Just think how many times is your life you wanted to do something but then talked yourself out of it. Words are so powerful. They can bring you down or hold you back. But words can also inspire and motivate you to take risks and step outside your comfort zone. So are you your biggest critic or your biggest fan? There's a way we can become more aware of our thoughts and even change the ones that are holding us back. And we can achieve this through writing.
So here are 5 steps on how you can become more mindful about the way you think through writing!
1. Create the right environment for yourself.
Set aside a time of day or better yet, put the time to write in your calendar. And try to get rid of all distractions – and I am mainly talking about you smartphone here. Put it on silent, face down on the table or even better just put it out of your sight. Create an environment that will work for you, whether it is writing in silence, with music or going to a café. Just remember, you are doing this for you. Make it work for you.
Another thing to keep in mind when you're writing is that no one is going to read this afterwards. Don't worry about the spelling or grammar, simply write. Which brings us to step number two.
2. Ask yourself: What do I see?
This step is great for people who do not have a lot of experience with writing and journaling because it's an easy way to get into the habit of writing. And at the same time, it's also a good start to any writing session for the journaling professionals out there.
So when you are sitting down with your pen and paper, you look around and notice what’s around you. Then you ask yourself: What do I see? You can even write down the question too. If you're sitting in a park and all you see is a green grass – then you write the grass is green. And you know what? Great job! You just noticed that the grass is green. Awareness of these little things is exactly what will help you to appreciate your life to the fullest! But I know you are reading this article to empower your thoughts.
3. Ask yourself: How am I feeling?
That's why the following step is going to be asking yourself: How am I feeling? Identifying your emotions is actually a lot harder than it seems. So, if you are capable of doing that– already well done. But it doesn’t end here. If you ever find yourself stuck and thoughts are not flowing, try using one of the most magical words in our language. Our magical word is the word – why. Using the word why is like having a key to the insights of your mind.
Let's take an example:
How am I feeling?
Because I have to do a presentation next week.
Why does that stress you out?
Because it might not go well.
Why shouldn't it go well?
Because maybe I'm not good enough to do great presentations.
4. Create new, empowering thoughts
Writing can help us in identifying certain thinking patterns. It’s basically figuring out what the problem is. And once you know what the problem is, you can start with working on the solution. When we have a problem in our life we have two options. Change the situation or change our attitude towards the situation. The next step is perfect for situations when all that is left is an attitude change.
Once we’ve identified our thought that is holding us back we are going to replace it with a different, empowering thought. So you write down one thought and underneath write what you would like to think instead. For example, here it could be: I am good enough to try.
5. Keep a mind check over time
At this point you’ve done most of the work already. But it’s easy for our minds to think in default thinking patterns. That is why the final step will be about making the new thought stick. This can be done through conscious repetitive practice. Keep a mental check on your thoughts and every time the old thought pops up, consciously replace it with the new thought. The more you do it, the easier it will become up until your new empowering thought will become your new way of thinking.
Your words are so powerful. They can bring you down or inspire you to take risks and step outside your comfort zone. Your words shape your life, so choose them wisely.