Creating Positive Energy It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking sometimes without even realizing it. You may feel like you’ve lost your motivation and aren’t sure where to look to find it. That can lead you to getting caught in the blame game – looking for who or what to blame for your unhappiness and lack of drive. Your partner, your job, the weather, your finances, the traffic, etc. As long as you stay focused on what is outside of our control, you stay on the hamster wheel running and running while getting no where. You have to look to what is in your control. What Do You Control? Focusing on external circumstances or other people as the cause of your negativity will result in one outcome – nothing will change! That’s not what you want, so it’s necessary to find an alternative. Look to what is in your internal control: your thoughts and your behaviors. Today’s focus is on your thoughts. Whatever we use as our internal dialogue, aka our thinking, plays a huge factor in determining our emotions and responses. Change your thoughts and change your emotions. Change your thoughts and change your behaviors. Change your thoughts and change your outcome. What does it mean to change your thoughts? Before you can change anything, you have to acknowledge what is happening currently. That means it’s necessary to become aware of your thoughts – bring them to your consciousness. Becoming aware of your thoughts means you may realize you are caught up in a negative thought spiral sometimes. Often that looks similar to: If this person or situation would change, then I would feel better. Those statements leave you powerless – with nothing in your control to change your outcome. It’s time to try something different. Two Simple Steps to Build More Positivity Developing the skill of positive thinking comes down to two simple steps: reframe and replace. 1. REFRAME Reframing your limiting beliefs is the first step in building a positive mindset. Once you become more aware of what you’re thinking, you can choose to reframe any negative thoughts when they come up. Reframing means stating them again in a different way. Thought: My coworker won’t stop talking and she’s making me crazy! The focus is on the coworker. Reframe: I feel frustrated by my coworker’s talking. The focus is on the speaker. 2. REPLACE Replacing those limiting beliefs with positive affirmations is the second step in building a positive mindset. Once you have the focus on yourself instead of the other person or the situation, you have the option of change. You don’t have to yet believe the affirmation. You’re creating another option for your thoughts by stating it. Affirmation: I’m the kind of person who takes a deep breath when I’m frustrated. Now you have the option for change. Jolie Carsten, LCSW Champaign Counseling 217-203-2008 champaigncounseling.com Even with the best of intentions, learning new coping strategies can feel overwhelming and impossible on your own. Individual, couples, or family therapy can provide you with the guidance, support, and accountability needed to create more peace in your life. Contact us at Champaign Counseling to have someone walk alongside you on that journey towards peace.