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A penny for your thoughts

Penny

Did you know that we have something like 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts every single day – that’s an amazing number of thoughts whizzing through our minds, flitting from one thing to another, never stopping, never ending and rarely coming to a conclusion.

So, if I really was to give you a penny for your thoughts you would become an incredibly wealthy person and I’d be broke!!

Just think though, if thoughts burned calories we’d all be stick thin and would never have to diet again or if they generated energy then we would have a never ending supply of electricity.

The sad thing is not all thoughts are positive – it’s the negative thoughts that pop into our minds that can be really powerful, lead to anxiety and worst case scenario’s being considered. Life comes with it’s fair share of  worries and over thinking unhelpful thoughts can make a quite innocent thought develop into a series of anxiety ridden thoughts.

Thoughts are just thoughts – thoughts have a powerful impact on our mood and negative thoughts have the power to make us feel rubbish. But remember, thoughts are not real and cannot hurt you.

When you take things personally – ‘my friend didn’t comment on my new hair style, she must really hate it and thinks I look awful’  Or, she may just have a lot on her mind, work problems, relationship or family issues, just not feeling well. So maybe wonder what’s going on for your friend rather than focussing on the negative thoughts about you.

When thoughts stop you doing things – ‘I’ll never be able to get a better job, I’m just not clever enough’ you’ll never know until you try. Building your self esteem will help you get that job you’ve always wanted.

Always thinking the worse – ‘ I’m off for a day out to the beach with my family at the weekend but I just know the kids will whine for ice creams, we’ll be stuck in traffic jams for hours and it’ll end in a row’ so before you’ve even left the house you’ve made up your mind that it’s going to end badly. These kinds of negative thoughts will stop you enjoying even the best times. By changing your thought patterns just imagine how much better your life will be.

I could go on but hopefully you’ve got the idea – negative thoughts lead to negative lives.

I guess the answer could be simple – just stop thinking!!  But if I said to you ‘whatever you do, don’t think about a pink elephant dancing on a table’ the chance are the only thing you will able to think about is a pink elephant dancing on a table.

Elephant

The mind is a curious thing.  Continue reading “A penny for your thoughts”

Passenger or driver?

Blog driver

I was recently on a long car journey – the first part of the journey I was a passenger, the sun was shining and I was able to look around, relax, daydream, let my mind wander. I was not concentrating on the journey itself at all, not knowing where I was but just enjoying the ride.

When I was asked to take over the driving I could no longer just gaze out of the window but needed to concentrate on where I was going – which route to take, reading signs posts, looking out for pedestrians, other traffic, dogs, obstacles in the road.

Then the satnav got confused with where I was supposed to be going  – if ‘she’ didn’t know then who did!!!

I was very happy to be driven but hadn’t really prepared for my part in the journey at all.

This made me think about the similarity with my life – am I driving my life forward or am I happy to be a passenger and just let life happen.

It’s often said that ‘life is a journey’ but this journey really brought it home to me how true that actually is. Being aware of our own life journey, noticing the obstacles that get in our way and having the skills to proceed through to get to our chosen destination is so important.

Just like any journey, life can be full of accidents, closed roads, traffic jams and setbacks but here’s the thing, we have a choice to either be a passenger and let our journey happen or we can be the driver and take some control of where we are headed.

Are you prepared to be the driver or a passenger in your life journey? If you think you are a passenger then you will need to consider a few things to help you take over the controls and direct your life in the way you want to go.

  • Planning your route – where are you starting from and where do youPlan your route want to end up?  Having a clear plan, at least for the first stage of your journey is key, otherwise you may find yourself heading down many a cul-de-sac and having to do u-turns galore

 

  • Recalculating your route – if the road ahead is unexpectedly closed, you might have to make a diversion. Be flexible with the route, if one way doesn’t work out, what is the next best route – there is always more than one way to get where you want to be.

 

TRaffic light

  • Did I really go through that red light? –  how many times have you gone though traffic lights and afterwards hoped they had been green? It happens because  we’re not aware of where we are.  Thoughts prevent us from being in the moment and appreciating what’s going on around and when in charge of a big piece of metal, this can be a dangerous practice! Be aware of your surroundings and notice the obstacles that might pop up

 

  • Picking up hitch hikers – in reality I don’t see many hitch hikers these days but the principle remains true – if the hitch hiker is going in the same direction as you it might be a pleasant and rewarding distraction, a bit of company. But if you end up going off your planned route to take them to a place they want to go, where does that leave you? Being kind and helpful is one thing but being focused on where you want to be on your journey is important to reach your destination.

 

  • Planning comfort breaks – on a long journey we all need to stop for the inevitable pit stop at a dodgy motorway service station for a loo break, some tasteless coffee and food.  Your life journey is no different – plan for chill out times, be with friends and family, take a moment to ‘smell the flowers’, appreciate where you’ve come from and take another look at where you want to be.

Coffee

  • Notice your destination – if you don’t take note of your destination how do you know when you’ve reached it? Keep your destination in mind at all times.

 

  • Celebrate reaching your destination – when you notice you reach yoThumb.jpgur destination celebrate, mark it is some way, pat yourself on the back, have a party, tell your friends, be joyous because you have succeeded!!

 

  • Time to make another plan – reaching your destination doesn’t mean the end, it just means that it’s time to make another plan. Use the skills and experienced gained on your previous journeys and start to make another plan.

 

‘Nobody’s life is seamless or smooth. We all stumble. We all have setbacks. It’s just life’s way of saying time to change course’  – Oprah Winfrey

So, maybe it’s time to move out of the passenger seat and into the driver’s seat to take control and be aware of where you are going and, maybe more importantly why you’re going there.

Enjoy and have a safe journey!!

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