The Hard Work of Thought WorkMar 30, 2023
The hardest battle we all face is the one inside our own heads. Most of us think it should be easier in there than it is. But there is a reason why thought work is supposed to be work.
In today’s episode, I’ll show you how you can keep doing the work so that you can fight the good fight and get the most out of your life.
We’re talking about what it means to think differently about your life and the work that is really involved.
What is the work?
I believe it’s true that your life can change with one thought. But it's not always easy to think that one thought.
Most of the time, it takes great effort. And because it takes work, your brain doesn’t want to do it.
We spend a lot of time thinking that it shouldn’t be this hard. We think we shouldn’t have to fight so hard to feel good about ourselves or positive about our lives.
But it is work to change your mind. It is work to think differently than your default brain is going to think.
It takes some real courage and effort to continually overcome your brain and to fight that good fight. It is supposed to be work. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing it wrong.
The opposition is supposed to be there
This is what it means to be human - that you’re always searching for and figuring out who you are and where you're going to go…in the face of your brain’s opposition.
You have a brain that is going to look for problems, be discouraging, point out why you can't, make things difficult, offer you resistance, offer you opposition…and it's going to be like that as long as you are alive.
This is constant work.
It doesn't mean that anything's gone wrong. And it doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong. It means I am in mortality.
So if we can accept that this opposition is intentionally there for our benefit, for our learning and growth, then we can drop our resistance to it and get busy doing the work.
So how, then, do we take care of our brains and manage our thoughts so that we get the experiences we want?
Taking physical care of your brain
Provide places of more quiet and less voices. The opposition we face in our minds gets harder and louder when there are more and more voices around us.
When we search for more quiet and peace, we can tap into our own inner knowing.
Notice how much quiet time you currently have. Can you increase the amount of time you spend alone with yourself and your thoughts?
Increase natural sources of dopamine. We live in a world where dopamine is so readily accessible that our brains are a little imbalanced.
We get so many artificial hits of dopamine that our brain stops producing it on its own. It retracts the receptors so we need more and more of these artificial sources to make us feel good.
Move your body. Research shows that one of the biggest impacts on our overall brain health is the amount of movement that we get every day.
Get outside. Spend a little time outside soaking up the sunshine.
These strategies can all feed into each other. Movement, sunshine, being outdoors, natural dopamine, quiet…they all used to naturally be in human’s lives.
But we live in a modern society where you could spend all day indoors, just partaking of artificial dopamine and background noise, never seeing the sun or moving around. So we have to put some intention behind it.
Caring for your thoughts
The most important work is in our thought processes. In how we decide to think, what we allow ourselves to dwell on, what we allow ourselves to say and think about ourselves and where we spend most of our time inside our own minds.
Think of it as a thought garden. We've got to do work to maintain it. We've got to plant the things that we want in our lives, weed the things we don't and prune and remove the things that aren't serving us.
Breath, then body, then brain. It doesn’t always work to jump straight to changing your thoughts, especially if you’re already overwhelmed with a bunch of negative thoughts.
Your breath has the ability to change your state faster than anything else.
Slow your breathing. Drop into your body and find the vibration. What are you actually feeling in your physical body? After acknowledging the physical sensation, you can decide what you want to think. Start with the one thought that is causing you the most pain in your life right now.
Practice thinking your one new thought. It takes work. Keep practicing. The longer you do, the more efficient your brain gets at thinking it.
When we look at other people, we see the end product. We don’t see the work, but it’s there.
The happiness you want, the life you want, the results, feelings and relationships you want - They are all created by the work that you are willing to do in your own mind, day in and day out.
It’s not supposed to be easy, but it is the work that we all came to do.
- Why changing our thoughts feels so hard
- 4 ways to take good care of your physical brain
- How your thoughts are like a current in the ocean
- A simple breathing exercise to calm your mind when you’re in a negative thought spiral
- Episode 184: Fix Your Dopamine Deficit
See What Coaching Can Do For You!
Sign up for a free consultation to see if coaching can make a difference in your life. It only takes a few minutes to change everything.
For more help and inspiration, sign up to get a shot of awesome delivered to your inbox every week!
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.