My last article talked about how these are uncertain times and we might feel that we have no control, but we can control our thoughts. Our thoughts impact our emotions, which impact our behaviours, which impact our relationships with ourselves, others, food, exercise, money, etc., and our overall experience of any situation. We are also able to ensure our thoughts are positive and motivating for us.
Past-, Present- or Future-Orientated
Firstly, we need to identify whether we are past-, present- or future-orientated. This will help us to better understand part of our thought process.
If you are past-orientated, you might be constantly nostalgic for the ‘good old days’ and wishing things were as good now as they were then. Or, you might dwell and fixate on something negative that has happened in the past over which you no-longer have control. This can lead to negative feelings, including depression.
On the flip side, you might always be living in the future. Dreaming and planning for the future and looking forward to something coming up is a good thing. But for some, again, they get caught up in just thinking about what is or might be going to happen. Again, this can lead us to feeling out of control and can cause stress and anxiety.
Living in the Moment
Some of the happiest, calmest and most productive people are those that live in the moment. We are constantly distracted nowadays with technology and a culture of wanting everything now or yesterday. So, this is going to take some self-awareness, self-control and self-discipline. There’s a big movement called mindfulness at the moment and this is basically what I’m talking about – living in the moment.
Have a think about your daily structure, routine and habits. Are they supporting you, empowering you and helping you to make the most out of your current experience and life?
Think both in terms of now, while we are still in lockdown. Which habits are serving you and which are holding you back?
When we are motivated, we are either motivated towards or against something. So, if we think about fitness, we are either motivated against feeling unfit, uncomfortable and unhealthy, or we are motivated towards feeling fit, fabulous, energetic and looking good!
At the end of this lockdown, what habits will you be thankful and grateful for instilling and what habits will you regret not undertaking?
While it might be tempting to ditch the healthy eating plan, dive into the biscuits and do your exercises ‘tomorrow’, every time we do this, no matter how small the impact might seem at that moment, all of those ‘just this once’ moments stack up to a pretty heavy deficit in looking after yourself!
Habits and Behaviours
If we can learn to live in the moment, we can have better control over making sure our thoughts are positive. But, we also need to be aware of the words that we use to construct, create and convey our thoughts. Take stock. Do you use positive words to support and empower yourself?
It’s not just our thoughts that we need to keep positive and motivating ourselves. Our behaviour impacts our lives, and our daily habits, structures and routines need to be addressed to ensure we are fulfilling our potential.
The quality of our experiences and our lives is a sum of the thoughts that we have and the behaviours and daily habits we live with.
The quality of our lives is the sum total of what we are willing to tolerate. What are you tolerating? How is that impacting on your life?
Think about ‘normal’ life. Are there habits that you used to follow that you’re missing? Are there habits that you want to get rid of?
It’s all going to come down to self-discipline. What areas of your life are you able to have positive self-discipline. How can you model that behaviour and control in creating and instilling new positive thought processes.
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