Many of us have seen the information circulating on the internet that we have 70,000+ thoughts per day, and that most of them are negative or bad feeling. While the precise number of thoughts we have per day has been a source of debate, it is nonetheless the case that thoughts are going through our minds on a seemingly endless basis and that a fair number of them feel bad. I’ve talked in other blogs about David Burns’ work on cognitive distortions. Burns points out that we humans have a great capacity for “mentally filtering for the negative.”
The bad-thoughts problem prompts me to offer this brief exercise for turning things around:
Observe: Notice you’re having a thought that doesn’t feel good. See whether there are any images associated with the thought. Notice where in your body the bad feeling takes up residence. Notice all the sensations in the body. Observe whether more associated thoughts come to mind.
Questions: Is the thought self-compassionate? Is there a positive purpose for this thought? Can you identify a better way to satisfy this purpose?
Find a better-feeling thought: Can you pinpoint evidence that the opposite, or something other is true? (Each of my blog posts is an example.)
Think the new thought: Consider how much better the new thought feels. Notice whether the tension in the body has diminished or released, and think, I know just how to change up my thoughts for the better.
You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, speaker, author, and creator of the All Day Hypnosis© series, available at www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com
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