Your inner voice has a tremendous impact on your external circumstances. Your beliefs affect your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Your actions ultimately create your life. If you believe your life is good, it will be good. If you believe things always work out for you, they will work out.
Did you ever meet someone who said, “Nothing ever works out. No matter what I try, it turns out wrong. It’s not my fault – I’m doing all the right things.” If you pay attention you may begin to believe them. Interestingly, though, those beliefs are most likely unfounded, and their thoughts and emotions are mainly habitual. They have fallen into the victim mindset.
Do you ever find yourself falling into the same trap? You don’t have to stay there. Changing your beliefs, thoughts, or actions will affect the results you experience. Be glad to know that you are responsible, and your inner world is under your control.
Sounds easy, right? Well, I don’t want to burst you bubble, but this requires change, and making changes can be challenging.
Change your mindset and your life will follow – here are a few suggestions:
Start and end your day by experiencing gratitude. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have. Instead, spend a few minutes in the morning and before bed to list your blessings. By focusing on the positive, you’ll realize your blessings, brighten your mood, and increase the number of good things you attract back into your life.
Focus on solutions. It’s not just a waste of time, it’s also a mistake to spend your time focusing on your problems. Spending your energy pondering your problems makes you feel terrible and hopeless. It doesn’t do anything to help you find a solution. When something is going wrong in your life, switch into solution-finding mode. What can you do to make a positive change? You have far more options that you realize.
Take care of your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, “exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
- It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, any aerobic activity, such as a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike, can contribute to this same feeling.
- It reduces negative effects of stress. Exercise can provide stress relief for your body while imitating effects of stress, such as the flight or fight response, and helping your body and its systems practice working together through those effects. This can also lead to positive effects in your body—including your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems—by helping protect your body from harmful effects of stress.
- It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball, a long walk or run, or several laps in the pool, you may often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you stay calm, clear and focused in everything you do.
- It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, improve your mood, help you relax, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.”
If you find you are depressed for no particular reason and you are doing all the things you know to do, talk to a professional. It may something temporary, or a life event, but you want to be sure it isn’t something more serious. One of the causes of depression has been found to be undiagnosed heart disease. When your body is out of sorts, it skews the way you interpret the world. We are guided by our feelings, and when your health is compromised, your emotions can be misleading.
Stay grounded in reality. Many of us are dreamers. We’re thinking about the past or speculating on the future. However, if you set goals for your life, concentrate on living wisely and well in the present moment, stay on task, your future will be where it is supposed to be.
Use positive affirmations. Give yourself the gift of positive thoughts and uplifting self-talk throughout the day. Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions. Positive thoughts will fill you with positive emotions. With positive thoughts, you can change your world. If you are not familiar with affirmations, check back each Sunday where we post affirmations for the week and how to do them.
Examine your beliefs. Make a list of your core values and evaluate the beliefs that are holding you back. Ask yourself, “Where did I get this belief? Why do I believe it’s accurate? Is there a possibility that this belief is false?” Then ask yourself how much evidence do you really have to support this belief? Is it time to change those beliefs?
Track your thoughts. If you are unsure whether or not you are being focused on the right things, here is an exercise you may want to try: For the next day or two, set the alarm on your phone to go off each waking hour. When the alarm sounds, consider how you’ve used your mind over the previous sixty minutes. What did you think about? Was your attention focused on the task at hand, or did your mind drift off to different places? Measuring yourself each hour will help you to stay focused. It’s too easy to fall into old patterns if you only check yourself once per day.
Learn to love meditating. Meditation has many benefits for all areas of your mind, body and spirit. It can help you reduce your stress, strengthen your health, strip away erroneous beliefs, and bring you clarity and focus. Meditation is one action that can have a huge, positive effect on your life. Incorporate time for meditation into your schedule each day.
The next time you begin to feel like nothing ever works out for your ask yourself this question. Are you a victim of your circumstances, or are you a victim of your own thinking? Take time to learn about people like Corrie Ten Boom, and see for yourself how they avoided the victim mentality. Remember, you are in control of your world. Changing your inner world is the key to changing your outer world.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.