Friday - - Self-Help -

An­other way to tackle seem­ingly ir­ra­tional be­liefs, fears or thoughts is by writ­ing af­fir­ma­tions.

Jot­ting down two or three pos­i­tive lines that con­tra­dict your neg­a­tive thoughts – “I de­serve to have a suc­cess­ful ca­reer be­cause I am good at what I do,” per­haps – and then read­ing them back to your­self be­fore bed sub­con­sciously plants th­ese be­liefs into your brain.

“An af­fir­ma­tion can work as it has the abil­ity to pro­gramme your mind into be­liev­ing the stated con­cept,” noted Ron­ald Alexander, direc­tor of Cal­i­for­nia’s Open­Mind Train­ing In­sti­tute, in an es­say for the re­spected jour­nal Psy­chol­ogy To­day . “This is be­cause the mind doesn’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween what is real or fan­tasy.

“There­fore, af­fir­ma­tions can be a pow­er­ful tool to help you change your mood, state of mind, and man­i­fest the change you de­sire in your life.” Be­com­ing more de­ci­sive is an­other way to spike some of those more need­less 50,000 thoughts charg­ing round your brain.

Any time you think a thought based on a could-have, would-have or should-have sen­ti­ment, kill it.

“In some ways, hav­ing ‘if only’ thoughts are nat­u­ral and healthy,” says José. “If you never re­con­sid­ered or re-eval­u­ated cer­tain be­hav­iour or sit­u­a­tions you wouldn’t grow or de­velop as a per­son.

“But it’s when th­ese spec­u­la­tions start to over­whelm you that you need to take stock. Eval­u­ate your de­ci­sions, cer­tainly. But be happy with the ac­tion you took – or at least with the rea­sons for tak­ing that ac­tion – and move on.”

In short, once you make up your mind, stick to it. If you de­cide later that a course of ac­tion wasn’t right for you then learn for next time. But do not al­low your­self to keep dwelling on what might have been.

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