So often we fall into the trap of convincing ourselves that we only function a certain way, and that there is nothing we can do to change it. Changing the way you think, react, and handle certain situations is by no means an easy task, BUT it is possible. If you’re determined enough, and willing to be patient with yourself, rewiring your brain to function how you want it to is closer than you might think.
Why would you want to change the way you think?
Maybe, you make initial judgements about people and don’t want to anymore. Maybe, you have anxiety and want to take back some form of control. Maybe, you focus too much on negative aspects of your life and want to live a more positive lifestyle. You’re reason is your own and there is no wrong answer to this question.
Applying these methods daily is how I’ve managed to live with my bipolar disorder for close to 6 years now, without being on any medication. Utilizing will power and staying focused on “mind over matter” is the ultimate key for making such a big change. I would say it took me close to 2 years to really get a handle on things (don’t take the part about determination and patience lightly). Taking baby steps, and focusing on every positive (no matter how small) are essential.
So how do we get there?
Becoming aware of your thoughts
You’ll need to focus your attention on recognizing the thoughts you’re having, when you are having them. They come as second nature, and you may overlook or just accept them normally. But calling attention to them, and even pointing them out to someone you trust will help you learn to respond to them quicker. Think of the phrase, “the first step to fixing a problem, is recognizing there is one.”
Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself
Yes, I even mean talking out loud to yourself. The next time you’re trying to accomplish a goal, think to yourself “I can do it.” Now instead of thinking it, say it loud and firmly. Feel the difference? Saying affirmations out loud carry so much more weight and really help create the change you need.
Redirect your attention – towards something constructive
It’s hard to get a gear turning one direction in your head to switch and go the other way. We can obsess over it, and get stuck focusing on it spin that same direction over and over. It’s frustrating! Redirect your attention to something else – busy yourself with a task, or focus on noticing other people or things nearby, even start a jotting a mental list of things your grateful for. When our environment gets stressful we leave that space and change the scenery. You’re doing the same thing with your mind.
Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t flip the way you think on a dime. Reassure yourself that you CAN do it and even reward yourself for little milestones.
I used to have a bout of depression hit when I was making my bed. I would sink into this sad and unmotivated mindset and lay down for hours without having finished making it. When I first started using these methods, I would feel that emotion start to swell, stop, tell myself out loud, “no. You are going to finish making this bed.” Then I would finish my small task and find another task to go and finish as well. It seems like something so simple, but it was those kinds of hurdles that made daily life difficult. I was, and still am, incredibly proud of leaping those hurdles and making it over even bigger ones today.
You’ve got this. I believe in you. Don’t let yourself be the reason you’re not living with the mindset you want.