CHECK YO THOUGHTS! Positive Pineapple or Negative Nancy?

Week 4_ A thought is a thought.png

Wow.

So. Much. Insight.

For reals though, the focus of today’s blog is a suuuuper simple concept that affects all of us all of the time. But it’s also really hard to grasp. Because I’m asking you to separate yourself from your thoughts.

Most of us are more tangled in our thoughts than our headphone cords after two seconds in a pocket.

And that makes sense.

I mean who are you if you’re not your thoughts? They drive you, they tell you how to human, they are your personality and opinions and preferences. They hold your memories, dreams and to do lists.  

 Our precious thoughts are the rulers of the life that we have.

But what if they’re messing us around? What if they’re causing us to stress out, over-react or limit ourselves?

What if all we’re ever doing is making shit up and never calling ourselves out about it?


Ah homies, that’s exactly what we’re doing. 

But we don’t know it because we think our thoughts are us. And who do we know better than anyone else?
Ourselves.
So we think our thoughts are our truth about us.
I’m here to tell you that they’re not.

They’re just thoughts.

This is a hard concept to wrap your head around. Really, I’m asking you to question what you’ve always just known as your life.   

And what you’ve always known makes sense!

Our thoughts are sourced from every experience we’ve ever had, every piece of information we’ve absorbed and every interaction we’ve been in. They make a pretty good case for being the centre of who we are.

But what if lots of our thoughts are really just bullshit that we’ve given cred for being the truth?

They’ve come from inside our heads and we believe them so they become part of who we are.  


FACT OF THE DAAAAY

We have between 12,000 – 60,000 thoughts a day. That’s a shit load and interestingly, most of them are repetitive.  

Our brains are like that flatmate who always leaves his dishes in the sink when the dishwasher IS RIGHT THERE.

They’re lazy AF.

So they enjoy doing the same shit over and over without needing to put in any energy.

Which means that our default thoughts, our automatic pilot, are the ones we’ve been practising. If you’ve thought in a certain way for ages, you’re brain is going to keep strolling down that well-worn, familiar path.


An example.

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Katie is a catastrophiser (guys I spelt that right first time!! Win!).

If there is any ambiguity then it will quickly be replaced with a negative scenario or fifty about what will probably happen and what it will probably mean.

Thinking in the negative is her default. Her mind automatically goes there.

Now because her thoughts so quickly do that and she can’t stop them, she thinks that this is who she is.

She is a worrier.
Katie the Worry Wart.
An anxious bundle of the worst possible outcome.



How much effort do you think it would take her to change her thoughts and create more positive scenarios? And then actually believe them when her brain is dragging her down that well-worn path?

So much.

 Too much for her brain to consider if she has no idea that this doesn’t have to be her reality.
The funny thing about this is, we are all so quick to believe ourselves when we make up negative scenarios and then totally dismiss the possibility of a positive scenario.

Guuuuys, wE HAVE MADE BOTH OF THEM UP!

Can you just take a mo and ask yourself why the hell you are choosing the thoughts that are making you feel bad instead of thoughts that bring you happiness and reassurance?

I get that we want to be realistic and it’s better to prep for the worst then get our hopes up and be let down. But is it actually?

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It might even seem ridiculous to you that people choose only positive thoughts and are skipping around in a rainbow land where the sun always shines. Those people obviously need to wake up to life.

 Well pal, those people are happy.

And maybe their view of the world is skewed but often, even when bad things happen, they take them in a positive way and bounce back a lot quicker. And isn’t a negative view of the world also skewed?

Is it not a little ridiculous that some of us are choosing to live in a world often clouded with negative thoughts and worry about scenarios that are just as made up as rainbow land?




Who is really winning?

Katie’s not.

She’s probably walking to work right now not feeling the sun on her face or noticing that little kid smiling at her because she’s worried about her appraisal this morning.
She’s busy running through how her boss is going to tell her she’s not doing her job very well.

She’s already rehearsing what she’s going to say to her colleagues when she packs all her things into a box because she’s been fired.

How awkward.


OH MY GAAAWD, I’M KATIE!

Aw man, that sucks.

But you can change it! You can make your default, your automatic pilot, positive and resilient thoughts.

Here are some tips 😊


Tip #1: Check yo self before you (mentally) wreck yo self.

Guys, as per, I’m going to bring it back to awareness. You cannot change anything unless you are aware of it first.

And we are all smart cookies. We know when we are thinking up negative scenarios and letting our thoughts go cray.
We just feel like we can’t do anything about them.

So when you are aware that you’re creating negative thoughts about anything. Check yo self!

Pick out that thought and take another look at it. Label it as something you have made up.

Ask yourself if it’s true or what the likelihood of it being true is.

Ask yourself whether this thought is good for your mental and emotional health. Are you being good to yourself by thinking it?

You can even be a little light-hearted – “Mate, are you really thinking this right now? You’re an egg”

And then literally tell yourself that this is just a thought. It is something that you have made up.
And it’s not something that you need to give any more attention to.

Then work your ass off to focus on something else or try Tip #2.


Tip #2: Try to think a different thought.

So right now you’re thinking a negative or unhelpful thought and it’s making you feel shit.

Just think a different thought. You’re making stuff up anyway, why not make stuff up that makes you feel good?

This can actually be really easy to do once you give your mind the challenge of finding a positive answer to your problem.

The hard part is actually believing it.

Before she gets to work, Katie could focus on making up scenarios about how she will have the best appraisal yet and get a pay rise.

But she’ll find it far too easy to dismiss that as a possibility and get sucked into those negative thoughts again.

But the more you practice searching for the positive, the more easily it will come for you. Our aim is to make that our default.

If you find that tricky, aim for a neutral thought that is actually the truth.

For Miss Worry Wart – “I have an appraisal today”.

No need to make it positive or negative or make yourself try to believe something.

It is better thinking something simple like that than wondering whether all the shoes under your desk will fit into one box as you tearfully exit the office.


Tip #3: Accept ambiguity.

I think ambiguity and the unknown are two of the hardest things for our brain to get and often why we spiral into scenario creation.

Our clever brains always want answers so will try to fix the “problem” of not knowing.

My challenge to you - try to accept ambiguous and unknown situations just as they are. You don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s OK!

By accepting that you don’t know and you don’t need to know, you aren’t giving your brain a problem it needs to solve.

In most cases, what you think will happen is never what happens anyway. So you’re wasting your time and energy thinking about it.

Why not just find out what is going to happen as it happens?


Quickly, let me just touch on not needing to know.
Lots of people will say – “But I need to know what is going to happen or what that person is thinking.”

No you don’t. You just want to because you think it will make you feel better.

You can make yourself feel better by being at peace in your mind. Remember you hold all the power.
You don’t do anything or feel anything unless you think it first!

Sort out your thoughts and you’ll sort out your feelings.  


Tip #4: MEDITATE.

Guys, meditation is easy and it is such a gift!

When we meditate we observe our thoughts popping up and truly understand that they are just thoughts.

In meditation, we find this quiet space in our minds which is always there. Our thoughts come and go and from this space, we can see them for what they are – a thought – and then choose whether we want to give them attention.

For two minutes, sit in silence and count every breath while feeling the rise and fall of your body. Notice how many thoughts you have and try your best to keep that attention on your breath.

You will notice thoughts coming up everywhere and you will also notice them leaving your mind as soon as you regain your focus on your breath.

Then you’ll know that you can release thoughts just like that in your every day life as well.


 That’s all from me this week

(she says like she hasn’t just written another novel)

If you have one take away from this, just know that your thoughts are just thoughts and not something you must always “listen” to.

You have the choice and you can choose to release a thought that isn’t helping you or is making you feel crap.

And the thoughts that you have don’t define who you are as a person. You are so much more than them.

Join me in the glorious sunshine of rainbow land. It’s a bloody good time over here x

Love a positive pineapple xx


PS.

I would be super grateful if you popped your email address in that box below. I’ll send you a reeeeaaal cool email every Monday with my fresh new blog.

I’m trying to build my email list and get my blog out to you all!
Facebook is a bit of an asshole so wants to make me pay to makes sure you all see my posts.

No thank you mate!

Tahirih McLaren-Brown