Thoughts aren’t just thoughts. All the ideas buzzing around in our brains might seem insignificant, but they have a huge impact on the way we live our lives. While they serve as an indication of how we perceive things, they also guide our actions and behaviors. It’s important to know what ideas and thought-patterns are most useful to us, and those we need to let go of.
We brush our teeth every day, but how often do we check in with our mental health? Reframing our mindset isn’t easy, but like any new habit, it requires a lot of practice. This blog post is my version of Brain Floss 101, or 5 simple but impactful thoughts to think daily. It’s a big reminder to myself, and I hope it inspires you, too. Because at the end of the day, you’ve got to make your own good vibes.
There is a lot to be grateful for.
I’m guilty of constantly looking at what I’m missing rather than what I already have. If you have a similar tendency, you may have already realized how stressful it can be. It puts you in a scarcity mindset by making you feel like you never have enough. It’s not a bad thing to want more in life. No one who has moved forward or accomplished anything has done so by dreaming smaller. But a life without gratitude ensures that you will always be dissatisfied, no matter how many things you’re already blessed with. Rather than “woe-is-me”-ing your way through the day, focus on the things you do have and the things that are already going your way.
Be thankful. You’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – Oprah Winfrey
What’s most important is the here and now.
We each have thousands upon thousands of thoughts a day. It can be a struggle to stay present. It doesn’t help that we live in a pretty frazzled and fast-paced world. Besides the constant beeping and buzzing, we all want to do everything at once, be in two places at once, and cross everything off our to-do list in the span of a single morning. The thoughts we engage with can easily get the best of us if we don’t learn to be in (some kind of) control over them. When I feel overwhelmed or scatterbrained, either by trying to juggle too many tasks or thinking about the future, I remind myself to bring it back to the present. And I put my phone away. Because we’re bringin’ it back to the here and now.
Forcing things does not equate to success.
Struggling more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re accomplishing more. I know, I know – it’s pretty counter intuitive. What happened to “no pain, no gain”? Tara Stiles and other yogis have inspired me to let go of the notion that everything needs to be a struggle. That without struggling and fighting, you can’t achieve. While I still believe that good ol’ fighter mantras have their time and place, it’s crucial to learn to let go of beliefs and thought-processes that are holding you back.
The path you take to get where you’re going will affect how you feel once you get there. – Tara Stiles
This does not mean that you shouldn’t work hard. But it’s a common misconception that those who work at a calm and measured pace are lazy, unambitious, and have abysmally sparse resumes. If anything, having a calm mind helps you achieve more by getting rid of the clutter that clouds your focus and judgement. When you approach your day with ease and a quiet focus, you can bring a lot more to the table. If you’re struggling with that, it’s okay. Just remember to look at what you’re going through as an opportunity for growth rather than an insurmountable obstacle.
Not everything is under your control.
And that’s okay. Sometimes, you need to just go with the flow, even in times of great stress. Our need for control relates to our tendency to force things because we want them to be a certain way. When things don’t meet our expectations, we end up feeling a little defeated. Loosening the reins is hard, but it’s a prerequisite to moving forward.
If you gotta force it, just leave it alone. Relationships, friendships, ponytails. Just leave it. – Reyna Biddy
Relinquishing the need for control can feel like you’re giving up. But if you’re stuck in the past or in your idea of how things should be, you’re likely cutting yourself off from new opportunities. Letting go just means that you’re making room for good things that are coming your way. If you’re being inflexible, you’re closing yourself off to change and growth. And hey – even if something doesn’t go your way, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will end up going badly.
You don’t need a new day to turn things around.
Just like you don’t need to wait for a new year to set resolutions, you don’t need to wait for a new day to turn things around. When I was younger, if I woke up with a really bad hair day, or if someone said something rude to me in the morning, I’d let it ruin my whole day. While we all need a fresh start from time to time, each day brings good, bad, and mediocre things. A shift in your day starts with a shift in your thoughts.
Was it a bad day? Or was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day?