An Attitude Adjustment — The Personal Side
When I was a small child I was prone to be a little opinionated, fairly spirited and sometimes even feisty. When I was being all three of those things at the same time my mom would say I needed an “attitude adjustment.” I smirk while typing this, because I know she was right. I certainly needed an adjustment in my little mind. I needed to change the way I was thinking AND acting. Back then when I needed help in this area, I had my mother. Nowadays, when my thought life gets out of order, I have trusted friends to turn to.
Thinking and acting are so closely related. Some therapists and specifically those that practice CBT–cognitive behavioral therapy–believe that our thoughts directly impact our actions. The idea is that if you change your thoughts, you will change your actions, which will then change the way you feel. In short, if you are thinking positively you will make good choices, resulting in good feelings. If you are stuck in negative thought cycles, you are more likely to make poor choices, resulting in negative feelings.
This philosophy of the “power of thoughts” as I like to call it, has definitely been true for me in my life. When I notice myself “feeling yucky,” I can usually stop and trace that yucky feeling back to a negative thought I have been consciously or even unconsciously pondering. Now, I must make a small disclaimer here. Everyone experiences what I call both “regular bad days” (your car breaks down) and “tragic life events” (a loved one dies). When I talk about negative thoughts and feelings, I am NOT referring to these types of circumstances. NO ONE is happy, or even content, all of the time. Life simply does not permit it.
However, I have learned to monitor the way I am feeling each day and to keep tracing my feelings back to my thoughts. I try to constantly think about what I am thinking about. I try to think about positive things and make choices that I believe are generous, kind and good for me and those around me. This is not an easy task. It takes effort to think about what I am thinking about all the time. It takes practice not to return to my opinionated self, even when I know it will not bring joy to me or anyone around me. But alas, as I am getting older, I have more and more time to practice.
How about you? How is your outlook on life? Do you regularly make choices you regret or find yourself feeling stuck in negative thought patterns? If so, a licensed mental health counselor can help you. Counseling can teach you how to have a positive and peaceful thought life that leads to good and productive life choices and joy-filled feelings. An Orlando counselor can help you identify and implement the tools and practices you need to help you build the life you have always wanted. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.