That which we pay attention to gets bigger.
Have you ever noticed that right after you buy a new car, you suddenly notice all the other cars like yours on the road? How about the phone you use? Once you’re part of the “digital age” you begin to notice the technology everybody’s using and how their using it… you begin to see it in everybody’s hands.
Our brains are designed to be the “meaning makers” and “pattern detectors” of our life, so we are much more likely to notice more of what we are already paying attention to and what we are thinking. When we are content…our thoughts are more settled and we are in charge.
Our inner most thoughts are like a mirror to what is happening in our lives. When life is going well, we generally are conscious of that fact and our thoughts are mostly happy ones. The negative thoughts that enter our mind only linger for a moment and are replaced by another thought that is much more positive in nature. Generally speaking, when we look back, we can trace back and see a pattern of negative thoughts taking up way to much space in our heads when there is chaos that surrounds us.
We all think about what could have been….what should have been…and what we currently lack. This constant attention to “could’ve”….”should’ve” and “I wish I had” activates our survivor brain – the part of brain where our Saboteurs live – and causes us great fear, worry and anxiety. The fear, worry and anxiety is always there…it just takes up a bigger space when we focus on it.
Every time we face difficulties in life, our moods take a hit. Money issues, relationship problems and our own self esteem – can all put us in a funk. And, if we hold on to those negative feelings, our minds will conjure up past bad experiences to help further continue the cycle. After all, misery loves company!
Our fears should not be the boss of us! We really are in charge of our own thoughts!
Just whistle a happy tune…
I whistle a happy tune
And ev’ry single time
The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I’m not afraid
Lord, lord, lord! This is ME! I’m quite convinced I have a gremlin that lives in my brain who likes to ride roughshod over my insecurities. Just when I’m falling asleep he’ll ask if I really finished and emailed the piece of work…and down to my office I go to check….no matter what time it is. And yes I had by the way. Or the gremlin likes to come visit in the middle of the night when I’m barely awake and kick the crap our of my nerves. Help me!
So…I have been helping myself. It’s been hard, but taking a pragmatic look at the negative thoughts as they pop up, and not reacting to the thoughts, but just looking at them from a detached distance has help immensely. I have to remind myself that it’s just the gremlin, and that the thought he just placed in my head is a thought….NOT REALITY.
I have been sleeping better – and through the night. I’m less stressed and more joyful. But keeping that gremlin at bay is an ongoing battle for me. A very conscious ongoing battle. But now that I’m aware of how he works, the gremlin has a strong adversary! I am kickin’ gremlin butt!
You know, some of these 22 Habits we’ve been working on this month are very closely related to each other. I used to let the negative thoughts that enter my head take up a much larger space than they were entitled to….I’m better at that now. I’d lay awake in the middle of the night and be reasonably sure my (ex) husband was dead and lying in a ditch some place. I’d rehash conversations from co workers and be certain I knew there was trouble brewing for me at the office the next day.
Eventually my (ex) husband would come home and I’d realized I had laid in bed all night fearing the worse case scenario and was awake all night for no reason. I’d walk into the office and there wasn’t an immediate fire (with my name on it) waiting to be put out. I’ve realized that there are a couple different things at play here. One is your subconscious telling you it’s time to make changes in your life and the other is focusing on your fears and letting them take over.
My new resolution is to focus (and focus hard) on all the elements in my life that are good….replace the cobwebs that eventually try to creep in