Change your thinking habits by Tyson Pop

Changing your habits always feels hard initially. 

Regardless of whether you're trying to stop smoking or drinking or drugs or over-eating or going to bed too late or being irritable or too angry or impatient. When we're comfortable doing things the way we've always done them, our brain finds it much easier to just keep doing it that way. 

The same is true for changing thinking habits. 

We have so many thoughts firing through our heads each day that often it's easier for us just to get stuck ruminating on the ones that come our way rather than trying to change which ones we give attention to. 

But just like going on a physical diet helps us change our body shape, going on a mental diet helps us change our happiness levels.

Do you need to go on a mental diet?

If you do, the '7 Day Mental Diet' by Emmet Fox is a great place to start. 

It won't be easy initially. 

But nothing great is. 

Stop calling it depression by Tyson Pop

The word 'depression' is a terrible adjective. 

It's far too broad. 

What does it mean?

Does it mean that there's a chemical imbalance in our brain that can only be addressed by taking medication? Or does it mean that we feel stuck in a bad relationship? Or that we're upset because someone we loved passed away? Or we wish we had more friends or a better job or that we're not happy with our current physical state? Or that we need to train our brain to see our current situation in a new light?

Seriously...what do we mean when we call it depression?

Would that feeling we call depressed ease up or disappear if we identified specifically what is making us feel less than fabulous, and then make the appropriate changes to our lifestyle to improve it?

Next time you hear someone say that they're feeling depressed, ask them exactly what they mean.

Then ask them what steps they could take to alleviate that feeling. 

Maybe they're not depressed. 

Maybe they just need to make a few small changes. 

She burnt her bridges by Tyson Pop

My Mum quit smoking in 1994. 

It wasn't the first time that she'd quit, but it was her last time. 

Her first few attempts to stop, though sincere in effort, lacked the certainty that she would follow through with it. With that attitude, naturally, when the temptation came along for her to get back into them, she took it up once again. 

She took a different approach in 1994. 

She picked the date that she was going to stop, and made a promise to herself that it would be the last time she ever did it. Then when the date arrived,  she threw out anything that associated her to being a smoker: cigarettes, ashtrays, everything.

She burnt her bridges. 

It worked. 

Sometimes we just need to get so absolutely certain on what the outcome we want is, and then give ourselves every opportunity to follow through. 

It helped her. 

It might help you too. 

Tomorrow isn't promised by Tyson Pop

Here's a question for you.

When your life on this earth comes to an end, what kind of legacy do you want to leave?

Clarify the answer to that question and start working on it today. 

Tomorrow's never guaranteed. 

Time management by Tyson Pop

We don't need more time in our day. 

We need more clarity on where to commit the time we have. 

What could you remove from your schedule to create more time?

I don't need your opinion by Tyson Pop

Opinions are deceptive.  

Despite being loud and intimidating and said with such confidence...

We should mostly ignore them. 

If you don't believe me, just go to the MCG and watch the old Division 4 Country League Football from Moe (mostly for beers with the boys post-game) screaming their 'life-changing' opinions to the players. Despite how confident old Steve may be in what he's saying, he's got bugger all to back it all up with. 

There's a difference between and opinion and something helping. 

If a person trying to offer you financial advice is broke, ignore them. You want someone who you trust, who has money to teach you how to do it. 

Don't be overwhelmed by opinions. 

Look for people who have proof that what they're actually saying works. 

Listen to them. 

The best exercise program by Tyson Pop

Is the one you actually stick to. 

Stop delaying your start because you're not sure if you've found the perfect one. 

Just start. 

Go for a walk. Lift some weights. Do some stretching. 

Do it every day. 

Keep learning how to improve as you do it. 

You'll be amazed at the progress just starting can lead to. 

Confrontation is scary... by Tyson Pop

...but it's essential. 

If you can do it well, it will give both you and the person you want to confront the chance to clear the air on what is causing the tension.

The only problem is that it's much more difficult to confront someone about something than it is to just bitch about them. While bitching feels good in the short term, long term it just makes you miserable (and resolves nothing).

Here's an alternative...

Before you bitch, ask the person who's upsetting you if you can speak to them about what's upsetting you. If they say yes, here's what you do:

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Be calm.
  • Be clear. 
  • Be brave. 
  • Then tell them the truth. 

    It might just be the beginning of resolving the situation.

Beneath the surface by Tyson Pop

Our mind is like the ocean. 

At moments it looks calm, relaxed and inviting for us to jump in. Yet sometimes it's rough and dark and we want to run as far away from it as we can. 

The interesting thing about the ocean, however, is that the surface can be misleading. If we were to put on some scuba diving gear, plug in the oxygen and dive beneath the surface, quickly we'd get far enough below the surface to discover there's a calm that is accessible to us, regardless of what's happening above us. 

Meditation teaches us to dive beneath the surface and discover the calm that is ever-present. 

Headspace have some great videos like this one to get you going. 

Quotes on the mind by Tyson Pop

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” - Dalai Lama XIV

"Transformation is often more about unlearning than learning" - Richard Rohr

"Difficult times can define you, diminish you or develop you. You decide" - Rumi

"People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar." - Thich Nhat Hanh

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry Thoreau

How to challenge negative thoughts by Tyson Pop

Spaciousness of mind is always available to us. We just need to access it. - Andy Puddicombe.

Because thinking is a process we usually take part in unconsciously, it's no surprise that many of us forget that we can change the way we think. Rather than simply accepting the thoughts that cause you so much anxiety, you should challenge them. 

Here's how:

Step One: Identify your thinking errors. If you don't know what a thinking error is, start by reading about them here. 

Step Two: Ask yourself if there's a better way to view your situation. Hint...there is. 

Step Three: Create a more empowering alternative story to ruminate on. 

Step Four: Repeat the above steps. 

Habits take time to build and time to break. Because you may have been making so many unconscious thinking errors without realising, give yourself some grace as your work on improving them. Talk about the challenges you're facing with someone you trust. 

Don't ignore the dragon by Tyson Pop

In his book 'There's No Such Thing as a Dragon', Jack Kent writes about a boy who finds a small dragon hidden in his room. After telling his mother what he's found, she comforts him by saying that there's no such thing as a dragon. Like any good boy, he takes his mothers advice. But as a result of him ignoring it, it grows a little bigger. This dragon doesn't want to be ignored. The more it's ignored, the more it grows and the more the mother reminds the boy that the dragon isn't real. Hence, it keeps getting bigger. 

In fact, this pattern continues until one day the dragon has grown to such a size that the family home is destroyed due to the size of the dragon inside it. It's only at this point of destruction that the mother is willing to admit that maybe there really is a dragon in the house. 

But then the craziest things happens. When the dragon is acknowledged, it gets a little bit smaller. In fact, the more it's acknowledged, the smaller it gets. 

Isn't that the way that dragons in our own lives seem to go?

If you refuse to acknowledge them, they keep getting bigger. 

The just need a little bit of attention. 

Don't ignore your dragons. 

Admitting they are there is the first step in making sure they don't get bigger than they need to be. 

How nutritious are your thoughts? by Tyson Pop

If your thoughts were foods, how nutritious would they be?

Would they leave you lean, healthy and with a strong immune system? Or would they leave you fat and sick and nearly dead? Too many of us are living on the equivalent of meat-pies for our minds and hoping we'll be ok. But just like our body can't flourish on meat-pies, our minds can't flourish on rubbish thoughts. 

We need a to go on a mental diet. 

We need to start cutting back on all of the negative, self-defeating, stressed filled thoughts we're feeding our minds and start to introduce some fresh and thoughts of possibility and growth and hope.

We need to change the things we focus on so we can change the way we feel.

A great place to start doing this is by asking yourself different questions. Instead of asking why you suck at life after making a mistake, ask yourself what it's taught you. It's the same situation, but with a completely different point of focus. 

Like any change in our diet, it will be hard initially. But once you realise how much better you feel after making the changes, it won't be long until you don't even consider those old thoughts as reliables sources of information.

Doubt your doubts by Tyson Pop

Why do you believe it just because you think it?

Rather than blindly accepting what pops into your mind, trying challenging the thoughts that hold you back? Ask a question which will force you to focus on the positive alternative. 

What's the complete opposite of this?

What if what I'm worrying about never happens?

What if this worry is teaching me to be strong?

Is this way of thinking helpful?

You might be amazed how strong your mind is. 

If only you would give it a chance to show you.