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Quick recap quiz from last week’s Emotional Management 101 Post (Read here if you missed it)

  1. Can your kids make you angry?
  2. Can you make your mother-in-law happy?
  3. Can your husband make you sad?
  4. Can your neighbor disrespect you?

Nope,
nope,
nope,
and, you guessed it….
nope.

We can not make someone else feel a certain way.
Someone else can not make us feel a certain way.
We do not feel a certain way because of something that happened.
We do not feel a certain way because of something that someone did.
We feel how we feel because of the thoughts we think.
Our feelings come directly from our thoughts.
Hum….chew on that for a bit. We feel the way we feel because of the thoughts we focus on Click To Tweet

Well then, What exactly are thoughts?

        Thoughts are sentences in our mind.
        They are not fact.
        They are not necessarily true.
        They can not be proven in a court of law.

Some examples of thoughts?

        Rain is depressing.
        I am disorganized.
        My husband doesn’t support me.
        My kids are messy.
        I deserve wine.
        My job sucks.
        My son has trouble focusing.
        My daughter is bad at making friends.

Those are all thoughts: Not necessarily true; Sentences in your head; Things you’re telling yourself.

The ones you focus on create the feelings you feel and will create the life you live. How do you feel when you think “My husband doesn’t support me”. A bit pissy perhaps? How do you act when you feel that way? When you act that way, is he excited about being around you? Is he interested in learning more about what you’re doing? The thoughts you focus on create the results you see in your life.

Get the point?

Research shows that we have between 60-80,000 thoughts a day. These are sentences that run through our head that we’re largely unconscious of (meaning we don’t stop and think about what we’re thinking). Even crazier, 85-92% of our daily thoughts are thoughts we’ve thought before. My point? Become aware of what you’re thinking. Take time to listen in to those sentences in your head: what are you telling yourself? Whose voice is that? Who has said that to you before in your life? Your mom? An old teacher? Thoughts also come from what we put in front of our brain: the newspaper, Facebook, magazines, co-workers, friends, radio, TV, etc… Since the thoughts we focus on have such an influence on our overall mental health, it’s crucial to pay attention to not only which old thoughts we’re letting resurface but also what new thoughts we’re feeding our brain. I am very careful about what I feed my brain. I consciously choose to not start my day with the news, social media, email, or the newspaper. I pay attention to who I spend time around and which messages I’m feeding my brain. I encourage you to do the same. How do you feel after spending time with certain friends or relatives? How do you feel after you spend time reading the paper or watching the news? You’re feeling the way you feel based on the thoughts you’re focusing on. Our gift as humans is the ability to think about what we’re thinking about. Use it. Homo sapiens sapiens.

The main purpose of my work as a Mindfulness-based Cognitive Coach is three fold:

(1) ATTENTION: to teach you tools so you pay attention to the thoughts you’re thinking,

(2) RESPONSIBILITY: to teach you that you’re responsible for your mind and your emotional state: it’s your choice to focus on the thoughts you’re thinking, and

(3) CONSCIOUS LIVING: to teach you how to manage your mind so you can consciously choose which thoughts to focus on to get the results in your life that you desire.

Essentially helping clients become mindful of what their brain is doing and how it’s impacting their life. What does this look like in a coaching situation? Two examples of what this looks like:

Example 1: You want to lose weight and so you set the goal to avoid dessert. (1) Pay attention to what you have been thinking when you chose to eat dessert. (2) understand that you’re choosing to think these thoughts, that they’re not facts (maybe you’re thinking “I deserve ice cream after my tough day” or “eating healthy is too hard”), and (3) choose whether those thoughts help you and your overall weight loss goals. If not, we work to find empowering thoughts to reach a more empowered state of wellbeing.

Example 2: You want to move your body daily and so you set the goal to exercise in the morning. (1) Pay attention to what you’re thinking when your alarm clock goes off. What is your brain telling you? (2) understand that you don’t have to listen to every thing your brain says. You get to choose to think the thoughts (I don’t need to start this morning” or “sleep is more important than exercise” or “I’ll exercise tomorrow instead”) and (3) choose whether those thoughts help you and your overall fitness goals.

We have more control over our days than we realize. We can not control what happens to us or around us but we can always control our thoughts about and our reaction to what is happening.

How do you want to show up today? How do you want to feel? What are your goals? Feel free to use my three steps of coaching to get the results you want in your life. Each and every one of us is capable of living a life we love. No one is going to hand it to you and no one is responsible for that life except for you. What are you doing with this one precious life? This one precious month? This one precious day? You’re in charge. Choose and go make it happen.