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You had the power all along. Choose what you think!

July 13th, 2021 by Audrey Weidman

choose what you think

You are the only one that can think in your own head – and you have a choice about what to think about! Yes! Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you had the power all along.

Did you know it’s impossible to think two thoughts at the same time? You might think our brain is capable of multitasking. But it can’t. It can think thoughts in quick succession, but it’s one thought at a time. And that’s a good thing, especially if you are experiencing negative emotions. Let me explain.

 

Fear and Anger

The two biggest negative emotions we feel are fear and anger or variations thereof. But you can replace that emotion by choosing something positive to focus on.

choose what you thinkI personally struggle with worry, a fear-based emotion.    But I know it’s impossible to be both worried and grateful simultaneously. By being grateful even before I find a solution, can eliminate the fear that usually holds me back. And gratitude literally changes our biochemistry.  In fact it is the antidote to worry.  I can’t be grateful and worried at the same time.  So I choose gratitude!  This is one of my core practices as I move throughout the day.  Notice I said practice.  The more I practice, the easier it becomes.

Now let’s all acknowledge that it’s challenging to focus on the bright side of things while living in our fast-paced world. We are immersed with an influx of information heavily centered around negative events. This is true especially if you follow the news, hang around negative people, or consume other negative media. 

The answer?  This may seem obvious and it can be difficult.  But limit time with negative people and negative media.

Limit time with negative people and negative media. Click To Tweet

Focus on the Bright Side

Adversity is part of our common humanity, but it does not mean that there is no space for brighter things to happen. By deliberately placing our attention on positive events and prolonging the positive feelings that result, we change our biochemistry for the better. This makes our bodies healthier and more resilient

However, if we are only grateful for the big things in life, we miss out on all the little things that make our day a good day. Slow down to begin to notice the small yet wonderful moments in your life.

choose what you think

  • A warm shower
  • A hot cup of coffee
  • The sunset
  • The feel of a gentle breeze filled with the scent of nearby blossoms
  • The smile on a loved one’s face
  • Something funny a friend said

Savor these micro moments. Give yourself the gift.

In fact, savoring is being studied in the field of positive psychology. Savoring is defined as attending, appreciating, and enhancing positive experiences that occur in one’s life.

Savor micro moments. Give yourself the gift. Click To Tweet

Practice Savoring

Savoring is an active behavior. It acknowledges the interaction between the person and their environment. And the person focuses on the experience of delight in its broadest sense.

Savoring can be tangible or intangible. It can be an external or internal event. Savoring is more about becoming aware of the experience of pleasure and appreciating the positive emotions resulting from that experience.

To savor an experience, one must have a certain degree of mindfulness. In other words, pay attention, remember, or project the goodness.

  • Be mindful. For instance, enjoying a new meal by drawing your attention to the color, texture, flavors and smells.
  • Reminisce. For example, remembering funny moments from school with a friend.
  • Anticipate. For example, anticipating the fun you will have at a friend’s cookout this upcoming weekend.
you have the power all along

Positive emotions expand people’s thoughts and behaviors. They promote creativity, social connection, personal resources, and resilience. You actually become smarter because you can let more in and be more of who you are.

Do you want to expand your savoring ability? Set yourself up to ensure success by:

  • Freeing yourself from urgent social responsibilities
  • Making sure your basic physical and psychological needs are met
  • Becoming aware of what you are thinking and shifting those negative thoughts
  • Connecting to the present moment

Practice At Home

I leave you with an exercise you can practice on your own. You can decide if you want to focus on the Past, Present, or Future.

Past
Spend 15 minutes throughout three days savoring a positive experience by actively reflecting on thoughts and emotions related to it. To make this practice even stronger, journal your thoughts. This is proven to be effective in enhancing wellbeing and happiness.

Present
Taking meaningful and awe-inspiring photographs for at least 15 minutes twice a week. You will look for interesting and beautiful things and enhance your mood in the short term. Become a mindful photographer.

Future
Visualize four positive events that are likely to happen tomorrow. Do this each day for two weeks. Expect the best, look for it! Who knows? That positive expectation may even help you to do the necessary things to ensure that they will happen.

Gratitude and appreciation are practices I have learned to cultivate to reduce stress. But I have so many more resources. Just like Dorothy, I had the power all along and I don’t need ruby slippers. Neither do you. You don’t have to follow the long yellow brick road because I already have. I found a faster path to get out of the cycle of stress. And I want to share that with you as a stress transformation coach.

Schedule a complimentary 15 min consultation. You don’t have to fly solo.

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8 thoughts on “You had the power all along. Choose what you think!”

  1. Stefanie Synal says:

    Love this! Wow – never really thought of savoring as a form of mindfulness- simple and excellent!

    • Audrey Weidman says:

      So happy you enjoyed it. Yes I put savoring into place when I anticipate a vacation. The anticipation (future thinking) is almost as much fun as the vacation. And then I savor it afterwards.

  2. Nikki says:

    Thanks for the advice, all great tips to keep things positive! And vacation anticipation is seriously just as fun as going on your trip! That’s one of the reasons I love my job so much – always looking forward to a vacation, even if it’s not mine!

    • Audrey Weidman says:

      Absolutely. Vacations are actually a 3-fer. You anticipate, you enjoy it when it happens, and you can remember the highlights of all the fun you had.

  3. Sangita Rajpal says:

    Wonderful and very well written. Being positive in thoughts, words and action always. Change your every thought, word and action to positive. It will be a struggle in the beginning but as you practice everyday you will see the difference. Savoring the beautiful positive things and recalling whenever is a wonderful way to heal.. I have learned Inner reflection which helps too, to change your negatively into positivity by just visualizing what you want. Liked your practice at home past, present future. Loved your article. Thanks for sharing 👍😊😀🙂

    • Audrey Weidman says:

      So happy you found value Sangita. Thank you for your kind words and happy the post resonated with you.

  4. Paula Davis says:

    I love the intentional Past, Present, and Future practice. Cultivating gratitude in the reflection of previous experiences, looking for gratitude in the beauty of the present moment, and visualizing gratitude to come in your tomorrows is something I’m going to do more often. Thanks!

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