Now that I’m on the mindfulness path, I still have plenty of negative thoughts, but, on good days, I can usually give pause before internalizing or reacting, then I can reframe the thought into one that makes ME feel better. Because whether the low-vibe thought is justified or not, it makes me feel yucky and I would rather feel peaceful and happy than be right, or protect my ego, or justify my stress and over-doing. (Remember, this is on a good day.)
Here are some phrases that I have successful re-spun to work better for me:
Self-talk: I’m sick / injured / depressed / exhausted.
Affirmation: I now have the opportunity to take care of myself.
How often do we get the opportunity to specifically send healing energy to a particular part of our physical/emotional body? Also, these ailments help our productivity-driven minds justify lying down with an ice pack, or spending all day lounging, or even just taking an Epsom salt bath. Emotional sickness might justify a visit to the therapist where we can finally resolve that childhood issue or relationship riddle. From someone who has dealt with all the aforementioned, this affirmation has made a huge positive impact in my daily life.
Self-talk: I deserve ______.
Affirmation: I am worthy of ______.
In a society where the fewer the calories, the better, it seems very progressive to say something like “I deserve this ice cream today.” It insinuates self-care. But it also almost always encourages execution, and usually, immediately. Say you are trying to give up sugar and then, on a very hot day after you’ve completed all your duties, you might say, “I deserve this” and dive right into the sugary treat. No consciousness needed! Now, if you say, “I am worthy of ice cream,” you acknowledge that you may have some if you wish, and that enjoying it wouldn’t harm your self-esteem, but you are in control and do not have to indulge because you “deserve it.” Does that make sense? This has empowered me and also drastically improved my relationship. I used to think, “I deserve someone who takes me on dates.” It made me feel entitled and did not produce positive communication. Now, I think, “I am worthy of being taken out.” Saying that allows me to give love to MYSELF, instead of depending on him for everything. Saying it that way also reminds me that I can practice self-care, and do something for myself.
Self-talk: How could he/she do that to me?!
Affirmation: I don’t know what suffering he/she is experiencing to influence their behavior/words/etc.
I used to take everything so personally. Any perceived questioning of my ego or ethics. When my husband would let household tasks or financial matter slip through the cracks. But Tibetan Buddhists say compassion is the no. 1 element to a life free of suffering, and that means empathizing with what our “attackers” are going through. And Their “stuff” is never about us, anyway. Even if it is directly attacking us or our life/work/family, it’s about them and their fears and ego and how maybe what you did makes them look bad or something. My best friend went out with her friends and flirted with a guy another friend simply thought was cute. The next day, the jealous friend sent my friend a text saying, “I had to clear your name with that guy. He thought you were just out looking for a one night stand. I told him otherwise.”
That’s a biting dig that could have had my friend questioning how people view her and perhaps incurring embarrassment or self-hate. But my friend knew that wasn’t true and simply texted: “thanks for having my back, boo.”
It’s not easy to stop your ego from getting involved, but if you retrain your brain to give pause after an “attack” or Injustice, you’ll feel more peaceful giving them the benefit of the doubt, and not having to take on THEIR stuff.
Self-talk: I don’t have time.
Affirmation: I have no wasted minutes.
Stephen covey said, “don’t prioritize your to-do list. Schedule your priorities.” Start to say no until you have breathing room. But also, start NOW by using the few minutes you do have to lie down, read a few pages of a book, snuggle a dog, etc. you don’t “just have 5 minutes,” you have “5 whole minutes!”
Self-talk: that’s not fair.
Affirmation: I can use my unique voice to influence change. // or // The timing for everything is perfect.
I feel this way as a woman, and as a friend to minority groups who are the target of hatred. I get discouraged a lot. But being in a gender group that is still unequal gives me the opportunity to speak up about my unique struggle. I mean, that can only influence change eventually, right?
On another level, we say “that’s not fair” about everything from not getting a promotion to being helped second when you were there first. So when we say something like, “the timing of everything is perfect,” it detaches you from taking it personally and allows you to see that there is a bigger picture, thusly this event doesn’t matter so much.
these small changes allow me to stop reacting to inflammatory thoughts that made me feel stressed or sad or angry or combative, and instead make my thoughts work for ME. after all, that’s the most important person in your life. 🙂
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