Training Your Morning Thoughts!
By: Elizabeth Louis
Many people hold an automatic way of thinking that is negative. Therapists call this way of thinking Cognitive Distortions or “Thinking Traps.”
Instead of challenging these thoughts, most people willingly agree with these thoughts. They don’t even think twice about the matter but reactively accept whatever their brain tells them to be the truth!
When this happens, the person has allowed their potentially misfiring mind to take control of their life. That’s right, “misfiring” or “miswired” brains happen.
Simply because your brain sends you a message via thought or sensations does not mean it’s accurate or true. The human brain can send false information either through limbic trauma loops or habitual thinking and being.
That is why you MUST train your mind, or your mind will train you. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone to control me, let alone my self-sabotaging and self-protective behaviors.
There’s nothing worse than having the Anxiety Gremlin smack you across the face before you even get out of REM.
You know, where you are gaining consciousness and movement through your body, this intense energizer-bunny on steroids sensations runs through you accompanied by negative, terrifying, and worrisome thoughts projected into the future. Your mental projector then begins to turn these thoughts into images, and all you see is EVERYTHING YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE, HAPPEN!
It can destroy a day before it even begins!
What do you do – get proactive. Get ahead of the habits or tendencies. You make a plan. You execute.
The first thing you have to do is create a HUGE pattern interruption in your thoughts. You can do this by snapping your fingers, hugging yourself, or shaking your entire body. Next, you tell the Anxiety Gremlin to STOP! You demand a time-out. You talk to that little guy. You do not ignore the Gremlin, as this makes matters worse. I liken this to ignoring a 2-year-old when they have a tantrum, and the tantrum will get worse. Instead, respond in love with boundaries.
Talk to the Gremlin. As the Gremlin projects the worst case scenario to you, you tell the Gremlin best case scenario. You soothe the Gremlin by letting the Gremlin know your values and a plan if that worst-case scenario happens. Like you would do for a two-year-old who was worried you aren’t coming back to get the child from daycare.
Additionally, write down three positive and accurate thoughts that you can read and repeat to yourself before you get out of bed! Do this the night before. You choose the attitude you want to create.
For instance, list some things that can go right. Reframe the worries to opportunities to grow. Find small rewards. Celebrate the fact you are getting out of bed if it’s been a rough few days!
Scream, today’s going to be a great day.
Choose to become better instead of bitter from those challenging moments as those hardships create character and perseverance.
What is something you are looking forward to – plan a treat for the day. For instance, I love having coffee with my creamer during the day. They don’t have to be big.
Set mental checkpoints to help you get through the day. Instead of being overwhelmed with all you have to do see the day in increments with checkpoints throughout the day. Like what Mario does in the Mario racing game! Break the day down and take it moment by moment, which requires mental discipline not to peak over the invisible time wall that separates NOW from the future.
Practice filling your mind with thoughts that serve you because they won’t come naturally until you train your brain. That means you must tell those un-serving thoughts or Gremlins to go! You have to set up mental boundaries for yourself to keep your mental garden healthy and prosperous, free from weeds, which require frequent attention to pruning.
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