We’re half way through our Gratitude Challenge!
Yesterday was about transforming the negative feelings you have about others. Today is about transforming your negative and ungrateful thoughts. It’s challenging all right, but it’s also very useful 🙂
Today we’re talking about thoughts and situations like, for example, these:
Everything around my house seem to be falling apart.
What’s taking them so long? This flight has already been delayed for an hour!
That silly made left the ironing board in the middle of the room!
I shouldn’t have trusted him, he lies every time he opens his mouth!
My Internet crashed again!
… and so many others. You know them, we all have them at least occasionally – we tend to feel frustrated about such small things, we get the need to blame someone with or without an apparent reason.
Do you know that we have over 70,000 thoughts each day? Some of them we register consciously, but most of them we don’t. And sadly, many of the thoughts we have during the day are negative. Negative thoughts can sneak upon us especially when we’re tired or extremely busy – we focus on something that we want or need to do, and everything that comes between us and what we want is to blame.
Now, that’s not such a bad thing by itself, it happens to everyone. The problem is when we don’t realize what’s going on in our mind and the frustration gets worse, along with our negative emotion.
The experts call these thoughts ANTS – Automatic Negative Thoughts. And we can learn to stop them, or to redirect them the way we want.
Things happen sometimes, things that we don’t like very much – but it’s us who ultimately decide how we will feel and react to them.
The trick is to become aware of the negative and ungrateful thought as soon as it appears, and to immediately transform it into a positive thought. It’s a choice we can make!
For example, if your flight has been delayed or your Internet crashes, you have two choices: you can get angry and frustrated and make it worse than it is (simply by giving room to these emotions), or you can say: “This is great actually, now I have some time for myself, I can meditate, I can think about my plans, I can just watch people and enjoy life for an hour!”
If your significant other has lied to you again – appreciate that you now know the truth, that you can release the negative energy and open your heart to a new love.
If your housekeeper has forgotten to do something – can’t you just appreciate the fact that you can afford a housekeeper, that you can come home after a long day and find it all cleaned up, and not to complain about one thing they missed?
In short – choose to see the good side of things and situations!
Your Task for Today
Reflect on your thoughts for the past couple of days. Recall a situation when you were frustrated or upset about something and detect the thought that started it. Then think of a way to transform this negative thought into a positive one.
Find a way to be grateful about what happened. Try to see the bigger picture and why the situation in question could actually be a good thing for you.
Write down the negative thought, and then right next to it write down the way you have transformed it. If you have found more than one negative and ungrateful thoughts, write them all down along with their positive “re-writes”.
This is a good exercise that will help you to become more aware of at least some of those tens of thousand thoughts you’re having every day, and to direct them the way you want (instead of letting them take their own direction).
And fill your journal with a few more things you’re grateful for today!