Episode 53 | (00:00):
Hey there, friend. Are you ready to wrangle your midlife thoughts and feelings to create your own success? Wrangle. What a weird word. What an interesting word. Why does it make me talk with an accent? I do not know.
And speaking of thoughts, I don't have many right now. I forgot what I was going to say to you because it's kind of a scary place up in my head where all the thoughts live. :)
So I'm going to stop talking right now and just introduce this episode. I think you're going to love it. Seriously. I'm just going to stop talking right now. Let's just go. This will be fun!
Hey there, Easy Ager. If you are not already on the Easy Aging® Insider's list, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com and sign up right after this episode.
Today we are talking about our thoughts and feelings. Whoo-hoo, yeah! Did you know we have a little over 6,000 thoughts a day? That is a lot of stuff rumbling around in our heads, don't you think? And I don't know about you but for me, the fact that I have 6,000 plus thoughts going through my head is a frightening thought in and of itself. ;)
But that's why it's so important that we pay attention to those thoughts, those thoughts that are just flying through our heads every single day.
The way I see it, thoughts are like a bunch of puppies. If you don't keep a close eye on them, you're going be cleaning up more than a couple of little piddles on the carpet, or maybe something worse. (Yikes!) But you have to pay close attention to the puppies because they need to be house-trained, and they need to understand what is acceptable and what is not.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you're minding your own business, maybe you're at work and you're typing away. Then all of a sudden, you're sad or you're mad or you're upset about something. Those feelings that seem to "suddenly" come up all started with one itty, bitty thought.
So if you're running into a barrier for something that you're trying to achieve like a new habit you're trying to create, you really need to look at your midlife thoughts very closely. Because our mindset plays such a huge, significant, massive role in helping us make changes in our lives.
That's why the first step in my proprietary process is Awareness. I am constantly telling y'all, "Pay attention. Be aware. Pay attention to your own behavior." And that includes your thoughts.
Because simply by paying attention and being aware of what you're doing and what is running through your head, that is going to give you a full-fledged education on you. You're going to learn a little bit more about yourself, and you're going to have a little more insight into the way things work inside of you.
Let me explain how this works. You have a thought and it creates a feeling. That feeling generates a behavior, and that behavior can create either a reward or a consequence, a negative or a positive result.
Let's say you're determined to eat healthier. You want to feel better. You want to have more energy, and you want to lose a couple of pounds. And you've been doing great for the last two or three weeks. (Yay, you!)
Then one day you're sitting there, eating your healthy meal and you remember something that happened earlier in the day and you get annoyed, really annoyed, at what that person said to you. So that thought leads to another thought which leads to another thought.
And you stew on it for a while as you're finishing up your meal, and those thoughts lead to a feeling. So now you're not just annoyed. You're starting to get a little angry about what that person said. At this point, you're done eating, you're picking up your plate and you're going into the kitchen.
Your thoughts are still running but now, your feelings are starting to take over. They're moving to a new, heightened level, and you're just getting madder and madder. This whole time, you're not paying attention to any of this. Things are just running free and wild in your head.
You rinse off your plate and your silverware, you put them into the dishwasher. By this time, you are fuming and your feelings are completely out of control. You have taken this one thought and turned it into an angry session. You are really upset. You are just absolutely so frustrated at this guy.
You're asking yourself, "Why did he say that? Why would he say that about me at that meeting? That was ridiculous." And you just start going. (We've all done it. We all know what it's like.).
Let me ask you a question: What do you do at this point? What do you do when the feelings are just running that straight path down the road and you can't catch them? What happens? Do you grab the apple, or the ice cream?
For many years I went after that ice cream without hesitation, and I rationalized it with the best of them. I was allowing my feelings to rule the roost. I would say things like, "I deserve this because somebody was mean to me at work," or "I deserve this because I had a bad day" or "Someone was a jerk to me on I-75. I need to go ahead and have some ice cream."
I was the queen of excuses for not following through on what I said I was going to do. It was excuse after excuse after excuse. I had very logical reasons for not doing what I knew that I needed to do in order to achieve my goals or to create my new habits, but never once did it ever occur to me that I had a choice in the matter.
And guess what, my friend? So do you. By paying attention to your thoughts, you can stop them if they are leading you to a bad place or to bad behavior. So let's get a couple of things in place right now.
Number one, do not confuse thoughts with feelings. Here's the thing about a thought: It's just a thought. It's something that popped into your mind and it's there. It's a very neutral thing. You're the one that attaches a meaning to it.
Someone else could have the exact same thought and it doesn't bother them in the slightest because they attached a different meaning to that particular thought. Let me refer you to another episode where I talk specifically about how we attach meanings to things. It's episode eight, "How Choosing The Right Meaning Affects Your Daily Life After 40."
In that episode, I give you a formula for how the meaning you attach to facts create your stories and eventually your beliefs. So it's episode eight, go check it out after this episode.
You need to be aware of that thought, but you don't have to let it rule you. As an Easy Ager, you are the boss of your thoughts. They're not the boss of you. You're the boss of you. You can control those thoughts and you can make choices that lead to good, positive, life-affirming behavior.
Number two, when you have a thought, you get to choose what happens next. You have some options here. You can just watch the thought go by, let it go and go back to what you were doing. You could look at it and go, "Hmm, that's interesting," and then you can let it go.
If you want, you can let it move from one thought to another thought and another. But if that thought is moving you to a negative place, you can change it. Be aware of it and just change it to a more positive thought, to a lighter and happier thought. The choice is yours, and it always has been.
Do you see how empowering this can be? You are no longer enslaved to one of the 6,000 thoughts running through your head every single day. You get to choose, and your choices can move you into life-changing behavior that is going to create some extraordinary results.
Why don't you take a moment right now to make a commitment to yourself to start paying more attention to your thoughts? You can do this in a number of different ways. Some people put alarms on their phones, or they check in with themselves at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime. Play with a few different options and find out what works best for you.
So that's it for today. Let me do a recap for you: You have 6,000 thoughts a day, and they are like puppies. They need to be house-trained. Otherwise, you're going to be cleaning up a lot of their messes if you're not paying attention.
A thought creates a feeling. The feeling generates a behavior, and that behavior creates rewards or consequences in your life.
Don't confuse thoughts and feelings because a thought is just a thought, it's a neutral thing.
And when you have a thought, you get to choose what happens next.
I'll see you in the next episode and until then peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!