I've been thinking a lot lately about thinking. I've been working on controlling my thoughts, (sorry, these aren't the take-over-the-world type of Jedi Mind tricks you were looking for) and I think it's really improving my life. Have you seen this diagram before?
When I've been sad in the past, I've had lots of people tell me, "Go work out- you'll feel better." While I've always understood the connection between thoughts, actions, and emotions, it's been hard for me to implement this by just going to the gym, because I usually don't want to if I'm feeling down. So I know that changing my actions is easier said than done.
I think most people agree that changing your emotions is even more difficult, so this has left me looking at my thoughts. The first Jedi Mind Control Trick that was pointed out to me was that feeling emotions is okay, but certain thoughts will sink you.
Thoughts That Sink You
Let's say, for example, that you've recently been dumped (and didn't blog nearly as much as you would have liked to at the beginning of the year as a result). This is hypothetical of course. But say a relationship has just ended; it's okay and normal to be sad that it's over, but it's not productive to think "I'm going to die alone." That's a thought that will sink
The next trick that I picked up recently was asking myself the following question:
What Does That Thought Do For Me?
I was talking to a friend about something I was worried about and the friend asked me, "what does that worry do for you?". It stopped me in my tracks- I had no good response. The worry wasn't making me more productive and it was, in fact, making me feel bad, so it seemed logical to let it go and stop thinking about it. Another way of looking at it: I'm either going to get the promotion or I'm not; but worrying about it won't change the outcome (or it will, in a negative way).
|I love this diagram. Source|
So I've been trying to ask myself this question when I feel stressed or sad. Is this thought/worry/concern helpful and beneficial to me? If not, who needs it?!
The last thing I've been trying to keep in mind these days is...
This is not only for my attitude toward others, but also toward myself. Back around my birthday, I made a resolution to be nicer to myself and to others. One thing that has helped is changing my tone of voice with myself. That sounds kind of ridiculous, but it worked. When I'm struggling and at a low point, I try to talk to myself like I would to a small child: "It'll all be alright", "You're gonna be okay", "You made a mistake, but this is not the end of the world." It helps, I promise. Try it next time you're stressed or sad and then get back to me on this.
Do you have any super Jedi Mind Control Tricks?