Some days things are just tossing and tumbling in our heads, like thumping tennis shoes in a dryer. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. The heavy thoughts are up one minute and then come crashing down the next.
I’m a thinker, which is just not always a good thing. And my thoughts can consume me, if I let them.
The most prevalent thought I have about any situation is…
How is this all going to turn out?
It is an innocent enough thought, right? And you think that too, don’t you?
But here’s the problem with this pesky little thought…
It hijacks my brain and pulls my focus toward that which I cannot control!
Controlling outcomes is not one of my superpowers, it turns out. But somehow, I try and try and obsess over the outcomes anyway. And that can be disappointing. And exhausting. And did I mention disappointing?
Just this past week, I was having coffee with the most amazing woman and she shared some of her life’s struggles with me. And I listened. And my heart hurt for her. And I wanted to fix things, but since I cannot control outcomes, I felt utterly useless.
Because I can’t decide and orchestrate how things will turn out in my own life, I was very certain that I wouldn’t be able to do that for her either. And that was what she needed from me, right? Ummmm, no!
Clearly that wasn’t an expectation she had of me, so why was that an expectation I would have of myself? Good golly, I am not God! I am not in charge of the universe and all that happens here. I am just little old me! I can barely be in charge of myself!
As I listened, I realized one little thing that I could do. I could share a few simple ways that I wrangle in my own thoughts and worries and fears about how things will turn out when I am feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Because the one thing in our lives that we can control is our thoughts.
So today I am sharing those simple actions with you as well. Here are a few ACTION STEPS that may help you turn your thoughts around and remind you that you are awesome, and loved, and exactly enough, regardless of the outcomes…
- To set the tone of your day – sometime before you leave your house each morning, take time to read something inspirational or listen to an inspirational message. Just a few minutes to fill yourself with something positive and uplifting will start your day off with positive possibilities.
- To help overcome mid-day mood dips – when you feel your mind wandering in the afternoons or at a specific scheduled time, actively acknowledge 3 things that you are grateful for in your life. Either type or write those 3 things and spend a few minutes reflecting upon those blessings and their importance to you. This works best for me when I continue using the same piece of paper, journal, electronic list, or email so that I can see the previous entries and build on each day’s gratitude choices without repeating the same three things each day. When we actively look for our blessings, it completely changes our mindsets and allows us to experience contentment and peace within our hectic days.
- To end your day on a positive note – as you’re going to bed and reflecting on your day, think of at least 1 thing that happened that day that you are proud of. It could be a situation you felt you handled well, something you crossed off your to-do list, the way your hair looked that day, or a good choice you made at lunch. Really anything from that day that you feel good about. Let that positive thing be the last thought you leave yourself with, about yourself.
Our thoughts will overtake us if we are not mindful of them, there’s no doubt about that. And sometimes our challenging circumstances begin to run our lives and ruin our peace of mind. The only way to take back our deeply desired control, is to refocus and redirect our thoughts. And while we can’t control the way things will turn out – much to my dismay – we most certainly can take control of our thoughts.
Today’s post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt, TURN. The rules are to write for five minutes each Friday on the prompted topic. And I am apparently quite the rule breaker, because it is Saturday (not Friday!) and I wrote for more than five minutes. But my fingers kept typing, so why stop a good thing, I figured!
This morning when I woke up I had no intention of writing, but we just never know when inspiration will hit us. I was blessed by the dinging delivery of my sister’s words in my inbox this morning and am so grateful for her perspective on “turn”. Her post can be found by clicking here.
And to read what the other talented bloggers are writing about, click on over to Kate Motaung’s blog.