by Jen Sellers
One way to think bigger is to question the thoughts you’re having. Questioning your thoughts requires you to know what they are. Knowing what they are requires self-awareness. And self-awareness requires practice.
Begin by just noticing any thoughts you’re having, any time you can. You might take a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days to practice this step. Notice whether each thought that you become aware of evokes a positive, a negative, or a neutral feeling in your body and your psyche. Just this much may lead you to insights.
Listen to this practice here:
Now work with the hardest kind, the unpleasant thought. Once you’ve noticed it, focus on the physical sensation a negative thought brings up: maybe you feel hot under the collar, a knot in your stomach, constricted breathing, tense shoulders, or a headache.
When you’re clear on the negative-feeling thought say to yourself, “I notice I’m having the thought that [and fill in with your thought].”
What changes when you do this? You’ve become aware of the thought. Now become aware of the changes in your thinking and in your physical body when you gain some distance from it.
You might find that you notice nothing and you have the thought, “I don’t notice anything! There must be something wrong with this process (or with me)!” Try the practice on that thought, too.
One of our greatest gifts as humans is our ability to think about our thinking. Stay curious and let the practice work on you. If nothing seems to be different, you can reflect on that. What do you learn?
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You might also like this blog post: Don’t Believe Everything You Think