Thought and Thinking: How to Change Your Thoughts to Change Your Life

All of us know that our thought and thinking influences our life. It is obvious that what we think all day will eventually create our life.

If you’re thinking for instance, that your life is going downhill and that you’re no good, you’ll feel worse and worse and get nothing done. You can help people, achieve anything for yourself or even live a happy life only if you think good thoughts.

Now the big question is: how do you think those ‘positive thoughts’ all day? What do you do if your job, your relationship, and life in general seems to be boring or even worse – bad?

Here are 5 ways to take charge of your thought and thinking and use them to create a better life.

Pause button for your thoughts

1) Control External Influences

One very important fact that you need to remember is that you don’t consciously choose most of your thoughts. In fact, they run on auto-pilot everyday. You don’t wake up and think: ‘what thoughts shall I think today?’ and then think those thoughts. Your daily routine automatically creates thoughts in your mind.

What this means is that you need to control external influences to control your thoughts. Do you watch a lot of TV and a lot of news? Most of news and a lot of stuff shown on TV creates negative and destructive thoughts in your head. Cut down on it. Do you associate with a lot of people who keep complaining all day? Spend less time with these people because without even realizing it, you will catch their thoughts.

On the other hand, try filling your day with positive influences. Reading articles on the internet or books that encourage you and make you feel like you can take charge of your life, are positive influences. People who appreciate you and tell you that you can make your life better create positive thoughts in your mind. Writing journal entries at the end of the day and telling yourself you will live a better life – is a positive influence.

Take out a sheet of paper or open a Word document and write down your thought influencers. Write down what external influences create better thoughts in you and which ones demotivate you. Make sure you spend a lot of time doing things that influence you positively.

Remember – you cannot blame anyone for flooding you with negative thoughts. You are responsible for your thoughts and so you need to take control of what or who influences your thoughts and change them.

2) Track Negative Thought Patterns

Do YOU keep complaining all day? Are you scared or worried all day? Do you think your thoughts are messed up already?

Despite changing external influences, you may already have “negative thought patterns” running your day. So, the moment you reach work, without anyone saying anything, you may already start thinking – “My workplace sucks!” Similarly, as soon as you see your colleague, you may automatically (out of habit) start thinking, “I wish I had a better colleague.”

Again – the key to better thought patterns is taking responsibility for your thought patterns. Take out a sheet of paper and write down your major negative thought patterns. If you aren’t aware of them, then record your thoughts continuously for 20 minutes and note down the patterns that emerge. Now replace these negative thought patterns with positive ones.

I am not asking you to artificially write down positive thoughts. But I am asking you to stop complaining and worrying and to write down solution oriented thoughts. Instead of “my workplace sucks”, you can write down, “I am trying to make my workplace better.” Instead of “I hate my colleague”, write down, “I am working towards a solution to this problem.” The next time your negative thought pattern emerges, immediately replace it with the new solution oriented thought pattern you’ve written down.

The point is: your thought and thinking are actually influencing how you feel and how good or bad your day is. Take control and track those thoughts. Replace negative patterns with solution oriented ones.

3) Take Tons of Action

One reason why many people are stuck in negative thought patterns is because they think about a solution but are too afraid or lazy to act on it. Therefore, they keep complaining without taking any action.

If you want to create a positive, happy thought cycle and have more fulfilling days, you need to take action with respect to what you truly feel. If your job really sucks, then replacing your negative thought pattern with a more solution oriented one is only the first step. Eventually, you need to find that solution and change your job or make it better. This will be very scary but you have to take some action to be happy in the long term.

Whenever you have a problem on your hands, complain a bit but then think of the solution. And then, act! If you want to fix your relationship, think of things you can do and act. If you want to start exercising, think of solutions and act. Action generates positive thoughts. It kills complaints and negative thoughts.

4) Practice Gratitude

Genuine gratitude helps sustain a cycle of positive thoughts that keeps you happy.

Everyday, when you are free or traveling or not doing anything else, ask yourself what you are truly grateful for. This should be something you are genuinely (and NOT artificially) thankful for. Maybe your friend helped you in some way today and you are thankful for that. Maybe you are thankful that tomorrow is a holiday at work. Figure out one thing you are genuinely grateful for and feel that gratitude. Be thankful for that one thing. If you try to figure out even three things you are genuinely grateful for everyday, you will automatically start creating more positive thoughts that feel good in your life.

The points before this one were about handling self destructive, negative thoughts. This point is about creating a cycle of happy, inspiring thoughts.

5) Get Back to the Present Moment

One fascinating technique to immediately arrest the flow of worrying and bothering thoughts is to come back to the present moment.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed by too many thoughts, STOP. Relax. Take a deep breath. Look around you. Observe your surroundings carefully. Try to listen to any sounds near you. Feel the air brushing past you. Feel your body touching the place where you are sitting.

For some time, come back to the here and now. Start afresh. You will feel a bit irritated initially but if you keep trying to come back to the present moment, you will feel better.

Thought Control: The Crux

So well, those were 5 ways to release negative, destructive thoughts and create more joy and inspiration in your life. If you had to take away the crux of this post, it would be this: Take responsibility for your thoughts. Make a list of influences and remove the negative influences. Start taking tons of action. Track your thoughts and note them down some times.

Practice gratitude when you are free. And keep coming back to the present moment.

Here’s wishing you live the best life you can live by channelizing your thought power!