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Harness your thoughts for a happiness exercise

Originally posted August 15, 2016.

Do you believe that what you think can affect your life?

Does this sound a bit new ag-y, too woo-woo, too out there?

Actually, there is scientific evidence that we tend to dwell on the same old thoughts day after day and this has a powerful effect on how we see ourselves and how we are in relation to others.

Research shows that 98% of our thoughts are the same ones…day after day, we repeat the same positive or negative thoughts and feelings over and over again. Our thoughts are often overwhelmed by what advertisers want us to focus on, such as what color lipstick to wear or the perfect holiday decorations. Lotsa white noise.

Research also shows that repetitive thought has both negative and positive effects. For example, trauma can be alleviated by processing the traumatic event in minute detail. Conversely, re-traumatization can occur when perseverating on the traumatic event over and over again.

The intention and the emotional tone of the repetitive thoughts are what influence a person either positively or negatively.

Ruminating and dwelling on negative feelings and negative consequences in an unformed, purposeless manner, causes emotional distress and can lead to clinical anxiety and depression disorders.

However, when a person consciously develops a positive structure for discussing and processing events with an intention to understand and learn, then repetitive thoughts affect positive change, have purpose and are imbued with healing energy.

The other kicker is that we train ourselves to think positively or negatively: we get better at one or the other depending on which one we practice all the time!

What would happen in your life if you consciously decided to focus on exactly what you wanted, rather than on trivial, white noise and random thoughts, old thoughts, negative thoughts?

What if you could use an exercise to teach yourself to get out of your own way?

Try this exercise for a week and see what happens:

Look to align your consciousness, or thinking and feelings, with positive truths only, just for a week…ok, well, try this just for two days, if a week is too long!

How to do this: Believe that every day is a beautiful meditation. Expect to see more and more good every day.

Watch for positive signs, however small, such as someone giving you the courtesy of the road, or finding a feather on the grass.

Write down these positive signs…make this part easy:

You can use your Notes feature on your mobile device.

See how you feel as you read your positive signs.

Let us know about your experiences with this….

Namaste, Kathy

Watkins, E. (2008). Constructive and unconstructive repetitive thought. American Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 163-206.


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