Three weeks ago I started a seven-part conversation about a process I teach my clients that helps them look at their thinking, it’s called the thought download. When we’re able to see our thoughts on paper it helps us to understand why we’re feeling the way we do. Last week I discussed the difference between the facts and the drama in that thought download. After learning how to separate out the facts from our drama we are left with all of our thoughts and that’s what we’ll be digging into today. Read through to the end of this post to find a free course I offer to help you with this exact process.
So why are these thoughts so important? The thoughts we think will always determine the results we are getting in our life, good enough reason? All of the results we have gotten in our life have come from our thinking, you can even look back and prove this to be true. Think back to times in your life when you were thinking things were just not going your way, then ask yourself what your thoughts primarily consisted of during that time. Were they mostly positive? Probably not. Then go back to times when you were on top of the world, do you remember much negative thinking?
This week I want to help you start using those thoughts you see in your thought download to help you start feeling better, starting with some awareness. I often share that the beginning of change is awareness. This awareness actually makes your brain consciously pause and recognize, or attempt to recognize, what you habitually do. Before you create awareness you are just going along, doing your thing, maybe even recognizing the fact that you don’t like what you’re doing, but doing it anyway. Today we’re going to work on short-circuiting what you are doing on autopilot.
Let’s dig into those thoughts on that paper.
Facts versus thoughts
Last week I talked about fact versus drama but today let’s do an overview. Often times we think that our thoughts are true, I see it happen all of the time with myself and with my clients. We might truly believe that our husbands are “hard”, “unloving”, “passionless”, so much so that we’ll search for evidence that proves our story. Then someone tells us about how sweet and kind our spouses are and we are all over arguing their perspective. The truth is, all of your descriptors are exactly that, your description of how you are seeing your spouse. I’ll even bet that there was a time in your relationship where you thought he was a shining knight, a passionate lover, a kind and caring man. Trust me, my friend, he hasn’t changed, it’s just your current thoughts about him and someone else thoughts about him.
Unless everyone in the world can agree on the sentence or it can be proven in a court of law, it’s just a thought. Take out the drama, the emotion, the description and you’ll have some facts. See last week’s thoughts for some examples.
When you say or think these sentences they will make you feel good. The thought will generate a positive emotion.
- He takes care of me.
- He makes me laugh.
- He chose me.
When you say or think these sentences they will make you feel bad. The thoughts generate a negative emotion.
- He never kisses me when he comes home.
- He never comes up with ideas of things to do.
- I’m not having fun in my marriage.
Net positive or negative thoughts
Now you can look at that thought download you did and sort it out:
- Put an “X” through any facts. There probably won’t be many, that’s why it’s called a “thought” download.
- Circle your negative thoughts.
- Put a line through your positive thoughts.
- For every positive thought you drew a line through, also draw a line through one of your negative thoughts.
What you have remaining, the sentences that are not crossed out, are your “net” thoughts. Do you have negative or positive thoughts left? Remember, there are no right answers here. Most often at the beginning of doing thought downloads, you will have more negative than positive thoughts, though it can change from day to day. When we are feeling like our marriage is broken and unfixable we are often in a cycle of thinking negative thoughts. So much so that we rarely have positive thoughts about our spouse or our marriage to each other, we’re constantly seeing everything that is “wrong”.
The following exercise will help you short circuit this habitual thinking pattern you have created and help you change, getting you a new perspective.
Creating your new love list
This exercise starts teaching your brain to start looking for something different than what you’ve taught it to search for. You will start by deliberately finding positive thoughts about your partner and your relationship. If you’ve been in the habit of seeing all of the negative it will take some work to find even one positive thing to think about your spouse, this is where you learn to ask positive questions. If you start asking yourself positive questions your brain will start going on a different search. You have been sending it on a search for what is wrong with your husband and your relationship, now you are sending it on a search for what is right about all of it. To begin, you will find it difficult to find something positive but keep asking, your brain will find them. Notice the resistance you have to the positive thoughts that it comes up with, your brain will want to tell you these new thoughts are not true. It’s ok, challenge yourself to believe them anyway.
Once you start finding some positive thoughts I’d like you to start creating your new love list:
- Start writing them down in one place, start a list.
- Start reading them throughout the day, adding a new one when your brain offers one to you.
- Continue asking positive questions about your partner and your relationship.
- Say them out loud so you can hear them, especially right when you wake up and before going to bed.
- Use an affirmation app like ThinkUp to help you with this new process.
Start noticing your thinking in action.
Now you can start experimenting with noticing when your brain is thinking a negative thought in action. When you notice this thought pause, ask yourself what love would say, and come up with something positive to think. Maybe you even check that list and insert one of your new love list thoughts.
Becoming aware of your thinking allows you to overcome any of the problems in this life and in your marriage. Once we discover the truth behind the fact that the only problems we will ever have in this life are with our thinking, then all the problems become solvable.
If you stick to this practice and make it something you do daily, I promise your current thinking patterns will change. Soon you will not even notice those things you are noticing right now as negative because you have taught your brain to search for the positive. You have taught your brain to search for love because love is what feels best. I have created a free mini-course called Relationship Abundance which is based on everything I shared today and I am sharing it with you today. It will help you go from thinking negative thoughts about your spouse and your marriage to seeing how to change that thinking. Even better? It will help you with anything you are struggling with right now, like maybe that job? Your mom? That co-worker? Yep, it will help with all of the relationships, even your relationship with money!
The next step is to learn how to start feeling, after you’ve worked through a week of creating your love list dive into the next step!
I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.