workers, etc…we are taken outside of ourselves, out of our heads, and our own mind-chatter is less present. And these activities are a great way to reduce our mind-chatter when we are feeling negative, and they can lead to a total turn-around too.
But when we are on our own we mostly live inside out heads. And often the inner life in there is not all pleasant. We spend a lot of time in anger, anxiety, strife, worry, fear, negativity, arguments, sadness, brooding, drama, etc…
Instead, we could be planning, dreaming, thinking creative thoughts, having realizations, insights, and breakthroughs, having thoughts of gratitude, enjoyment, fun. We could be experiencing the moment in awe, wonder, enthusiasm, excitement, and feeling waves of passion, ecstasy, and bliss. Yes, these are all valid ways of being, these are all attainable inner states.
Beautifying Your Inner Landscape
How do we attain such beautiful inner landscapes? Like outer landscapes, they can be cultivated. Some landscapes are born beautiful. Others need a little cultivation.
How Do We Cultivate a Positive Inner Terrain
How do we cultivate a positive inner terrain? Well, the first and last thing I’m going to tell you is that it comes down to “faith”. But I’ll tell you a lot of other things in between that can also help you to think positively, and that will also help to build your faith in life.
Positive Thinking is just a Habit
Positive Thinking is just a habit. It is not rocket science. It is not mumbo jumbo. It is not magic, spiritual, religious or anti-religious. It is simply a habit, that anyone can cultivate. We are all thinking all the time. It might as well be a positive experience!
The Inner Terrain of the Mind
We are all creatures of habit. Our brain is made up of synapses that are formed through our activities. The more we do something, the stronger the synapse becomes, allowing us to do it better, easier, more often, and with more enjoyment. This creates a habit. When we take conscious steps to break a habit, and we stop the actions, the synapses slowly dissolve and the habit is broken.
How to Cultivate New Habits
The doing of the habit, the action itself, is the strongest thing we can do in creating a new habit. Thinking about changing our habit, planning to change it, reading about how to change it — these can all be helpful, but nowhere near as powerful to make real changes as actually doing the habit we want to start. (Or not doing the habit we want to quit).
This is a terrifically important thing to understand on a deep level. If you want to think positively, start thinking positive thoughts. Think one right now. “I am OK”. (for instance)..
Journal Exercise – Developing A New Synapse
Fill in the blank with the best believable thing you can think about yourself: “I am __________”.
Or, if you can’t think something positive about yourself just yet, start with thinking something positive about someone else. “Jim is OK”. “Mom is doing great”. “Carrie is a wonderful friend”. Now its your turn:
“______________ is ________________________________”
Now, you’ve established a new synapse in your brain’s inner-talk landscape. You’ll strengthen this synapse with repetition throughout the day of similar positive thoughts. You’ll add many more soon.
I want you to write down as many positive thoughts as you can. Don’t worry about whether or not they feel true to you just yet. If you write them now, at some point they will pop back in to your head as genuine positive thoughts.
Here are some of my positive thoughts that I seem to be able to dredge up even in the darkest times…