So perhaps by this time you’re thinking, “all these thought models are fantastic, Liz, but really, how much time do you think I have to be sitting around doing thought work?” Trust me, I get that, and this week’s thought work model is for those of you who are super stressed and barely have time to even recognize a thought, let alone sit down with a scrap of paper and apply a model.
This week, I’m inviting you to use the process of simply trying to find a better feeling thought. I first heard about this in the book Ask And It Is Given by Abraham/ Jerry & Esther Hicks, which I highly recommend if you have any interest in the Law of Attraction or an interest in finding practices to improve your mood. This one is simple – once you realize you are stuck with a negative thought, try finding a slightly better feeling thought.
I’ve had plenty of opportunities to practice this technique during the week, as I’m visiting my sister and family and am spending lots of time with my beloved nieces. Beloved, adorable, amazing nieces…who fight with each other more than I like. The youngest two are very close in age and are engaging frequently in completely normal sibling bickering. The bickering gets to me though, and it was an excellent chance to try out this model.
After some contemplation, my thought came down to something like this, “my nieces shouldn’t be fighting so much. They should be nicer to each other.” As we all know, this is me fighting against reality – they ARE fighting, and all of my thoughts and judgments about how it should not be happening made exactly zero difference in the circumstances. It made a huge difference in my own mental well-being, as I was stressing frequently about how they shouldn’t be fighting so much (and then, to add hypocrisy to the mix, yelling at them for not being nicer to each other.)
So, here’s how the process looked with this thought:
“My nieces shouldn’t be fighting so much. They should be nicer to each other.”
“My nieces are fighting this much. They are as nice to each other as they want to be.” (this is not a huge shift, but it felt way better – at least I wasn’t railing against what was happening.)
“My nieces are fighting more frequently than I am comfortable with, but I do notice they are often incredibly kind and caring with each other.” (Better… way better. I stopped focusing only on the thing I didn’t like and expanded to see that their relationship is not only defined by bickering.)
Honestly, at that point I was willing to stop, though you can take this process as far as it needs to go until you do feel better. I felt good enough, more at peace with the situation – and it only took two thought-steps to get there. A word of caution here – if you try to leap to a positive statement right away, most of the time it just fails miserably. Each thought-step has to feel true, or it becomes very ineffective and the old thought comes right back.
This week, in a moment where you feel awful, I’m inviting you to see if you can’t find a thought that feels just slightly better, and then keep moving in that direction. If you try it, I’d love to hear in the comments how it goes for you.