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Understanding the nature of thoughts and 9 tips for keeping them positive

Understanding the nature of thoughts and 9 tips for keeping them positive

On 12th May 2017 we organized a workshop on The Art of Positive Thinking. The aim of the workshop was to understand thoughts and their impact on our emotions.

So, what are thoughts? According to many participants, thoughts are little conversations in our head, are our opinions, they can be difficult to deal with, and many participants also commented on how thoughts seem to just barge into our mind and one should try not think too much.

IMG_2056We do not have as much control over our thoughts as we may believe. If I tell you not to think of a monkey, do you think you will find it easy to do so? The very processes of restricting ourselves from thinking can promote thinking.

It’s interesting to note that our thoughts affect our emotions. In any given situation, we usually blame the situation for making us feel the way we do. However, what intercepts the situation and our emotion is thoughts. By thinking more positively, we can surely improve our mood.

ThoughtsIn this light, the thoughts-feelings-behaviour cycle becomes relevant. Our negative thoughts manifest themselves in our behaviour. For example, Lalita calls her daughter and she doesn’t pick up. If Lalita assumes that her daughter did not pick up her phone on purpose to avoid her, then she will start avoiding her daughter, will be aloof and even be cross with her when they do speak. Her daughter will pick up on her changed behaviour, but will not know why her mother is behaving like this. This may strain their relationship.

IMG_2066Our thoughts are not facts, but we give them that status ever too often. Our thoughts can distort our reality and change our behaviour. We often make negative assumptions about ourselves, our potential, others or the world around us. At such a time we must realise that every thought that comes to our mind is not true factual.

During the workshop, many participants shared some real life situations that have led us to negative thinking and we all attempted to challenge the negativity in those thoughts.

Thoughts feelings behaviour cycleTo challenge our negative thoughts, we may look at ways to check our thoughts to ensure that we are being rational and not letting negative thoughts take control of our feelings and behaviour.

The following are some ways we discussed to keep a check on negative thoughts:

1) Reality testing

    • Am I 100% sure of this?
    • Do I have any proof for and against IMG_2069(other than intuition or gut)?
    • Is my thought a fact or just my interpretation?
    • Can I do something to actually now the truth?
    • Am I reading minds or predicting the future? (Humans can’t do that as well as they think)

2) Look for alternative explanations

    • Can I look at this another way?
    • What is another explanation, if I were to be positive, what would I think?

3) Put things in perspective

    • Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?
    • Will this make as much of a difference 5 years from now?

4) Goal directed thinking

    • How useful is this thought for me?
    • Will it help me feel better or worse?
    • Is it fruitful to think like that to reach my goals?

The above questions can help you not give overdue importance to your thoughts.

Then we ended the workshop on positive note by concluding with some tips to think more positively:

  1. Use positive words and avoid using negative words such as CAN’T, NO, WORST, HORRIBLE, etc.
  2. Before you go to bed, write down 3 good things about the day and train your brain to think more positively.
  3. Make peace with the past, as its best not revisited. It’s important to forgive and let go of resentments. Don’t let the hurt we once felt to stay with us and continue to cause the same pain.
  4. Gratitude or feeling thankful is an extremely powerful tool that helps us tune in to all that we have.
  5. Celebrate everything, even the things that seem small, don’t miss out on any opportunity to have a good time and appreciate the good things about life.
  6. Smile a lot.
  7. Use the mirror technique and praise yourself and your life as you look at your reflection
  8. Keep busy as and idle mind is a devil’s workshop
  9. Do things you like to do, and make sure to take out time for things that are important to you

We at Samvedna Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. All our senior care specialists are psychologists or gerontologists.

Here are some of our services –

General Wellbeing:

With our General Well Being Services we aim to raise the quality of life of seniors, specially those who may have limited mobility and social interaction due to various constraints. Our interactive programme keeps them active and engaged through physical, mental and social activities, all in the comfort of their home.

More – Elder Care

Great Times by Samvedna is our social and recreational club in Sector 57, Gurgaon, for members 55 years and above. Its a place where members come to get fit, meet like minded people and share their life experiences and give back to the community.

Activities at the club include fitness exercises, group meditation, mind stimulation, tambola, dancing, book reviews, movies, community outreach, and talks on health management. The club has a library, computer room, visits by physiotherapists and doctors, access to board games and cards, a fully functional pantry with healthy and affordable snacks and tea and coffee on the house.

There are special discounts for group memberships. The club is open Monday-Friday, 11am to 2pm.There are special classes for yoga, smart phones, computers, spoken english, dance, music and painting. We also have Bridge mornings every Tuesday and Thursday. Call Great Times Club at 9818421446, 0124-4229659.

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