Cultivating a New Way of Thinking

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            As we grow, we learn patterns in the way that we think, act, react and make decisions. Some of these patterns are learned from our families, some from schooling and others from our interactions with people every day. These patterns can be healthy and constructive. Depending on lessons and situations faced, however, these patterns can also develop into unhealthy and destructive though processes. Often, we create these patterns in order to survive a hardship or get through some rough patches. Others are created due to trauma or prolonged depression, anxiety, emotional or physical abuse and more. Growth comes from learning to recognize these destructive and unhealthy patterns and cultivating new ways of thinking to create new constructive and healthy patters.

            How do we do this? First, we must become aware of these patterns, what triggers them and how we respond. This will require self-examination and journaling. You can use a notebook, journal, tablet or computer, anything you feel comfortable capturing and analyzing these thoughts.

  1. Write down every trigger you encounter in a day. If you have an immediate emotional reaction to anything that is said to you, said around you, you read somewhere, or a situation; write it down.
  2. Write down your triggered response as well. What emotion was the “gut reaction”? What thought went though your head associated with that emotion?
  3. When you have time at the end of the day, or after the event; sit and think about it. Why did you immediately react in this manner? After the reaction, did you handle it in a logical way or did you let the emotion take over and react accordingly. Record your answers.
  4. This is VERY IMPORTANT! DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Take a deep breath.

    1. Give yourself compassion for the reaction to this trigger. NO MATTER HOW YOU REACTED! Allow yourself to feel the feelings and tell yourself that you are learning and growing. It is ok to feel and then let them go. Even if you reacted harshly to the trigger, be sure to tell yourself that:


  5. Allow yourself a moment or several to breath and relax.

Doing this everyday will help you become aware of all the different little things that can trigger an emotional gut response each day. Once we become more aware of our triggers, we can address them and start the process of changing our responses to them. Now that we have identified some triggers and become more aware of our responses, we need to work on realizing that our thoughts can change our mood at any given time.

Think to one of these triggering events. Read it, and your response to it. What thought went through your head at the time of that emotional response? Did that thought correspond or relate to the emotion you felt as well? Sometimes an immediate thought can be something like: “How Dare you speak to me this way!” The corresponding emotion can be anger, hostility, rage, even grief or a feeling of powerlessness. Think about the situation and try to shift that thought to something like: “Why did you speak to me that way? Did you mean to say_____ insert your interpretation here____?”   This could give clarity, open dialog, and help smooth the entire situation over all at once.

Another example can be a simple; “I am going to fail this test.” This thought would lead to a feeling of defeat, uncertainty, loss, grief, and more. This line of thinking could actually become a self-fulfilling prophesy as you already believe you will fail. If you shift this though a little bit, to; “I will try my best to pass this test.” You will feel more confident going into the exam room. There can still be some uncertainty, of course. That is perfectly normal! It is ok to make mistakes because we are always learning! Feeling more confident and going in there with the hope and mindset that you will do your best can lead you to passing that exam! Even if you don’t, IT IS OK!!! The fact will remain that you DID try your best and you know where you need to study more.

There is something called a Thought Model that tells us how we think effects how we feel and that in turn effects how we act. The core principle of this model is that OUR OWN THOUGHTS DETERMINE OUR FEELINGS! This can be a scary thing, to realize that we can have more control than we realize.

The model has us take one circumstance (the examples I gave earlier are triggers, however you can use ANY circumstances)

Circumstance + Thought + Actions = The Results

Our Thoughts determine the Feelings we Feel. I want you to take a moment and breathe. Take a few deep breaths and say this sentence.

“I Love Myself.”  Say it a few times. How does this statement make you feel? My first time, I felt silly. Honestly, I did. My self esteem was so low that I couldn’t imaging anyone truly loving themselves. Let alone me. Now when I say it, the center of my chest feels full and light.

Now say, “I feel like a failure.” Notice how different you feel in your body and mind when you compare the two statements. When I say this, I feel like I have weight pressing down on my shoulders and it feels like I have a heavy brick sitting in the middle of my chest.

Now repeat, “I am Not a failure! I am learning!”  How does this feel to you? What emotions come up when you say this? Do you notice any physical responses as well?

Now that we have some ideas on just how the thoughts can Create our feelings, let’s examine this further.

Circumstance- My Business (I am using one of my own examples here.)

Thought- Networking and putting myself and my services out there is scary.

Feeling- Scared, Nervous, Shy, Unconfident.

Actions-When I feel these feelings, I don’t comment or create as much content. I don’t talk as much or come across as a confident person. I don’t do my affirmations as often. If this persists, I don’t dress as confidently as well. I lose focus easier on tasks or chores.

Results- I end up not networking as much as I could or should, and do not attract those who I strive to help.

SHIFTING the Thought

Circumstance- My Business

Thought- It is easy to convey my passion to people while I network.

Feelings- Passionate, Confident, Empowered, “I CAN”

Actions- I network more, comment more, create more. I come across more confident and effective. I listen to brighter music and dress more confidently.

Results- I network, create, and attract the people who need my areas of expertise.  

By shifting the main thought from a place of “I can’t” to a place of “I can”, we see vast improvement in not only how we feel but how we act and react. Our thoughts do propel our feelings in every way. It is easy to get caught up in the feelings and let them run away with our thoughts. Becoming aware of this, we can take control and start the process to shift to a more mind conscious way of acting and reacting. It takes time, practice, and consistency. These are habits we are breaking, after all. Relying on our emotions and letting them take control IS A HABIT, a Learned response. We CAN change this habit!!

Use these techniques in your journaling or to start a journal. Once you start to become more aware of how you think, feel, and act/react, you can take the necessary steps to Cultivate a New Way of Thinking.

Much Love and Support,
Niki Jones

About the Author:

    I help people fall in love with, and FULLY Accept
themselves. I help people break through self-limiting beliefs and calm their
inner storms. I help people get creative and find adventure in their Life
Again. I help people realize they are far more Loved, Accepted, and Supported
then they give themselves credit for. My passion is to help people transform
into the best versions of themselves! I am a Certified Professional Life Coach
who uses Traditional and Spiritual techniques. Some of my methods include: CBT,
NLP, Mindful Stress Release, Energy healing and channeling; divination and
mentoring to help you feel better; learn about your spiritual team; connect
with them; and co-create with Fate to create the life you have always dreamed of!
I am trained in the Shamanic Arts, a Medium, Esoteric Energy Healer, Psychopomp
and more, who uses technology in my craft. I perform my services in person AND
via Zoom! There are No Limits to where we can go!


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