The other day I was coaching a client and she said that some days she feels like she’s going crazy with her thoughts! She took note of when she was thinking harmful thoughts and it was more than a hundred times a day. Imagine if you had someone walking behind you every day, speaking to you the way you speak to yourself? It would be considered emotional and verbal abuse! Yet we do it to ourselves all the time. No wonder why we feel angry, anxious, overwhelmed, fat, un-lovable, un-worthy and continue to play a smaller game in life than we otherwise want.
How do we stop thinking these harmful thoughts and begin to think in a way that empowers us?
Here’s four simple steps to start turning it around:
1. Recognise when your thoughts are hurting you.
Acknowledging your thoughts is the first step before we can even begin to change them. How often are you thinking “I’m a bad Mum”. “How could you be so stupid?” “You can’t wear that, what will people think?” “Argh, I did it again. Why can’t you get your shit together woman?” To name a few. Simply recognise how often they occur and what triggers them. Journalling can help with this.
2. Understand your thoughts are trying to protect you.
Everything you think is your unconscious mind trying to serve and protect you based on old thinking habits from your past (usually childhood). However, what you think isn’t always true. And when we think negative and harmful thoughts, it’s all based on lies that we’ve told ourselves for years to keep us safe. For example, when we think “You can’t do that, you’re too stupid.” We’re unconsciously protecting ourselves from being hurt, let down, judged or whatever our greatest fear may be, even though it’s ultimately hurting us, we will still think these thoughts because they protected us when we were younger.
3. Let your harmful thoughts go.
This one took me a really long time to understand and this takes practice. A tip I use is to thank the thought for trying to protect me. I say;
“Thank you for trying to protect me. I don’t need you anymore, you can go now”.
Deep breathing and being in the present moment also helps.
4. Replace disempowering thoughts with empowering thoughts.
What would you like to think instead? What thoughts would bring you closer to your goals, or a state of being you want to feel instead?
Remember, you have the power to turn things around. It might feel foreign or strange to begin with, but that’s normal as you’re changing your thinking habits. This is just the start. It’s not going to solve all your thinking habits, but it’s a great way to begin.
PS For more tips on how to show yourself love, then download my free mini e-book ‘Seven Ways in Seven Days to Inner Self Care’.