Everything that happens to us in life is perceived and interpreted a certain way. That frame through which we analyse the world and give it a certain meaning is developed through our life experiences starting when we are little. We also learn and strengthen these thinking patterns through interactions with people and especially with our parents or carers in early childhood.

We become adults and navigating through life we realise that some of our perceptions, if not most, can be very misleading as we tend to misinterpret events, circumstances and people’s behaviour. Let me explain it this way: it’s like we’re using a set of lenses to understand what happens around us and with us. Now, because we’ve used these lenses for such a long time, they become embedded in us and whatever we do, these perceptions are activated automatically. They don’t require conscious thinking anymore. We’ve told ourselves the same story over and over again that now it just plays inside our head like a broken record, most of the times not even noticeable.

But there comes a time when we notice something is not right. These lenses we’ve been using are causing us a lot of stress and they don’t seem to help us understand the world, ourselves and people around us. They might actually do the opposite, misleading us in wrong directions and entertaining the same negative thinking we’ve been used to. This is the crucial moment to explore and find out more about these “lenses” (thinking patterns). Now is the time to purposely and mindfully acknowledge them, not deny them and start working on changing them. Yes, you read it right: you can change your thoughts and I don’t mean positive thinking, I mean intentional thinking. Intentional thinking and meditation give you space and awareness if you take time to do it. Why wouldn’t you take time to listen to your thoughts and feelings? You are important and taking care of yourself is more than eating healthy, exercising and going out. Taking care of yourself also means being careful what you allow your mind to dwell upon. Yes, you have that power and control over your thoughts. No one else has it over you but yourself. You are the driver, you control the car.

Be proactive this week. Sit down 5-10 mins everyday and write down some of your thoughts. Look for reoccurring ones. What does that tell you about yourself?

In my next articles, I will give you more tips on how to do this. But start here for now and enjoy exploring your mind. Tell me what you find out.

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