Thought, the Creator of Experience

With some practice we can increase our sense of satisfaction and calmness without changing anything else in our life.

Because our thinking is automatic, it becomes invisible. We forget we are thinking and accept our thoughts as reality. Rather than noticing thoughts and deciding if we want to respond to them, we usually assume they are absolutely true and react to them.

Next time you are feeling uncomfortable in some way, let that be a trigger to examine your thoughts. Remind yourself your thinking is automatic but you can choose if you want to let it go or pursue it. Try the phrase "there goes another one" and let the thought go rather than being lured into the details of your thought. If you can't redirect your thinking, stop what you are doing and take a few minutes to write down what's occupying you. If it's important, make a plan on how to deal with it. If it's not important, let it go.

Positive Thoughts about Ourselves, Others, and Situations

Your thoughts largely control what you do, and your future! Give yourself kindness by thinking:

  • I will focus on what's right with me, not what's wrong.
  • I can control the way I feel by thinking positive thoughts.
  • I will compare myself to my personal best, not to anyone else.
  • I accept my own feelings, both positive and negative.
  • I can enjoy my life here and now, not in the past or the future.

Positive thoughts about people can help us get along better. Some examples include:

  • I will focus on the good in people, not the bad.
  • Most people are doing the best they can.
  • People who hurt me are probably hurting inside.
  • Other people may need to place their own needs before mine.
  • I will ask people for what I want without griping.

"How Can I Change My Negative Thoughts to Positive Thoughts?"

There is a simple technique, outlined below. Use the form below and try this process:

  • Every time you have a negative feeling, stop and ask, "What am I thinking? What am I telling myself?"
  • If you can, write down the negative thought.
  • Then think of a more positive statement you could make to yourself. Try one from the list above if you like.
  • Repeat the positive statement to yourself several times.
  • Decide how you would act if you really believed the positive statement. Act that way as much as you can.

Changing Negative Thoughts to Positive Thoughts

Date & TimeNegative Thought & FeelingPositive AlternativePositive ActionFeeling after Positive Action
Sunday 2:00pm"My spouse is so inconsiderate - this place is a mess.""My spouse seems preoccupied. There are some things lying around."Ask spouse whether anything is on his/her mind. Assertively ask for help in clearing up the mess.Good! Had a warm conversation with spouse. Helped spouse with some job problems, then spouse picked things up. Felt better toward spouse and self.

Learn More

  • You have much more control over your emotional state than you probably realize. What and how you think determines in large part what and how you feel, learn more here.
  • Learn more about emotional intelligence and how understanding your emotions can reduce your stress.