This journal exercise will guide you to re-program the thoughts that you want to change. Over time, you can begin to replace your negative and challenging thoughts with positive ones.
Let’s begin with a few reflection questions to get the ball rolling…
When I am confronted with a difficult miscommunication with another person, do I …Take the time to listen/understand/find out the reasons behind it first? …Jump in with my own assumptions/opinions/reactions?
When something negative confronts me, do I …Find it easy to let go? …Get caught up in my emotions, even long after the situation has passed?
When I am alone, how much of this time do I spend ...Enjoying the moment? …Worrying? …Giving my Self positive feedback? …Being creative? …Doing the things I love? …Planning for the future? …Thinking of the past?
Do I describe my Self as being …A positive person …A realist …A negative person …A (fill in the blank)
Throughout the day, our mind creates a whole map of thoughts, consciously and subconsciously.
How can we use affirmations to change our thought patterns? Try this!
☀️ Exercise: Shut Your Monkey Mind!
Mind monkey or monkey mind, from Chinese xinyuan and Sino-Japanese shin’en 心猿 [lit. “heart-/mind-monkey”], is a Buddhist term meaning “unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable” [Wikipedia info]
The monkey mind can be a grand distraction. When we are caught up in the loops of our monkey mind, we may forget to connect to the inner voice and guidance that is found in intuition. If you want to live a life through your intuitive Self, we need to learn to control our monkey mind.
For this exercise, we will focus on the power of affirmations!
✍🏽 Journal exercise:
► Get a piece of paper or a new page in your journal.
► Split the page in 2 halves – by drawing a vertical line down the middle.
► On the left-hand side, write down the top 5 regular negative thoughts you hear your Self saying in your mind.
► On the right-hand side, next to each negative thought on the left, write down a positive affirmation that will turn this negative thought around.
|LEFT-HAND SIDE||RIGHT-HAND SIDE|
|“I don’t feel good enough”||“I am enough, I am fully present in my journey”|
|“I don’t like feeling overwhelmed by my sensitivity”||“I am growing to love my sensitivity as a strength”|
|“I am not where I want to be in my life”||“I am open to what the Universe/You-In-Verse is guiding me to change”|
|“I don’t feel love”||“Love is who I am”|
► Now, every time you find your mind chatter saying any of these negative thoughts, quickly replace it with the positive affirmation. The next time you catch your monkey mind saying a left-hand thought, immediately say the right-hand affirmation a few times out loud or in your mind. In time, this will reprogram your thought patterns.
► Keep track with a journal. Try this exercise for at least 7 days and see what comes up for you.
✅ Things to notice as you journal your experiences…
Reflection Q: “Am I feeling deep resistance to changing my thoughts?“ This is a common thing to experience with change. The resistance may be coming from a place where you are happy to stay in the comfort zone of the negative thought patterns. Notice where and why you are feeling any resistance to changing your thought patterns. Write this in your journal.
This should not be a tool to bypass any Shadow work that we need to do. Many times, Shadow work needs to happen in order to fully change our thought patterns. It might not be enough to use this affirmation technique because the root cause could be something we need to dig deeper into. Keep track in your journal if you are experiencing any connected thoughts of any Shadow work that needs time to explore. This affirmation technique could point you in the right direction. From there, you can try other things to explore it – either through your own Self-development or through the help of a therapist etc. Please do not ignore Shadow Self – we all have it and it can be the most liberating thing to finally connect with this part of who we are, instead of burying it.
Feeling our emotions fully is important. Bring awareness to what emotions are coming up and where you store it in your body as you say the replacing affirmations. Breathe deeply into it, close your eyes for a moment if needed and feel it fully. Our emotions can tell us a lot.
Notice if these thoughts are yours! This sounds strange to say but I mention this because if you are an empath/HSP, we often collect a lot of energy (in the form of thoughts as well) through the people, places and situations that we exchange our energy with. Maybe we are picking other people’s thought patterns too? For example: If you have a partner who is always saying the same negative/draining thoughts about something, it is common that you may also absorb this as your own (even on a deeply subconscious level, without even knowing it!). It is worth asking your Self if the regular challenging and/or negative thoughts that you have stem from anything/anyone around you.
Use your journal to keep track of everything that comes up! There are no wrongs/rights in the process – it is just about exploring awareness of our thought patterns.