A client of mine recently came in a bit deflated. As she described what she had been thinking about, I could tell her thoughts were all over the place, lost in her subconscious.
In western conventional psychology, it is routine for a practitioner to help a client become aware of self-defeating thought patterns, A little less common for them to help the client develop a positive thought discipline. As I introduced the concept of noticing how thoughts are attached to emotions, environments, bodily sensations, behavioral reactions, and how it can be useful to log the thoughts in a variety of ways, I noticed how overwhelming it was to her.
What we decided would be a constructive practice for her, was for her to take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns, ENERGIZING and DE-ENERGIZING. Any thought or thought pattern that was energizing or expanding, she could log in that column; any that she felt to be deflating or taking away from her energy she could log in the de-energizing column. The same with any environment, like somewhere indoors or in nature outdoors. The same with various people she finds herself to be around, or any activities she spends time doing. That way she could work on increasing awareness of all thoughts, activities, behaviors, environments, situations, and people who help her feel good in some degree, or those that lead her to feel constricted and in some degree not so good. Awareness of what it is that is connected to negative emotions or positive emotions, particularly the types of thoughts or thinking patterns, like all/nothing, can/can’t, always/never, success/failure.
Many of my clients have tried this exercise and found it to be very eye-opening. They begin to realize how much of their energy is tied up into thoughts and activities that don’t serve or resonate with them. And in what direction they would rather head. So I thought I would share this with you. Try it. See how you like it. I hope you do!