Get Your Thoughts in Shape!
Do you know that health and wellness are not just about working out and eating vegetables? If you want true body-wide health, you need to get your mind and soul working properly as well.
I came across this thinking process model over a year ago and even though it is used widely with counselors and therapists it was new to me and made so much sense. After putting the model to the test and working through a few of my nagging destructive thoughts, I could see clearly how beneficial this process could be to so many people.
This model and practice have opened my eyes to many of my negative, destructive thoughts and helped me transform them into something more honest and true.
The basic model is set up like this.
Let me walk you through it.
Circumstances are the things that happen to us that we can’t control or plan for. For example, job layoffs, our spouse’s behavior, our child’s behavior and sickness.
We automatically have thoughts about our circumstances. Sometimes we are unaware of our thoughts and need to take time to pull them from our subconscious. It may take practice to tune into what we are saying to ourselves. Sometimes these thoughts are on constant repeat, driving us crazy and wearing a deeply rutted path in our brains. Also, many of these thoughts are untrue and unproductive.
After we think thoughts about our circumstances our brain responds with feelings. The feelings typically correspond with the thought type. If the thought is negative, we will most likely have negative feelings. If positive, we experience positive feelings.
The feelings give us an opportunity for action or more accurately a “reaction”. For example, when we feel anger, we may want to lash out physically or verbally. If we feel joy, we may want to smile or hug someone.
These reactions cause a result which usually returns to confirm the original thought. The result is what we see through our mental grid as an effect of our action. For example if we think we are stupid and then do something stupid the action confirms the thought and makes it feel like a fact. “See how stupid I am?”
That is really the whole model in a nutshell.
The good news here is that you can identify the negative or untrue thought and exchange it for a better one which will have a cascade effect on your whole thinking process resulting in better feelings, actions and results. If you do this with several of your key bad thoughts, you could literally change your life! This is a very powerful process!
Here is an example and how a client turned her negative untrue thinking around by changing her initial thought even though the circumstance remained the same.
Circumstance: My husband forgot our anniversary.
Thought: He doesn’t love me. I am not special to him.
Feelings: Unloved, worthless, sad, lonely and angry
Action: Give him the cold shoulder and avoid him. Silently walk around in anger.
Result: Husband confused. A disconnect develops between us and we spend less time together.
Circumstances: My husband forgot our anniversary.
Thought: I know my husband loves me and wants to celebrate our anniversary. I will remind him and we can plan an enjoyable outing together.
Feeling: Satisfied, loved, participatory, joy
Action: Connect with husband, love husband unconditionally (even when he forgets), teamwork
Result: Enjoy our special anniversary date that we planned together. Relationship grows stronger.
I have been using this to help me understand why I feel the way I do about things and how I can change the thoughts that are linked to the feelings. I find so many of my thoughts are really lies I tell myself. Focusing on the truth has been life altering!
I know this will help you dissect your thinking patterns. Your mental wellness is one huge part of the triad of health.
If you have negative thoughts that can be changed to healthy thoughts, you can totally alleviate so much stress, guilt and emotional pain from your life. It does take some practice, but it’s really worth it! I use a notebook to write down the negative process I find in my head and then create the positive process -committing the new thoughts to memory. I review often enough that some of those old thoughts are starting to look pretty ridiculous. What a relief!
I have noticed a wonderful upsurge in my joy and confidence as I have kicked these wrong thoughts out of my mind and told myself the truth.
I love it!
It has been wonderful for me and I know it will be for you too!
Invest in your thoughts this week and start the healing process.