I’ve been learning a lot recently about the power of our mindsets and how important our thoughts are for good mental health. It’s so crazy to me to realize how much our thoughts and mindset towards our situations change how we look at things. If we have a positive attitude and see each day as something to be grateful for, we are inclined to look for the good in every moment and find more things to be happy about. If we instead wake up every day bracing for the worst and finding negatives about every little thing, our days will always be sad and upsetting. Our thoughts have so much power over how we experience life. By changing our thoughts and choosing to have a positive outlook on life, we are literally changing our reality. We are choosing to find the good in every situation and be grateful for our lives, instead of focusing on the negatives. How cool is that?!?
I definitely have a longggg way to go with having a positive mindset all the time, especially on busy college weeks where I feel like life is boring and every day is the same. But I can definitely tell a difference on the days that I wake up and actively choose to see the good in every situation instead of letting one bad thing ruin my entire day. Something that I have been trying to focus on recently is noticing my current thoughts and aiming towards my goal thoughts. That means examining what my current thought patterns are about certain things: how I speak to myself, how I view stressful situations, the soundtracks that are constantly running through my brain. Then I thought about how I could turn those negative thoughts around into positive thoughts that are kinder to myself.
I really like this idea of changing my thoughts, because it somehow seems less daunting than “changing my life” or “changing my habits”. It all starts from within, and by focusing on the way I speak to myself and view every situation, I am actually going to change my actions as well. It’s so much easier said than done, I know, but I really want to be aware of my thoughts and notice when I start to dip into a negative headspace. Then I can remember my goal thoughts and recognize that I have control over what I dwell on and put energy into. Here are some examples of some thoughts I’m working on changing:
I think a big one for my right now is stressing about my future. I don’t know why, because I still have over a year of college left, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my future job, salary, and city I’ll live in. It feels like all my professors are talking about is LinkedIn, resume builders, interview tips, and how important it is to set yourself apart in the job market. It stresses me out because I feel so behind and I’m scared I won’t find a job I like after I graduate. But I realized- how will stressing about that today, in this present moment, make any difference? Five years from now, when I think back to my junior year of college, I know that all this worrying won’t have changed the outcome. It reminds me of the verses in Matthew 6: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (v 27, 33-34). Trying to refocus my thoughts and remember that God has a plan for my life helps me stop the cycle of worry and stress about the future. Below I added a few more quotes/graphics that remind me of the importance of our thoughts.
Which quote is your favorite? Or do you have a similar one you live by? I’m trying to keep these in mind on the bad days, when I feel myself starting to be negative. Our thoughts can change our lives!