Just Press Pause...
The basis of this article comes from my book, The Appreciation Game.
How much time do you spend aware of your present moment as you go through the day? If you’re like me and most other people probably not very much.
The truth is a lot of us are living most of our lives in our heads, stuck in our thoughts. We aren’t really present in the now moments of our days. It’s like we are actors being directed by our minds endless stream of commentary and opinions about ourselves, others and the world.
We are seeing and experiencing the world through the filter of our thoughts and beliefs which create our perceptions. This filter of beliefs and thoughts affect how we feel and how we experience everything in our lives.
We all have patterns of thoughts that don’t serve us. But a lot of times we aren’t even aware of what we are thinking. Our thoughts are just kind of running on automatic and until we check in with ourselves, we don’t even know that we aren’t feeling (emotionally) all that great.
Scientists say the average person has more than 60,000 thoughts a day. That’s about one thought per second during every hour you’re awake. What’s even more startling is that 95 percent of those thoughts are the same thoughts you had yesterday and the day before and the day before that. It’s like your thoughts are playing in an endless loop, constantly repeating over and over in your head!
Now if those repetitive thoughts were positive, it wouldn’t be a problem, but the truth is, that for the average person 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. This means that the average person has more than 45,000 negative thoughts a day! Scientists have labeled these types of thoughts ANTS: Automatic Negative Thoughts.
Below is a little process that can help you become more aware of how you are feeling during the day and start to help you to shift to being more present in the moment and feeling better all around!
The Press Pause Process
This simple “Press Pause Process” can help you break the cycle of getting stuck in loops of negative thoughts and stop the ANTS!
The more you do it, the more you will retrain your brain to focus on the present moment and what is right and pleasing about your “now” experience. Eventually you will switch your automatic negative thoughts to more and more automatic positive thoughts!
How to do the Process
Throughout the day stop and “press pause.” I like to literally touch a finger to my forehead on the 3rd eye spot between my eyebrows. Then check in and ask yourself, “How am I feeling right now in this moment?”
Then take 3 slow deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth and then look around wherever you are and say to yourself, “Right now in this moment I am…(sitting at my desk, driving in the car, unloading the dishwasher, etc.)”
Ask yourself, am “Am I okay? Am I safe? Is anything going wrong at this moment?”
Now look around wherever you are and find something in the vicinity that you like and focus on it. Then find something else that you like and focus on that.
Expand it by saying, “I like this because?” Keep going until you feel better.
Do this whenever you think of it throughout the day, or if you notice you are feeling stressed, anxious, or stuck in a negative thought loop.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
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