Many of us have heard the phrase, ‘actions speak louder than words’. When we say this, we mean that our actions define who we are more than our statements or intentions do.
In many ways, this is true and makes a lot of sense. However, it can be easy to forget where our actions (and words) stem from.
In this fast-paced world, where success is so often measured by how busy we are, we aren’t encouraged to give much thought to… well… our thoughts. But the reality is that thoughts are powerful.
Our thoughts have a profound impact on how we feel and perceive the world, and as a result, they can directly influence what we do on a daily basis.
If you would like to learn more about how the power of thought can change your life, we encourage you to read on.
What Kind Of Power Do Thoughts Possess?
Firstly, what do we mean when we talk about ‘the power of thought’? The simplest way to describe it is this: the power of thought is a power of creation.
You might view your thoughts as seeds in the soil of your mind. If you provide these seeds with water and food (attention and investment) they will eventually grow leaves and flowers that are visible above ground (the way you live your life).
Scientific studies have demonstrated that your thoughts have the power to impact you subconsciously.
This study, for example, used lag analysis to examine whether negative thoughts resulted in a negative state of mind and vice versa.
The study ultimately concluded that there was a link, and that the socio-temporal nature of the thoughts (whether they concerned the past or the present and what the thoughts were about specifically had a significant impact on mood.
The findings also indicated that thinking about the past, even positively, was associated with lower mood, whereas the opposite was true for thinking about the future (even in a less positive way).
By extension, if thoughts can shape your mood, they can also shape your actions. When you feel badly about yourself or spend all your time ruminating about the past, you’re much less likely to take positive steps towards improving your life or reaching your goals.
That’s because when we give attention to negative thoughts, we draw conclusions from those thoughts, and they turn into beliefs.
It is a psychological truth that we, as humans, seek out evidence to reinforce our beliefs.
If you’re constantly thinking that you are a bad person, for example, you’ll look for confirmation of this in your daily life, and may continue to act accordingly.
On the other hand, if you think and truly believe that you are successful and competent in your career, you will be more likely to put effort into your work, seek out promotions, or apply for your dream job.
Ways To Harness The Power Of Your Thoughts
Once you understand how thoughts can influence your perceptions, beliefs and actions, you need to learn how to harness the power of thought effectively.
The good news is that while doing so might take practice (after all, reframing the way you think won’t happen overnight), the process can be fun and healing at the same time.
Start by visualizing what you want from your life. This is the really fun part because you can use your imagination to put as much detail and emotion into this visualization as you want.
In fact, it’s encouraged that you make your mental image as rich and immersive as possible because studies have shown that your brain will hold onto emotional content more than neutral thoughts.
Since the study we mentioned earlier found that thoughts relating to the self and the future were associated with improved mood, make sure that your visualization isn’t grounded in aspects of your past that you miss. Think about what you want for your future and yourself.
Once you have that picture in your mind, sit with it and imagine that it’s already your reality.
Although your visualization will be based on what you want in the future, try not to think of it in those terms while visualizing, since this may create a ‘lack’ mindset.
Instead, picture yourself living that life right now, and allow the emotions of joy, contentment, and gratitude to accompany the thoughts.
2. Sort Through Your Thoughts
Even when you start trying to change how you think, unhelpful thoughts will pop up from time to time.
This is normal, but you will need to react to these thoughts differently to stop them from impacting your mindset.
When you experience a negative thought, instead of dwelling on it or even agreeing with it, do your best to either ignore it completely or counter it with a healthier thought.
For example, you might replace ‘I am a failure because I messed up at work’ with ‘This has been a learning experience and I will do better next time.’
3. Put Energy Into Positive Thoughts
Water the seeds of your positive thoughts by engaging with them and putting mental and physical energy behind them.
Repeat your visualization for manifestation regularly by conjuring up your chosen positive image in your mind and focusing on the positive emotions that come with it.
When you have a positive thought about yourself or a situation you are in, you might try repeating it to yourself in the form of an affirmation.
When you feel excited about an idea or opportunity, take active steps to make it happen.
The Bottom Line
While you may not have realized it before, your thoughts have the power to shape your mentality and your reality.
Through the power of positive thought, you can improve your mental state, resulting in actions that allow you to manifest the life and self that you have been seeking.
Starting today, try using tools such as visualization and affirmation to harness the power of thought. You’ll be amazed at how quickly everything can change for the better.
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