Lifestyle, Mental Health, Relationships

Are You Thinking Yourself Sick?

are you thinking yourself sick - comparing piggy banks

Do you focus on what’s missing in your life, rather what’s there? Do you blame others for your feelings and/or situation in life?  Does the happiness and/or success of others fill you with anger? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you may be shortening your own life and thinking yourself sick.

If there is one thing I have learned from watching those who engage in toxic behaviors, born of toxic thoughts about themselves and others, is that nothing is more powerful than a sense of personal responsibility. When you make others responsible for your life, you render yourself powerless. A powerless person is incapable of changing his/her life. For some, that may be the point.

Consciously or subconsciously, there are those who would rather remain powerless than take control of their own lives. It is easier for them to remain the “victims” of circumstances created by others. Taking control of their lives would require actual effort.

 Even if you do not yet feel the health effects, a constant focus on the negatives in life is not healthy, on any level. It’s been proven that pessimistic people have shorter lives than optimistic people. But the only person who can change you is you. And if you truly wish to change the way you think about yourself and/or others, you can. And since what we focus on expands, let’s begin with changing your focus: 

Concentrate on what is good in your life

  • If you have a place to stay if only temporarily, be grateful.
  • If you get enough to eat, instead of going to bed hungry – like so many others, be grateful.
  • If you have anyone in your life willing to put up with your less than positive disposition, be very grateful.
  • If you’re able-bodied, be grateful. There are so many people in this world who have lost the use of their arms and legs, and would gladly trade places with you.

Give yourself a goal to reach

  • It could be anything from going back to school for a diploma/degree to starting your own business or even improving your personal relationships.
  • Do not sabotage your progress by giving yourself an unattainable goal. Examples: Becoming a rock star, movie star, getting your ex back – long after they’ve moved on with someone else, etcetera. These types of unrealistic goals, goals which require returned affections, talent, knowing the right people, and luck, only serve to keep you stuck in place.
  • Your goal has to be about you; improving your life, increasing your happiness. It should not be about garnering attention or trying to prove something to someone else. I strongly believe that everyone is born with something that they can do that will make the world better in some small way. It doesn’t have to be something big or flashy, just useful. And it doesn’t matter if others can do it as well, or even better. It’s what you bring of yourself to anything that counts.

Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland

Create a plan for your goal

  • Do the research. What will it take to reach your goal from where you are now?
  • Your plan should be very detailed, with point by point objectives to help you reach your goal, one step at a time.
  • You may want to supplement your reading with anything by Tony Robbins. He is the master of “think and behave your way to success.”

Think before you speak

More difficult for some than others, granted, but still a “skill” well worth learning. Things to consider:

  • Would you wish to hear what you have to say to others?
  • Does what you say to others come from a “good” place. A place of compassion and recognition of their humanity?
  • Why do you feel the need to say what you are about to say? To help or to harm?

Think before you act

  • Thought and words always precede actions, so thinking before acting will lessen the possibility of toxic behaviors.
  • Consider the reason for whatever action you are considering, good or bad.
    • Is your goal to cause fear, embarrassment, pain, envy? If so, consider why.
      • Once you accept that others are not responsible for your choice of actions since you are a Human being with free will, your need to do harm and make excuses will greatly diminish.
    • Do you feel the need to prove your worth to others, because you don’t recognize it yourself?
      • Once you recognize you self-worth, you will no longer feel the need to showboat and demand the attention of others. Your own self-esteem will be more than enough to sustain you; any resulting accolades will simply be the icing on pound cake.

Of course, this is just the beginning of the actions necessary to completely change your toxic thinking and the behaviors that often follow. But keep working at it with sincere effort and you will find that, not only is your outlook on your life greatly improved, but your effect on, and interactions with, others will be more positive and life-affirming as well. 

If you require additional assistance in changing your toxic thinking and behaviors, read the books that helped to inspire this article. If necessary, seek the help of a qualified therapist. There’s no shame in seeking to improve your life. It is something we should all strive for.

. References

Arden, John B, PhD. “Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life”. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2010. Print

Robbins, Anthony. “Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!” Free Press / A Division of Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1991. Print

Curtis, Donald. “Helping Heaven Happen: Think Your Way to a Better Life!” Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1992. Print

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