“ We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change ” – Sheryl Sandberg
As you grow up, you can see how some beliefs and negative thoughts hold you back on many levels, so changing those thoughts and beliefs to be more positive makes sense.
However, it’s important to know that none of us can control our thoughts completely. Therefore, you shouldn’t force yourself to change your thoughts. Instead, try to become more aware of your thoughts and accept the content of your thoughts at any given moment.
So, how exactly can you become aware of your thoughts? How can you understand something that you have no control over? We suggest these proven tips for you to become more aware and accepting of your thoughts.
Don’t judge others
It’s important to identify your judgments of other people. Why? That’s because other people often show us things about ourselves that we can’t see on our own. Something simple we all know is that no one likes to be judged. You won’t like it if others constantly judge you, so why do you keep labelling others?
On the other hand, sometimes you might condemn yourself for being judgemental. Small or big, positive or negative, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that, instead of condemning yourself, you can intentionally observe your judgements as a way to encourage awareness of your thoughts.
Passing judgement is a natural thing in this world. However, rather than resenting it, you can observe it. If you pay attention to how you judge others, it may help you to nurture positive thoughts. Most importantly, you may be able to realize a lot of interesting thoughts you have in your mind.
Write down your feelings
Above, we suggested keeping a journal to note down your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Instead of rushing through it, you can take your time and express what you feel thoroughly.
Observe your thoughts and document them. For example, if you are feeling sad, you can thoroughly observe what you are thinking and take notes. Try to express your thoughts into words and try to explore why you are thinking this way and what might be driving these thoughts. Practising this daily will help you disconnect yourself from:
- Anxious thoughts
- Discouraged or worried thoughts
- Lonely or depressed thoughts
- Sad or nervous thoughts
Practice mindfulness meditation
It’s important to remind yourself that your thoughts don’t determine your identity. Your thoughts don’t reflect your character or the nature of your behaviour. Therefore, it’s important for you to be aware of your thoughts as it might help you to get rid of negativity. If you constantly spend some time practising mindfulness meditation, it might help you to be aware of your thoughts easily. The goal in practising mindfulness is to not be perfect. In fact, it’s about being aware of the present moments and the thoughts you’re getting at that moment. Allow yourself to realize and identify your thoughts without judging or condemning yourself.
It can be helpful to start this practice by sitting in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor and back sitting up straight. Close your eyes and start to focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths in through your nose, filling up your belly. Exhale with your mouth open. Repeat those deep breaths for several minutes, counting each breath and noticing any thoughts or sensations that might arise. As those thoughts or sensations come, acknowledge them and then let them pass without judgment or reaction. Then, start down at your feet, work up through your body, to the top of your head, thinking about how each part of your body feels. Is it cold? Is it painful? Is it comfortable or uncomfortable? No matter the sensation or thought, allow it to happen and pass. Do this for another 5-10 minutes. Then, when you are ready, open your eyes and bring movement back into your fingers and toes. Now, you are ready to go about your day more mindfully aware of your thoughts and of any sensation or feeling.
Mindfulness means to take care of yourself by realizing and understanding your thoughts and drawing your limits and boundaries. Fight against your internal negative self-talk and focus on the positive thoughts that make you feel proud of yourself. Create a healthy routine in your life with rest and recovery which will definitely help you to relieve the negative self-talk.
However, the most important thing is not to beat yourself up for having negative, bad thoughts. It’s normal to have negative thoughts. What you have to do is understand why you are having negative thoughts and replace them with positive and healthy thoughts.
Lastly, repeat to yourself “ I’m not perfect. I make mistakes and that’s okay ”