Many people often find themselves at the mercy of their lives and they tend to fall into the same repeating, negative patterns with little hope of change. While there can be many instances that can be beyond the control of an individual, for the most part, each person has the ability to make small changes while these patterns are happening to eventually brake down the dynamic of the pattern, and therefore bring it to a halt. The question then is, how? Researches have found that there are potentially 5 areas that can be exploited when someone is experiencing an event that they would like to change. This article will briefly describe each area and go through the steps on how to create the desired change.

1. Environment

The environment includes both the situation the person may find themselves in, and the person/people in that situation. When we consider something like stress, we can easily see how environment can be a massive trigger. An example will be work and the people involved. With such a fast paced world, work can become a great source of stress. While for the most part, many aspects of the work environment cannot be influenced to create a positive change for the individual, one can take measures to ease the burden of such an environment. One can focus on a better work/life balance; delegating tasks; approaching HR with potential solutions to increase the happiness factor; learning new skills that focus on conflict management, mindfulness, or communication.

2. Thoughts

Our thoughts can be our best friend or our worst enemy. In order for positive change to come about it is important to remember that thoughts are not real and is just the mind trying to make sense of the external stimulus coming at it from the outside world. Another important thing to remember is that our thoughts are the biggest driving factors that dictate our lives. 90% of our thoughts are the same thoughts from the day before. 90% of those thoughts are negative in nature. That is then alot of useless and unconstructive energy following you around all day. Since your mind may be so used to negative thinking, you can actually use your negative thoughts to trigger you to remember to alter your thoughts so they become more positive and constructive. Most of our suffering comes from wanting to change things that we cannot change. This includes everything and everyone around us. To ease that suffering we can ask ourselves what we can change about ourselves instead. So for example, if I am hard on myself, can I think more as a coach when I have my inner dialogue with myself, instead of being a tyrant? What kind of thinking process do positive role models have that I can take on?

3. Mental Images

Along with the constant mental chatter, an individual will often tend to play short movies or create images in their mind based on the ongoing thoughts. Again, most of this is just noise and doesn't seek to align to the persons highest needs.
Our minds are incredibly powerful and can create a host of internal changes that can motivate and inspire an individual to take positive action. Simply notice the powerful effect of a moving song, or an inspiring speech. These can create harmonious mental images that can create a surge of positive energy throughout the body.
If you don't know where to start, just visualise the kind of life you would like to lead. Do this without judgement or criticism. Imagine a future version of you has come to speak to you about what they did in order to have the life that you deserve.

4. Feelings

Our emotions will often dictate our behaviour, and our emotions are often dictated by our thoughts and mental images. This can be a downward spiral when we look at anxiety and depression, or an upward spiral when we look at enthusiasm, hope and inspiration. While its easy to act on positive stimulus, it can be a completely different story to act constructively on negative stimulus... but it is possible. It's important to remember that the world doesn't revolve around you or your morals, beliefs and values. This is a blessing once you understand this. We suffer because we fail to accept the ever-changing environment, events and circumstances that we are constantly presented with and that we often tend to make problems much bigger in our minds than they actually are. Once we can accept that life will take it's own course, we can learn to free ourselves from the emotional turmoil that we experience. A very simple thing to do if you are feeling negative emotions is to first acknowledge that you are feeling this way; identify the exact emotion being felt; ask yourself what has brought on these feelings; discover why you feel the need to hold on to this instead of letting it go; find out what you can learn from this moment; and then allow yourself to let it go.

5. Behaviour

As mentioned above, our feelings will often dictate our behaviour. However, instead of being reactive and impulse, we can learn to take a step back and try to correctly assess the situation before taking any direct action.
True maturity can be found in the individual who has learn't how to control their irrational impulses. Read that again.

Thanks for reading,
Donovan

On November 11, 2019