Instructions for "On The Shelf":
You just practised being the boss of your thoughts, instead of letting them be the boss of you.
So often I hear clients say that: "I can't help thinking X, and that is making me feel Y".
Even thought it may feel like your thoughts come and go of their own accord, it's not true. You are the thinker of your thoughts—they are created by you, and that means you can take control over them.
"Easier said than done!" - I hear you say. You are right, it's not easy to step into control of your thoughts, but, exercises like the one you just practised is great training to at least begin to reduce the influence of negative thinking on your life. — The more you practise picking and choosing your thoughts, the more skilled you will become at it.
"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control." - Elizabeth Gilbert
Instructions for "Set Your Compass"
You can either go through life unconsciously reacting to what comes, or consciously responding to what comes. When you consciously respond, you put yourself in a position of strength and control, regardless of how uncontrollable events may seem.
To consciously respond, you need to know the direction you want to go in, otherwise you will flounder from one day to the next, hoping things will work out. Know your reason and purpose in life and you will know what direction to take when you have choices to make—you will know what direction to set your compass toward.
If you have trouble finding your purpose, a therapy session can help. There are strategies to help you discover what your purpose is. Message me for more information.
"Whoever has a reason for living endures almost any mode of life." - Frederik Nietzsche
Instructions for "Be Bored":
What you have just done is expand your ability to be happy. By practising being a bit bored now and again, you diminish the need to be stimulated all the time. Too much stimulation has a negative effect on the nervous system, and therefore your physical and mental health, eventually wearing down your ability to be happy and content.
"A person accustomed to too much excitement is like a person with a morbid craving for pepper, who comes last to be unable even to taste a quantity of pepper which would cause anyone else to choke. There is an element of boredom which is inseparable from the avoidance of too much excitement, and too much excitement not only undermines the health, but dulls the palate for every kind of pleasure, substituting titillations for profound organic satisfactions, cleverness for wisdom, and jagged surprises for beauty." - Bertrand Russell
Instructions for "Fake News?"
When we are feeling low, or anxious, our thinking can be coloured by how we feel. Simple tasks can become frightening hurdles when anxiety is present, and a day can seem dark and hopeless when depression is painting the picture. Becoming aware of the influence of our moods on how we think breaks the spell, and lets us return to reality.
"Our minds constantly generate thoughts, many of them unhelpful. In mindfulness practice we deliberately and frequently move from our thoughts back to awareness of our breathing or body." - Padraig O'Morain
The Weekly Minute is a blog I write each week with the aim of providing proven tools to help promote positive mental health.
The collection of short, practical mindfulness and therapy tools for self-reflection and self-improvement, can equip people to take their mental well-being into their own hands, and improve their quality of life.
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