Connecting With Your Inner Self

You meditate or do yoga. You may have a daily spiritual practice. Or maybe you do nothing to connect with your higher self, but have been meaning to do so. Here are some great ways to do just that!

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Pay attention to thoughts and belief patterns

Do you think about the same things over and over again? Do you find yourself thinking that your thoughts are re-runs and they only make you angry or sad? These thoughts are attached to beliefs you learned somewhere along the way. Question every thought that goes through your head. Is it accurate? If not, lose that thought and replace it with an affirmation that will make you feel better.

Learn to be and create space

We are often busy and feel we must be doing something or we are wasting time. Well, meditation can help you create space. When you sit and become quiet, you get in touch with your higher self, and this helps to open your mind so you can let go of the angst and the chaos. Doing this clears the slate so you can begin to think more creatively and solve problems rather than letting them fester.

Ask why a situation presents itself

 Many life lessons are not easy experiences, but they can be rewarding when we get to the other side of them. People going through difficult experiences with loss or disappointment may become sad and do not look for the redeeming factors. So the next time something bad happens to you, ask what you are learning about yourself from the situation. How can you grow from the situation?

Go Inside

Connecting with your inner self, or becoming more spiritual, is about self knowledge. It is about questioning your life. It is about looking within and not looking back, because the answers to all of your problems are inside of you.

Not Enough Time? Maybe You Just Think You Are Too Busy!

Often, stress arises when we feel we do not have enough time to do everything we’d like. The problem is not that things do not get done. The problem is attached to the things we tell ourselves.   Such thoughts are often not very pleasant. These negative thoughts are what creates the stress, not the unfinished task.

The out of control feeling  we have when we walk through the house and realize that not everything is perfectly in place, or the disappointment we experience when we look at our lists of things undone, is tied to perception. We attach meaning to things that are neutral. So someone else might look at the stain on the rug and think “so what,” but every time you walk by, you remember that your neighbor’s kid dropped the grape popsicle and you should have bought the stain resistant carpeting and you wonder about the warranty and whether using shampoo will void it.

That’s one example of a re-run, a thought we have many times per day. Most of our thoughts are re-runs. How often do you have these types of negative thoughts? First, realize that your thinking is creating the stress and chill. Relax because now is all you have, but you needn’t give up on getting things accomplished. Oh no. Not at all! If you are procrastinating and that is causing anxiety, begin by analyzing the tasks.

There may be reasons that lurk behind the procrastination, or maybe it is mere overestimation. You may think about a project and believe that it will take too long to accomplish now, so you wait for a time when you have a gap in your schedule. Of course, such a time never arrives, so you continue to put it off.  What is the answer? You must make time to do it. Realize that we tend to overestimate how long a given task will take.

Get started. Plan to go at it for an hour and revisit the task during another scheduled time next week. If the task includes multiple components, make a list of possible steps. For example, Step 1. Call the carpet manufacturer and find out about the warranty. Step 2.  Research ways to get grape popsicle out of the rug  and so on. The next time you walk by the spot, you will know that you are taking care of business and the mind clutter is gone. Once you get started, you gain momentum and may go beyond the planned hour, or you may realize that the task was not as time-consuming as you thought. And when you accomplish one thing, it is easier to finish other things. What’s next on the list? Yes, that is what you will be thinking as opposed to feeling overwhelmed.

We like Nike’s advice: just do it. When you just start your tasks rather than either over thinking or ignoring them you get the satisfaction of achievement without the mind clutter and without the angst.

Motivation is all about going within

Connecting with your inner self gives you all the guidance you need to find the motivation to take care of your body. The motivation in part comes from experiential knowledge because feelings are attached to our experiences. When you experience something and feel good about it, that will encourage you to repeat the experience. As an example, the more you exercise, the more you are motivated to exercise.

Motivation is not an outside job. There is nothing you can buy. There are not enough motivational CDs on the planet that will get you to that place. You have to do it for yourself.

Get to know yourself. Know how you are thinking and how you are feeling. Your thoughts affect your emotions. Your emotions affect your thoughts. If you are thinking that you will never lose weight, you won’t. What you tell yourself is attached to how motivated you become.

Get familiar with your thoughts and your feelings and you will know yourself better. In our book Change Your Mind: Lose Weight, we help you to connect with your inner self. Taking that inner journey will help you to create the motivation you need to change your life.

How much responsibility do you really have?

When we talk about responsibilities, we generally equate them with bill paying, working at a job, the upkeep of a home, and the maintenance of vehicles. We wrote about clutter files in our post The Great Big Filing Cabinet in Your Mind when we explained that dealing with mental clutter can be just as challenging as handling physical clutter. And while we told you to just file your unwanted stressful thoughts, we realize that sometimes, it seems like the whole world is on your shoulders.

You may be reluctant to just file the clutter—as we say—because the thoughts are overwhelming and the responsibilities feel huge. But how much responsibility do you really have? Think of this: we are all in different positions. It is impossible to compare one set of circumstances to another. We are individual human beings and can only do so much. If you think that you have more worries than your neighbor, think about the responsibilities of President Obama. The president does not have to perform the same mundane tasks we do like paying bills or making sure the laundry is done, but it helps to remember that he probably has more commitments than anyone in the world. Still, he is just one person living his life, taking care of the responsibilities on his plate, and you are taking care of yours. Imagine: If he can manage the country, we can certainly manage our lives. Knowing that others have significant obligations helps to alleviate some of the angst, but we still have our own worries. How can we get to a better feeling place?

Imagine if the ordinary tasks of daily life were just done for you. Forget about the bills for a moment. Forget about the phone calls you have to make or the food list sitting on the kitchen counter, and mentally file them. Do it now. And then think: what would I do if I did not have to do any of those things? Your mind would be clear to focus on what you want to do, not what you feel you must do. You may begin to realize that the stress you feel has nothing to do with your specific responsibilities, but with how you manage your thoughts, and your time. When you take care of business, you feel good. So do take care of your responsibilities, but clear time to do the things that make your heart sing. It is a balancing act perhaps, but it is life, and we are all in this together.

Most of Your Thoughts are Re-Runs

Do you watch those holiday marathons of old I Love Lucy or Twilight Zone re-runs? You’ve seen them before, but you watch them over and over again. Like the television shows that are repeated, your thoughts go through your head over and over again. When you watch the television show, you might have a renewed view of the same thing, or you may not have consciously remembered what you witnessed the first time, but it is still a re-run. You have seen it before.

It is the same with your thoughts. Eighty five-percent of what you are thinking is a re-run. It is a repeat of an earlier thought. It is something that you think about over and over again. Of course, when you turn on the television, and realize that you are watching something you have seen before, you have a choice. There is an Off button. You do not have to watch the same show over again. Similarly, you can turn off your repetitive and negative thought patterns.

When paying attention to thoughts, notice the triggers that call for those behaviors. The triggers are memories associated with a feeling that is being replayed in your mind. When you know the triggers, you can substitute a new thought so that you think about something better and you will get a different result. You can create a new thought pattern that serves you. Understanding the way the mind works leads you to improve your life.

An example is that every time your boss passes your desk and looks at you, you think “Oh, no. He thinks I’m not doing enough. I’m afraid I am going to be passed up for that promotion.” You think the thought, and suddenly try to look busy. The trigger is the sight of your boss. But you can think about something else when your boss passes your desk. You can think: “I am such a good worker. I am sure that my boss realizes this when he looks at me.” This fleeting thought does not foster negative ideas and instead prompts productivity and creativity. As the boss passes by, instead of clenching your jaw, you are relaxed and diligently working. This positive mindset will elicit a good response from your boss. Perhaps he is not thinking anything negative when he passes your desk, but your thoughts can create negative energy. When you think better thoughts, the whole atmosphere improves. This is just one example, but the idea that these repetitive thoughts can be changed and tamed is an important one. When you stop negative repetitive thoughts—the re-runs in your mind—you make room for positive ones, and that will make a big difference in the quality of your life.