How many times have you thought to yourself during the day, “When I get home, I need to do the laundry, call the phone company, (which will probably take an hour), and I bet the dog chewed another shoe, and…”
We so easily get stuck in a cycle of rehearsing the less than desirable parts of our day, which only gives rise to the negative feelings they produce.
If we could stop that rehearsal the moment it comes up, and redirect that energy instead to a thought that produces a good feeling, we would do ourselves an incredible service.
“But,” you ask, “Doesn’t everyone think these thoughts? Aren’t they just the regular mental on-goings that help me get through my day?”
And I respond with a question in return – how do they make you feel? If you are over the moon with excitement to pay the gas bill or to vacuum the floor, then by all means – keep thinking about those things! The key to knowing whether a thought is serving you positively or negatively, always lies in how it makes you feel.
If by thinking about something you have to do, you feel good, then keep that train a’ chuggin’! However, if your chores list is producing feelings of anxiety, frustration, resentment, or any other negative emotion, then please do yourself a favour and hit da brakes!
How do you hit the brakes? It is absolutely necessary to become your own mental watch dog: to sit atop the mountain in your mind and observe yourself below. As soon as you notice that you are slipping into habitual thought patterns, say during the commute or while sitting on the john, you can dissipate that energy.
Example – you are stuck in traffic on your way home from work, and find yourself going through your mental obligation buffet. “I really need to call that editor when I get home, and water the dry spot in the back yard, and think of something to make for dinner. Oh, but we’re out of a bunch of stuff so I’ll need to go to the store first, which is probably going to make me late for my 7:30 web conference…” The first thought forms a snowball, which gets bigger and bigger as it rolls down the mountain, and eventually sweeps you up in its path and renders you helpless. And feeling rather icky.
You might contend that if you did not think these thoughts at this time, you would forget about certain tasks that you had to complete.
To that I have a two-part solution.
The first part is as easy as keeping your phone or a notepad with you at all times, so that as soon as a thought enters your mind about something you need to do, you can write it down, and then instantly return back to fantasizing about how good it’s going to feel when you take that trip to Hawaii this winter.
I have been doing this exercise for over five years now, and it is absolutely incredible how much time it frees up so that I may think about things that I prefer, aka, things that make me feel good.
The second part is to create an attitude of gratitude by replacing the phrase “I have to”, with “I get to”. I understand this might be difficult for many people, especially when you’re trying to transform the phrase, “I have to scrub that caked-on casserole dish” or “I have to go pick my son up from the party at midnight.”
Saying the words, “I have to” to yourself automatically produces a not-yummy feeling. We associate all the mundane things in life with “I have to”. For example, “I have to go to work, I have to clean my house, I have to pay my taxes, and I have to go see my mother-in-law.” We do ourselves a major disservice by unconsciously releasing a lowered vibration when we say, “I have to.”
If we can transform that phrase by saying, “I get to”, we put out a much higher vibration into The Universe. We say, “I get to”, when talking about things that we are really excited about. “I get to go on vacation next month, I get to go to Alison’s party this weekend, I get to see my friend from high school on Thursday, and I get to eat sushi for dinner tonight! Woohoo!” We feel pleasure when we think about things that we get to do, and therefore release a positive, higher vibration into the world.
In case you forgot, I will remind you now that The Universe works as a mirror, in that it reflects back to you exactly the vibration that you are putting out. If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling, more delicious existence, it is imperative that you raise your vibration.
To help start the transformation of all your “I have to’s”, to “I get to’s”, search for a feeling of gratitude in a thought. For example, if you are not looking forward to scrubbing that casserole dish, think about how nice it felt to share such a delicious meal with friends over great wine and conversation. If you are resenting getting out of bed to go pick your son up from a late-night party, think about how blessed you are to have a child who is responsible enough to call for a ride instead of attempting to drive intoxicated.
Dig deep and get creative to find the gratitude in each moment. Some tasks are going to require more digging than others. Because let’s be honest, who really says to themselves, other than clean freaks like me, “I can’t wait to scrub the toilet bowl later!” Have fun with it, use your imagination, and let the task itself humour you. Your reason for gratitude by no means has to be rational, or make sense to anyone else. The only thing that is important is that it produces a good feeling when you think about it.
Now, you’re back to sitting in traffic on your way home from work. Doesn’t it feel glorious to know that everything you need to do, which you now feel grateful to be able to do, is neatly written down on your notepad, so you can choose to think about whatever it is that you want?
This is one of my favourite things about being alive: having the opportunity to fantasize and play make-believe in my head. It is my ultimate time of creativity, and I sneak it in anywhere and any time I can.
This is an integral part of raising your vibration. To start leading the life you want, you must dedicate more time not only to thoughts that make you feel good, but for mental “movie-making” as well, where you are the lead character and you can go anywhere, be anything, and have and do whatever you want!
The less time you spend in a day thinking about your task list, and the more time you spend making mental movies, the higher your vibration will become. Again, to remind you, as you experience the feel-good emotions that come from thinking about things you want, so too The Universe will respond by mirroring back to you more things that make you feel good. By vibrating higher, you become a match to a wealth of positivity that flows right back to you.
So, my friends, start this exercise by summoning your inner watch dog to be on the lookout for those unconscious, habitual thought patterns. The earlier your dog catches them, the easier their momentum can be slowed, and reverted into positive forces of creative imagery.
To make things easier, I recommend actually saying, out loud or in your head, something that snaps you out of your negative thought cycle as soon as you become aware of it.
The moment I start to think a thought that does not make me feel good, I say to myself, “Heyyyyyyyy, stop that. That doesn’t feel good to think, and if I keep thinking it, it is going to lead me down a dark alley that I do not want to go down.” I then immediately divert the energy towards something that makes me feel positive. For example, the other day I was driving through town. A car turned from a side street into my lane and cut me off. I was about to start thinking how rude this person was by forcing me to brake hard, but my watch dog was on duty. I knew that sending that thought out into The Universe would only lower my vibration, and make me feel less than amazing. Instead, I immediately dissipated the negative energy by telling myself, “It is okay. He just made a mistake. I am sure he did not mean to cut me off. He is probably distracted by thinking about all the things he has to do. I know I have been in that position many times myself.” Rather than releasing anger and annoyance, I changed my thought process to cultivate feelings of empathy and compassion, and was actually able to raise my vibration in that moment.
It will take practice, but if your watch dog is vigilant, you can absolutely, one-million per cent, stop the momentum of your habitual negative thought patterns, and convert them into an amazing attitude of gratitude to help you lasso your best life faster than you ever dreamed possible.
All my love,
Always and forever,
If you read this article, I would be so honoured if you could share it and leave a comment. Thanks so much!
Also, if you missed it, be sure to check out my last article, The Constructive Power of Jealousy, in which I share how to transform jealousy into miraculous inspiration to guide you towards the things you truly want in life.
As with all posts, I make no claim to be qualified as a mental health professional. I cannot guarantee the outcome of following the recommendations provided and my statements about the potential outcome are expressions of opinion only. Please refer to our Disclaimer for full details.