What is it that you spend the most time thinking about? Does your mind spin around all day, worrying about the state of the world, problems with the environment, your cash-flow or any other issues that concern you?
Of course, it is very important to think about and hopefully act on matters that arise where your participation can bring about positive change. But if we allow our worries and the negativity about these concerns to rule our lives, we will never be able to achieve our goals or continue to move forward towards that brighter future we all could and probably should be envisaging.
I’ve been a volunteer for many years on an issue that I consider to be terribly vital to health and wellbeing – one where it has always been one step forward for every two steps back. It has been overwhelming at times to consider the miniscule distance we’ve travelled on this subject and how very far we still have left to go.
There have been many times over this period when I have felt quite hopeless about the lack of progress. And when those ‘failures’ – for want of a better word – have become the focus of my thoughts; when I’ve found myself incapable of visualising any possibility of better days, my bleak imagination created the blackest of realities.
It was only when I took an active role in creating a brighter reality by concentrating on positive outcomes that might be achieved, that things started to change for the better.
Visualisation is an important part of that process for me. Actually seeing where I wanted to be helped me move towards that place. I am not there yet, but switching on that goal in my imagination has fired up a range of creative ideas that will eventually help me reach the desired end.
When I first heard Drs John and Judy Hinwood speak – many years ago now – they displayed a board (just a large sheet of heavy card you can pick up from any newsagency) they created approximately every five years to help them visualise and achieve their goals. It was covered with images and words of what they wanted to achieve and where they wanted to go. Holidays, financial targets, their business outcomes, household improvements, family events – it was all there. By putting that information down on the board that they called their Life Map or Treasure map, and looking at it every day, they helped to manifest many if not all of those goals.
Dr Judy talks about this process in their Stress to Strength Experience weekend program.
Our minds are so powerful and pictures and words tap into this power. But we have to choose where we apply that power. If we allow our imagination to become stuck in negativity, we will surely manifest that in our own lives and in the lives of those around us since our energy will always have an effect on others.
Being self-aware and learning to replace each negative thought with something positive can be a good first step to greater balance. This can be a huge personal step in removing overbearing stress from our lives.
Find things that make you happy – it could be a picture you love to look at, a song that makes you feel like dancing or an early morning walk to get your blood pumping. Taking an active role in creating happiness will help you to manifest that emotion more often in yourself and others.
Focus on your words. Negative self talk – especially the things we say to ourselves – can be very destructive. How many times do we put ourselves down about being stupid, fat, lazy – insert your adjective of choice? Become alert to these situations and consciously put a stop to this sort of thinking. Find a positive way to correct yourself should you need correction and give yourself credit for all the wonderful, joyful things you do every day for yourself and for others around you.
By consciously directing our thoughts towards where we really want them to be, we will be well and truly on our way to a better future for ourselves, our families and even the world.
by Wynn Grossman
for the Stress to Strength team