassion
We must always find the source of our thinking in order to change our behavior, because our behavior stems from whatever thoughts we are having.
I have woken up many mornings and thought,
“Am I really having the SAME thoughts again? Can’t I just get over this? This is so annoying that I keep thinking and worrying about the same things.”
That is an example of NOT being loving and compassionate.
Having habitual negative thoughts are difficult enough and then beating ourselves up about our thoughts just creates a negative feedback loop.
It is so important to take a step back and simply observe without judgement. Judgement is a human emotion; your higher self does not judge. Your higher self is all-knowing and all-loving. If you find yourself judging, gently remind yourself you are observing from your ego, not your higher self.
Keep being patient and continue listening and practicing until you are in your new habitual thought patterns, ones that actually serve you.
When we are able to detach from our thoughts, deliberately pay attention to and understand them, and listen with loving compassion, we are in a much more powerful position to change our thought patterns from negative to positive. When we are in this position, we can make the mental shift towards thought patterns that are in alignment with our higher selves.
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How do you deal with your own negative thoughts?