You Own Your Thoughts, Now Control Them


October 15, 2007   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance.”
~Viktor Frankl

What if it was possible to be happy even when things aren’t going your way? What if there was a simple way to be happy, despite your environment, while staring adversity straight in the eyes?

I know it sounds like a great idea, but doesn’t seem to be very realistic at first glance. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be realistic, it just has to work, and it will, if you stick with a few basic principles. The key here is in the simplicity, and in keeping yourself accountable for sticking with the following principles.

My experience
This is a system I’ve been using for quite some time, and can testify to its merit. I decided that I was tired of being unhappy, and letting my environment and the people around me control how I felt.

I’ve had a high degree of success with this, despite frustrations, set-backs and what seemed like catastrophes. I haven’t been able to completely get rid of unhappiness, and I have to admit that sometimes I still get sad at things that I shouldn’t. Regardless, I have increased my overall happiness and fulfillment, which in turn reduced my stress and worrying. I even noticed that I haven’t been getting sick as much since I’ve been happier over all.

Be Selective In What You Think About
The wonderful thing about thoughts is that you genuinely own yours. No one else has power over what you think about. With this power, you are faced with a big choice that can impact your entire existence.

    • Positive Thoughts. You can choose to think about goals, ambitions, people you love, beautiful scenery, and things you enjoy. This affects your physiology by making you stress free and healthier. 
  • Negative Thoughts. You can choose to think about death, disappointment, destruction and misery. It’s so stressful to think about how unfair life is, which causes your immune system to take a dip. 

Ask Yourself The Important Question
In my post, How To Make Everything The Bright Side, I mentioned that by asking myself a single question, I was able to change how I perceived the world. Yes, a single question is powerful enough to change your thoughts. Just ask yourself: How do I want this to affect me?

When you ask yourself about what you want, you are able to take control. If being happy in the face of adversity is what you want, than you choose to let yourself be affected positively. You take negative situations, and treat them as a learning experience.

Instead of taking minor discomforts and turning them into major frustrations, let them affect you in a positive way. For example, you can turn a 48-hour commute into a learning experience.

Switch Channels
Treat your life as a television set, and when your thoughts project channels of unhappiness, hit the next button on your mental remote. Switch to something pleasant and stick to the happy networks.

Remember, you control whether your thoughts are positive or negative and with this choice you own your happiness.

Written for Dumb Little Man by Alex Shalman. He blogs at Practical Personal Development, and wants to help you discover your potential you.


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