Changing Your Thoughts

Changing your thoughts

Two things are true: our thoughts have power, and we have (a lot of) power over our thoughts.

This might feel foreign and untrue for you right now, especially if your thoughts don’t really feel like a safe place at the moment. If we’ve relied on alcohol for a while, we may find ourselves in a situation where we’ve separated from our bodies, thoughts, and emotions for a long time now. As we find our way back to ourselves, we can begin to address our thoughts and feelings in a positive and constructive way.

Our thoughts have a massive impact on so many parts of our life; motivation, self-esteem, mental and emotional health, relationships, everyday functioning, and so much more. If we constantly experience these things under an umbrella of negative thoughts, that greatly impacts our success and happiness. If we can begin to recognize these negative thought patterns, we can then begin to reverse and rewrite them thanks to the amazing neuroplasticity of our brains.

Today, we’ll practice a simple tool for changing our thoughts, utilizing a pause and reframe.

  1. Pause every hour or so (set an alarm on your phone if needed) and take a mental note of where your thoughts are. Are you stuck on a negative loop? Have you wandered into unhelpful thinking? Are you worried, stressed, or overwhelmed? Write these observations down.

  2. Identify one change you can make to reframe and improve your internal dialogue: perhaps it’s repeating a positive affirmation, taking five minutes to do a meditation or breathing exercise, or getting some fresh air.