If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I am a proponent of being aware of our thoughts.
When we are aware of our thoughts can we then use our abilities to shift and change them to our advantage.
I teach my clients (and frankly, anyone who stands still long enough to listen to me) how important it is to do this.
THE MISCHIEVOUS MONKEY IN YOUR MIND
When I least expect it, a negative image or thought flashes in my mind. Sometimes it’s a scary thought – an image of one of my children getting hurt. Other times it’s a negative thought, a worry, perhaps one about not having enough money.
By-the-way, if any of these thoughts were motivating and caused me to take action to change my life, that would be OK with me. Unfortunately these kinds of thoughts only serve to make me feel bad, frightened, and downright anxious.
Was I responsible for these thoughts and images? I certainly don’t WANT to take responsibility. Why would I think this way? How would these negative thoughts benefit me?
MY MONKEY HAS A JOB
Whenever these thoughts and images occur, I remember that I have a small mischievous monkey in my mind. Now, this little monkey is usually quiet, but always alert. When he sees a moment of quiet in my mind, he seizes the opportunity to grab a negative thought, worry, or fear out of his basket and toss it quickly into my mind.
I imagine his basket is full of colored ping pong balls. Each ball representing a specific negative thought.
This is my monkey’s sole purpose in life. His goal is to toss these balls of negative thoughts as often as possible. He doesn’t care what I do with those negative thoughts. This little monkey loves doing this.
When I was younger I allowed this mischievous monkey to toss thousands of negative thoughts. Then I held onto them.
The result of having a mind filled with so much negativity was that I was quite unhappy – really downright miserable.
MY MONKEY DOESN’T CARE HOW I PLAY THE GAME
This small monkey doesn’t care what happens to those negative balls of thoughts. Remember, his sole job is to simply toss them.
Knowing this, I created a new game whenever my monkey is active. :
- When this little monkey tosses out a negative thought I immediately take action by eliminating, releasing, deflecting, or even destroying the thought.
- When the thought is gone, I quickly ask myself “How do I want to feel about this situation?”
- I then take the answer and use it to replace the negative thought my monkey had thrown out to me.
I’ve gotten quite good at my game. It takes a millisecond at the most.
I’m playing a better game. By taking control of my thoughts I’ve reduced my stress and I’m a lot happier.