Physically step out of your thoughts

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Yes, I am serious, physically step out. Let's break this down. Studies show that humans have somewhere between 12-60000 thoughts/day. That's up to 1.44 thoughts/second. I am exhausted thinking about that! (which I just realized, conjured up new thoughts!) 95% of those thoughts are repetitive, from the day before and 80% of those thoughts are negative. That means we are thinking the same negative thoughts over and over! Ok, can you see why you are so tired and possibly feeling down? This is hard work so we need to physically move our bodies in a different direction.

Our thoughts are powerful. We can convince ourselves of anything we want to. So why don't we practice a bit of witnessing and PHYSICALLY MOVING into a reality that serves us better?

1. Let's start by witnessing our thoughts.

Think about it (there we go again with the thoughts, see it is inevitable)...start witnessing your thoughts and see how many of them are negative. Now, there are the outright negative, self depricating ones  where we tell ourselves we aren't worthy, that we are losers, the whole bit. Those are pretty obvious. But as painful as they are, start noticing them.

And then make sure to notice the subtle and what I like to call, passive-aggressive ones. You know what I mean. The ones where someone tries to pay you a compliment and you deflect it..."You did such a great job on that project," says someone at work. "Oh, I just got lucky" or "Anyone could have done that." Why not just receive that compliment? Receive it and let it be a piece of positivity that you gain that day to rebalance all the negativity. Why load on more self-criticism in the face of a compliment? Or when someone tells you how wonderful you are, that you inspire them or that they look up to you? And you say, "Oh, it was nothing. It's not that big of a deal." 

Yes, it is a big frickin' deal! Someone just told you that you touch their heart, that you help guide them to do something they want to do. Don't take that away from them or from yourself. Receive it, own it. If receiving compliments feels hard for you, try touching your heart when you hear it and say something like, "I am trying to hear that." If it feels more authentic to own that you don't feel comfortable receiving praise, you can still do that while not showering yourself with negativity. 

So, just start with witnessing. Don't judge, don't try to change. Sometimes the most powerful way to change is to first see what needs to be changed.

2. Then, try to step out of those thoughts when you are ready.

Ok, this is the easy but difficult to do part. I have found it is powerful to add a physical component to any emotional/mental reframing. So let's say you just heard your own thoughts recount what a failure you are. (Realize, the only reason I know all of this is so well is because I am a fellow human and have the same thoughts!) You have heard it, you have witnessed it. Now, close your eyes (or not, that part is optional), take a deep breath to signal to yourself that you are making some space and step to the side. Yes, step to the side. As if you are stepping out of your thoughts. 

You are now in new space, on fresh ground. Reframe, remake those thoughts. This is your chance to start over. Here's the secret. Those silly thoughts were created by you alone. Now you can recreate ones that serve you better. Speak to yourself about the same situation like a nurturing friend or love would. Speak to yourself like you would to a young child who is learning about themselves and different ways to be in the world. In all of those situations, we are treated like humans who are allowed to slip and use that as learning. Why can't you? 

I step farther or with more of a high step the more negative or damaging or repetitive the thought is. You can play around with that. Sometimes I plie, ballet style, or stomp to the side. Make your step your own. And most importantly, then make your thoughts your own. 

You are the builder of your reality. 
You are the creator of your thoughts.

If they aren't serving you, dish them up again. Step out of the way to fresh ground and remake them. 

Give yourself nurturing medicine all day and your thoughts will begin to nurture you back.

Live (and think) well,
Tanmeet

 

Tanmeet Sethi2 Comments