The Most Essential Work You’ll Ever Do Is Studying to Handle Your Thoughts

Over the weekend, considered one of my finest pals stayed with us. A couple of years in the past, we lived in almost an identical townhouses in California, simply doorways aside, dealing with this massive expanse of grass. Our children would play for HOURS each week on that garden, preventing with toy lightsabers or gathering leaves and flowers so as to add to their magical potions. 

Since then, each of our households have moved away, however this weekend, all of us picked up proper the place we left off—with my good friend and I speaking for hours, and our children taking part in immediately like they’d by no means been aside. 

Whereas my good friend was with us, I saved pondering, It’s so NICE, talking the identical language.

Throughout the years that she and I lived in the identical city, we each realized from the identical academics (by way of books, podcasts, and programs), so once we discuss now, we share this widespread understanding—a framework to see the world by way of. 

I’ve touched on this a number of instances right here on the podcast, however having my good friend stick with me over the weekend jogged my memory that I wish to ensure you and I are talking the identical language, as a result of that is life-changing stuff! 

It’s arduous to encapsulate in just a few phrases, however we’re going to name it “thought work.”

Thought work is the method of observing and managing your mind, and right this moment I needed to share 5 foundational ideas—to get us all talking the identical language. 

5 Foundational Rules of Thought Work 

1. You aren’t your ideas.

The inspiration of thought work is the data that you usually are not your ideas. You—who you might be on the deepest stage—are separate from the voice of the thoughts. 

I describe it to my children as a monkey in your mind that by no means stops leaping. He’s so bouncy and insistent that you simply begin to think about him as your voice. However he’s not; he’s only a customer, and you may quiet him everytime you wish to.

Eckhardt Tolle talks about this in his guide The Energy of Now. He says that the voice of the thoughts is what differentiates us from animals and crops however that our drawback (and it’s an enormous one!) is that we’re letting that voice run unchecked.

2. Your ideas—not your circumstances—decide your emotions.

In different phrases, the monkey in your mind is answerable for how you’re feeling! 

Let’s say you’re feeling annoyed and resentful, as a result of (the way in which you see it) your children by no means put their soiled dishes within the dishwasher. That’s irritating—I get it! 

But it surely’s not really the circumstance (AKA “My children left their breakfast dishes out this morning.”) that’s making you all angsty. It’s the thought you’re having about that circumstance. For instance, “The children ought to put their dishes away! They understand how a lot that bothers me!” 

Recognizing that it’s your ideas that create your emotions is foundational to managing your mind, as a result of it’s typically loads simpler to shift your ideas than it’s to vary your circumstances (specifically, different folks’s habits). 

Which brings us to our third precept of thought work—

3. You’ll be able to shift or drop recurring adverse ideas! 

One after the other, you may determine in case your ideas are serving you, and in the event that they aren’t, you may drop them! We did a deep dive into HOW to do that again in Episode 17: What Is Emotional Litter + The best way to Clear It Out. However simply know this: (psychological sickness apart) you have got extra affect over your thoughts than you would possibly suppose. 

I’ve to apologize to my husband for throwing him below the bus right here, however just a few years in the past, I observed a thought that saved popping up in my thoughts. That thought was, “He makes my life so difficult.” 

Naturally, my mind began gathering proof for that thought, and the extra proof it gathered, the extra I began to consider that my thought was a truth

My husband craves journey, spontaneity, and newness like I crave simplicity, consistency, and HOME. So each time he modified our household plans on the final second or booked us for yet one more weekend highway journey, my mind would say, See?! Proof! He makes your life so difficult.

Finally—with the assistance of an incredible life coach—I managed to step again and ask myself if this thought was serving me, and I made a decision to attempt making a small however optimistic shift. 

As an alternative of defaulting to “he makes my life so difficult,” I practiced reaching for “he makes my life so attention-grabbing.” 

Certain, he nonetheless typically makes my life extra difficult than *I* would possibly make it, however with this straightforward shift, I began to note that he opens me as much as so many issues that I in all probability wouldn’t expertise in any other case, and I’m grateful for that. 

You could have that very same affect over your personal ideas. You’ll be able to shift or drop recurring adverse scripts. 

4. Presence is at all times an possibility for aid.

Does it ever really feel like your thoughts is a high-speed practice with none brakes? It speaks in rapid-fire sentences all day lengthy—solely to be silenced once you lastly drift off to sleep. 

Whereas we are able to intentionally drop our unhelpful ideas or substitute them with gentler options, another choice for aid from the relentlessness of your thoughts is solely presence

How typically in your day do you quiet your busy ideas and observe precisely the place you might be? 

  • Really feel the solidness of the earth below your toes. 
  • Really feel the feeling of a breeze (or possibly, the air con 🤪) in your face. 
  • Contact a texture close to you, like the graceful floor of your kitchen counters.
  • Tune in to your environment together with your ears; discover all the things you may hear. 

Take a minute to be the place you might be, free from the ideas, worries, and to-do’s that usually dominate your headspace.

Presence is at all times an possibility for aid.

5. The extra you observe presence, the higher you’ll really feel. 

Don’t let that monkey thoughts run away with you! You deserve the stillness and peace you may expertise from studying to show the amount down in your head. 

As Brooke Castillo says, “Are you creating your ideas? Or are your ideas creating you?” Ensure it’s you creating your ideas—so these ideas might help you construct the life you need.

Want Reduction from the Relentlessness of Your Thoughts? Introducing The Aware Field

If you ever really feel like your thoughts is a high-speed practice with none brakes, I’ve obtained simply the factor to remind you that you simply DO have a set of brakes and that you need to use them any time you need! 

Mindfulness is the flexibility to focus your consideration on the current second. It’s the observe of changing into The Watcher of your ideas as an alternative of the sufferer of them.

Previous to 2021, I had tried for YEARS to develop an everyday mindfulness observe. I used the meditation apps, respiration apps, and even some techy gear, however I may by no means get something to stay longer than a few week at a time. 

At this time, I’m so excited to announce our latest paper product: The 90-Day Aware Field!

Day-after-day you’ll pull a contemporary card from the field and full the 4 practices on every card: give up, affirmation, gratitude, and meditation (which, by the way in which, could be so simple as taking three deep breaths).

By The Aware Field, you’ll expertise the advantages that analysis has proven on mindfulness, from lowered stress and emotional reactivity to elevated focus, reminiscence, cognitive flexibility, and total life satisfaction. Begin your 90-day observe as quickly as your field arrives! 

I additionally hope you’ll think about giving The Aware Field as a present this vacation season. We presently have 2,000 items in inventory, and as soon as they’re out, we received’t be capable to get extra in time for the vacations. So have a look right this moment for those who’re ! I so respect your help of my small enterprise. ❤️

Extra from Episode 36 of “Life On Objective with Erica Layne”

Take heed to the complete episode—together with two further segments—in your favourite podcast app, or within the audio participant beneath!

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher

Podcast produced by Callie Wright

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