On any given day, we are bombarded with thoughts from our external world. Below are 5 Steps to Change A Thought.
- Become Aware of the Thought – Before we can change a thought, we must in tune that the thought is coming from the exterior and we are reacting or responding generally from practiced patterns. When we hear a thought, it funnels through our conscious into our subconscious where we make a quick association and react according to our pattern. The first step to change is to be aware of the thought as we tune into it.
- You Have A Choice – Understand that we have intelligence to accept or reject a thought. Once we are aware of the thought coming in, we get to choose first if we will accept or reject the thought and then second how will we react or respond to a thought. Reaction is kneejerk and immediate and is the pattern or behavior that we always do. It doesn’t require any further thought. Response requires some reflection, calmness and thoughtfulness before responding.
- Take A Moment – The thought has come in, and you’re now aware of it. You reject the thought if you don’t want to give it any energy or stimulation, or you accept the thought if it is something that will help you in what you want. If you accept negative thoughts, they can bring you stress, doubt, and fear. Positive thoughts support you in getting where you want and give you courage, strength, and confidence. You’ve made the choice to consciously change your pattern. At this stage, take a moment to think through how you would like to respond rather than how you normally would. This requires reflection, honesty, and a willingness to do something different.
- Respond Calmly – Part of change is accepting that our reaction or response is to a neutral situation. This means that the situation is not positive or negative, it is our response or reaction that creates the emotions behind the situation. A thoughtful, calm response allows positive or calming control of our emotions rather than a reaction that can create a painful or harmful situation.
- Practice – Make a commitment to stop when a thought comes in and decide, do I want to let this in or reject it? And if I let it in, how do I want to respond? Small changes in our reactions and responses over time yield huge payoffs in terms of our happiness and stress levels.