Renew Your Mind – One Thought At A Time

30th July, 2011 - Posted by Christine - No Comments

What do I mean when I say – “Renew your mind” ?

I mean a few things, but I’ll start by sharing one concrete suggestion: Renew your mind by focusing on changing one thought at a time (removing a destructive one, while replacing it with a constructive one).

Why even try?

Because what you think about daily matters.  It affects your body, your spirit, your heart – and it affects those around you.  Your thoughts can lift you up and energize you, or they can drag you down and paralyze you.

So, how do we start?

Start small and start simple.  Take a look at what fills your mind each day – what are you thinking about? where do your thoughts originate and where do they end? Perhaps most importantly, where do they lead you – mentally and behaviorally – as you relate to yourself and others? Are your thoughts mostly negative? positive? reasonable? delusional? real? destructive or constructive? healthy or unhealthy? life-producing or self-defeating? self-sabotaging? Are you constantly thinking about what OTHERS are thinking? Are you constantly frustrated or annoyed at someone else, at yourself, at the world?

Our well-being is often determined by what our thoughts are filled with – so try it out for today.

1. Take an inventory of your thoughts – what are you thinking about most of the day? Try to summarize and place these thoughts into 3-5 main topics.

2. Now, what do you wish/want to be thinking MORE about during your day? List 3-5 main topics.

3. Set ONE goal for your day ahead.  What ONE main topic are you going to FOCUS on today? Meditating on this thought will now replace other thoughts that used to take up your time.  (Of course this is going to take TIME, and you may have to focus on this one goal every single day for a month.)

The act of “Setting a Goal” for yourself each morning, even if it’s only 1 per day, and even if the goal feels a bit strange and intangible (i.e. think about ____ today), has proven to be extremely beneficial and effective in transforming a person’s day.

Write it down when you wake up in the morning, and remind yourself a few times a day of it.  Even if it doesn’t feel like it’s helping at first, you might be surprised.

Example.  You may want to think more about a friend you can encourage or a family member, about finding a volunteer opportunity, or about why yesterday’s conversation at work felt so productive, or the last time your relationship felt particularly fruitful… it can be anything.  Just allow yourself to spend a good 5 minutes thinking and reflecting about the issue/topic.  See how it goes! And remember: the key is to keep it positive and keep it focused on something that breathes life into your spirit rather than something that exhausts you or depletes your energy.

Be an encouragement and an encourager for yourself.

Take it one thought at a time.

-Christine Chiu, MFT

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Posted on: July 30, 2011

Filed under: Reflections

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