Taking on Our Unhelpful Thoughts

When we first started travelling down south in the winter, I would begin to check the weather at our chosen destination spot. I quickly learned that this was not helpful as I would begin to worry about the amount of cloudy days that were in the forecast for our precious week of hoped for, soul-nourishing sun. I realized that I was better to focus on the fact that rain forecasted in tropical countries can often look different than what we experience in Canada, and that the weather was going to be what it was and therefore not worth worrying about (or focusing on.)

When we catch ourselves in negative or unhelpful thought, it isn’t always that easy to “just think positively.” It can sometimes lend itself to feeling inauthentic, as we strive to align with something we are struggling to feel.

What happens to us however is that what we attend to we bring to our experience. If we attend to the crummy weather forecast, we run the risk of setting ourselves up for feeling crummy when we step off the plane to a few clouds in the sky. If we attend to judgement, complaints, injustices and weariness, we begin to feel the negative weight of those thoughts.

We begin by simply recognizing if our thought feels heavy, weighted. “Is it helpful?” “Can thinking this way create change? Growth?” If the answer is no, we move to more flexible thinking, something that will make the moment feel lighter.

I know now from years of experience, that we can have a vacation week without a stitch of rain or a vacation week where the rain came down in torrents – and yet in both cases we have captured fond memories. In the end, what mattered were the connections we made, the laughter filled moments, the time together. The lesson learned is that we can manage our unhelpful thoughts, taking them on in our quest to feel grounded and settled in faith.

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Photo credit: Me! A pic from our last trip to Mexico

 

2 thoughts on “Taking on Our Unhelpful Thoughts”

  1. very good blog kristine. this is my biggest challenge. i started saying to myself, dont listen to him, when i have a bad thought. so far its working

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