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Have you ever noticed how a feeling, either emotional or physical, occurs with almost every thought?  I had known from previous experiences how my emotions fluctuate with my thoughts, but I had not made the connection that passing thoughts can affect me physically.  I keep a to-do list and it usually grows, then shrinks, then grows and shrinks again.  Last week, however, was filled with unexpected meetings and my list kept growing and growing.  As I noticed this, and felt pressure to get everything done before I go on vacation in two weeks, I could feel my abs tighten.  This happened throughout the entire week.  On Friday, as I reviewed my list before the weekend, I felt my abs tighten again and I realized – this is probably what gives people ulcers. 

My very next thought was, I don’t want an ulcer!  I relaxed and then considered how other thoughts have caused different physical feelings.  When my husband pays me compliments, I feel a lightness in my chest.  When my kids work my last nerve, I feel tension in my shoulders.  When I hear something truly uplifting, I feel a wave of goosebumps.

Thinking on this brought me back to when I battled depression. I recalled the unkind thoughts I used to keep about myself.  Even though I can’t relate to those thoughts today, I remember how they once made me feel.  They filled me with tension and a frantic energy.  At the time, I suffered from anxiety and bouts of insomnia.  I now suppose that those were the physical result of such discordant thoughts.  Sadly, at the time, I chocked it up to me being “messed up and made like that.”  Overcoming those thoughts took time, but became easier after I developed a trick.  I began to reach for a better feeling thought.

It’s a habit that grew more out of avoidance than strategy.  For example, I used to often think that I was a terrible daughter and a disappointment to my dad.  The opposite of that would have been to say, “I am a great daughter and I make my father proud.”  At the time, there was no way I would have been able to hold that thought and feel anything but resistance to it.  Even so, I couldn’t stand the way it felt thinking I was a disappointment, and eventually settled on, “I love my family and want to make them proud.”  This was true and felt much better.  Another example from that time of my life was a recurring thought that “I wasn’t special or worth anyone’s time,” which I traded in for, “I try hard and always have somebody to talk to.”  Notice that I didn’t jump to, “I am special and people want to spend time with me.”  There’s no way, from the dark perspective that had become my baseline, I was going to believe that.  I would have been lying to myself and that carries its own discord. 

These weren’t monumental shifts, but they were enough to get me through my darkest days.  It’s a much more subtle version of the reframing technique I shared in my post about flipping the script on fear.  If you, or anybody you know, is struggling with obtrusive thoughts that hurt physically or emotionally, help them find a better feeling thought. Look for a thought that is light and believable and whenever the disempowering thought makes an appearance, simply swap one for the other – it gets easier with practice and can open you up to a world of opportunity.   


  • Joe Dalio says:

    This works for me every time! As Abraham Hicks describes it, you can use your thoughts to move up the emotional guidance scale to reach the highest vibration possible. And all it takes is 17 seconds to get started 🙂

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