Three Strategies to Shape Your Thinking and Feel More Joy

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

 

young woman having many thoughts

Your brain is a lot like Amazon.com.

But instead of books, socks, and vacuum filters (or whatever you buy on Amazon), your brain sells THOUGHTS. Millions of them. And you are the customer. Every day, every minute, inside your mind, you are searching for thoughts, browsing through thoughts, and clicking on the ones you want to believe.

All the thoughts in the world are available to you inside of what I call your “Mindazon.com.”

You have your own Mindazon account. Your own browsing history and purchase history. With one click you can select any thought you want, and with free 2-second shipping, you will begin feeling and acting on that thought instantly. If you believe a thought long enough, your brain will even subscribe to it, and you’ll start receiving auto shipments without even having to order it.

I use this metaphor to help people claim their power to choose their thoughts so they can feel more joy.

Here are 3 strategies that can help you shop for joy inside of your Mindazon.com:

#1. Use your emotions as clues

When you order a thought in your Mindazon.com, it gets packaged up in the thought department, loaded onto a truck, and then delivered to you by an emotion. So imagine, on a Saturday morning, that you peek through the blinds and see a Mindazon truck pull up in front of your house. The delivery person walks up your driveway, wearing an official Mindazon uniform and cap, and a name tag. Maybe it’s “Mr. Overwhelm,” or “Mrs. Jealousy” or “Mr. Resentment.” They ring the doorbell and you experience the physical sensation of that emotion. When you feel that emotion coming on, you might be tempted to argue with it, or avoid it, but your emotions are actually incredibly useful to you if you tune into them.

Next time you feel inadequate, worried, resentful, unmotivated, or whatever other emotion, try this: don’t run away, and don’t tell the emotion to get off your porch. Instead, use the emotion as a clue to investigate your thinking. Open the door and start up a conversation with your deliveryman. Ask questions. Get curious. (i.e. “What thought did I click on inside of my Mindazon that brought you here?”) Write down the thought or thoughts you can identify. Then, thank your emotional deliveryman for doing his job and for giving you such helpful information. After that, you can enjoy a surprise package from “Mr. Grateful” who will be on his way to your porch any second!

#2. Give your thoughts product reviews

Once you become aware of a thought you’ve been clicking on inside of your Mindazon store, you can then decide whether you want to keep ordering it (or not). To do this, consider your entire customer experience: You’ve ordered the thought, it has been delivered to you by an emotion, you’ve opened the box it comes in (what did you DO when you felt angry, or ashamed, or hurt?) and gotten some results. Now you get to decide if you want to keep ordering it or not. Here are some questions you can ask to give your thought a “product review.”

Is this thought true?
In what ways is this thought UNTRUE, or distorted?
Which emotions deliver this thought to me when I order it?
What actions do I take when I open the box this thought comes in?
From 1-5 stars, how much joy does this thought bring to my life?

For simple paradigm shifts you can do this process in your head, but you will be able to unpeel layers of complicated underlying beliefs if you write it down and/or talk it out with a coach. (This type of critical thinking is a big part of what I help clients do in a 1:1 coaching session.)

#3. Tell your brain what you are ARE looking for

Just like the search bar on Amazon, your brain is always asking, “What are you looking for? What do you want me to find for you?”

If you type into your mental search bar: “I’m looking for reasons that my life is exhausting” your brain will generate hundreds of results for you to scroll through. On the other hand, if you type in: “I’m looking for reasons my life is exciting,” your brain will produce an entirely different page of results for you to browse through.

Try it! Write down or say out loud what kind of thoughts you want your brain to generate for you, and see what happens. You can also strategically use music, podcasts, books, mantras, artwork, or other reminders to signal to your brain what kind of thoughts you want it to recommend to you. Over time, you can curate your Mindazon.com store so that the “recommended for you” and “inspired by your browsing history” pages are filled with thoughts that you WANT to be thinking, that bring joy to your life.

As you go about the rest of your day (and click on approximately 3,000 different thoughts each hour!) I hope this Mindazon metaphor and these 3 strategies will help you feel more joy as you claim your power to shape your own thinking.

For more on this, grab my free PDF Guide:  How to Unsubscribe from a Distressing Thought inside of Your Mindazon.com

Emily Ricks is a Certified Professional Life Coach and mother of four. She works with women who feel weighed down by stress, guilt, inadequacy, worry, and overwhelm. Through private coaching and group courses, she helps them become aware of their thinking, envision what matters most, and exchange distressing thoughts for ones that create joy. To learn more, visit  www.emilyrickscoaching.com

About Roger K. Allen
Roger K. Allen, Ph.D. is an expert in personal transformation and family development. His tools and methods have helped tens of thousands of people live happier and more effective lives. To learn more, visit www.rogerkallen.com>.

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