Our thoughts can influence how we behave and respond to circumstances.
Most of us have struggled with negative thoughts at some point in our lives. I know I did when I was a new mum and during certain moments of my medical training. This likely stemmed from fatigue, performance anxiety, wondering what others thought of me and comparing myself to others. I therefore try to be mindful of my thoughts and to surround myself with positive influences be it in the form of books I read, the people I interact with or the media that I expose myself to.
Surrounding ourselves with a positive environment and mindset does not mean ignoring our negative emotions or the reality around us. It means reflecting on our thoughts and feelings, acknowledging the emotions that are there, and working through them so that nothing festers or remains unresolved. It can help to ask questions such as “Why am I feeling this way? Is it rational? What can I do to rise above it? Who can I talk to about this issue?”
I recently read a book by I.C. Robledo that really reminded me how important it is to be mindful of our thoughts. Here are some of the ideas he shares in his book which I draw from regularly in an attempt to be careful about what I focus my mental energy on:
- Focus on what you can control, not on what you cannot control
- Focus on the positive, not the negative
- Focus on what you can do, not on what you cannot do
- Focus on what you have, not on what you do not have
- Focus on the present, not on the past and future
- Focus on what you need, not on what you want
- Focus on what you can give, not on what you can take
In this time of confinement and uncertainty, physically apart from loved ones, it is even more important to guard our thoughts and reach out for help when we need it.
Featured image courtesy of medium.com