You’ve plucked up the courage to share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust only to get the reply you don’t want to hear.

Just get over it.

Does this happen all too often?

How thoughts affect our feelings

The feelings of hurt at being misunderstood can range from shame, anger and sadness. Then the barrage of thoughts come, something like; perhaps you didn’t explain yourself well enough, or you should’ve known better than to open up again this always happens (insert your message here).

There’s a little more to it than just getting over being hurt there is a lot to consider in what makes you respond in the way that you do. What you experience is unique to you. Sure, we all share in a collective experience such as grief and loss and can relate to people when they share their losses but ultimately, what you feel is personal to you.

One of these unique experiences are your thoughts, the words that you say to yourself in your mind. What words or statements are stuck on repeat and you replay over and over again. Before you know it you’re having a whole bunch of feelings around what you’re thinking.

Its exhausting keeping up with the many thoughts and feelings that happen in each moment as it’s ever-changing. Let alone opening up to someone with what you think and feel, it all happens so quickly.

How thoughts and feelings lead to a belief

It’s helpful to talk to someone you trust, someone you feel safe with to share your thoughts and feelings and to be vulnerable. What’s powerful in vulnerability is you get to hear yourself speak, you hear your own words you use and what you say to yourself.

What you think generates a feeling in your body, whether you are aware of it or not. It’s quite mind-blowing. It is here that you can interrupt yourself when you hear something you say that doesn’t support your highest good. You have a choice to change it.

Imagine for a moment you catch yourself saying ‘everything is hopeless’ (again insert your statement here). 

What kind of feeling do you think it may generate in your body? 

You may experience sadness your shoulders drop down, your head slightly droops, your eyes focus on the floor and you walk in a way someone who is experiencing sadness walks. We all experience sadness differently in our bodies.

Teaching yourself to bring awareness to what you are thinking and telling yourself is starting the process of change and self-empowerment.

If you focus on gratitude what happens in your body? 

You may feel open, expanded and focused. 

Guided meditations are powerful in that they are using words that move your mindset and influence what you feel putting you in a different mood state.

There may be some words or thoughts that you need to let go of in your vocabulary that doesn’t serve you such as ‘should have’, ‘I can’t do that’, ‘that’s never going to work’ , what are words you use you can now let go of?

Here are 7 tips you can use to become aware of your thoughts and feelings and to change them:

1. Listen to what you say

Your words are powerful, when you’re next in a conversation with someone, tune in and listen to what you are saying to the other person. 

What kind of words do you use to express yourself? 

Even those throw-away comments such as: 

I’m hopeless at art, you do it better than me, or 

I’m not good with creativity, I can’t do it.

2. Put it in writing

When you catch what you are saying, get it out of your head and onto paper, write it down. Journalling is fantastic for getting thoughts out of your head and externalising the words. Read it out loud and notice what happens to your body.

3. Turn judgement into Reflection

Be curious about the words that you wrote down, put your investigator hat on and start to have a sense of wonder where those words came from. Be an enquirer instead of a self-criticiser. 

How to do this, start your sentences with: ‘What’ or ‘How’ and stay away from ‘Why’.

4. Thoughts and feelings lead to Beliefs

Have the words now turned into statements that you repeatedly say to yourself becoming fixed and in a tireless loop. 

Such as: 

’I’m hopeless’

‘I always get it wrong when I try something new’, (again, insert your personal belief here).

5. Place of origin

Where did this statement originally come from? was there someone in your household who used those words and now they’ve become yours? Did you interpret the words and make a statement up. Dig deep while you still have your sleuth hat on and track where it came from.

6. Re-write the script

Now that you know the script do a re-write, you get to choose the words. Let your body guide you, feel out the new words and see if it feels good in your body. Experiment with it, it might be that the new words are supportive and still feel uncomfortable but you’re willing to try it out. Once you hit the mark with your new words, repeat the new script daily until it becomes a habit. Write it in your journal, tell yourself this is the new story, make it a new mantra.

7. Personal boundary

You may be familiar with boundaries around other people, but how about setting a boundary within yourself when that old statement creeps in or pops-up. You now have the authority to say ‘no, I’m not saying that to myself any more’ or ‘no, that’s not true for me now’. This is what’s true for me (insert your new statement here).

You’ve done well in coming this far, well done you!

It takes time to challenge thought patterns and create new ones, knowing that thoughts create feelings in your body. Give yourself space and time to explore outdated ways of thinking and experiment with new words and a new story. Make a commitment to re-writing the script because you’re worth it and you’ll feel better about yourself both on the inside it will show on the outside.

Do you need someone to listen and help you challenge outdated patterns about yourself, contact Carmel Catanuto on 0409 690 701 to discuss your needs further and how I may help?

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