Use Your Thoughts To Change For The Better
Change happens for a variety of different reasons. It may be that life’s circumstances force you to move, change careers, or your lifestyle. However, at other times change isn’t externally driven. It may be all up to you.
In fact, you can change for the better without the need to uproot or clear the drawing board. How?
By learning to work with what you already have in your head: your thoughts.
The process of observing thoughts and mental processes is often known as introspection or self-awareness. Using your thoughts as tools is a powerful way to create waves of change in your day-to-day life. Here’s how to start.
Be the observer.
It takes practice to witness thoughts arise while feeling happy, hurried, anxious, upset, tired—or any other emotion for that matter. Thoughts come up during all activities of the day—e.g. commuting, meetings, or lunch. Try using emotions and activities as opportunities to be self-aware.
If it’s difficult to get started during the busy work day, use quieter times such as in the car or before bed to witness what comes into your mind. If you think this sounds a lot like meditation, you’re right. But don’t worry about the ins and outs of it—just be a witness to your mind.
What do these observations teach you?
Are you noticing any patterns or recurring thoughts? Any helpful and unhelpful ones? The more time you spend with your mind, the more you will discover about what makes it tick. So, whether it’s a journal, notes on your phone, or just a mental checklist, keep track of what you discover—it’s to your advantage to do so.
What can you change or implement based on these thoughts?
Now it’s time to use what you’ve learned. If you’re having recurring negative thoughts, you may have found an area where acceptance and growth is needed. Having the same great idea over and over? Perhaps it’s time to act on it. You’ve just spent time playing detective to your mind processes and now you have the clues to make a change.
It is tempting to sit around and wait for life to shift in our desired direction. But while we wait, we can learn to use our thoughts to make noticeable changes in our everyday perspectives and actions.
What might be gained from paying closer attention to our thoughts?
Discovering strengths and weaknesses—be it personal or professional.
It may give us a bit of space and freedom from our ever-working minds.
We might find ourselves being less reactive to situations and other people.
Gain a better understanding of how to improve and grow.
Whether it’s a monkey in your mind, a hamster on a wheel, or bees in your bonnet, put these thoughts to good use and harness them for growth.