10 Ways to Change the Way You Think

Here are 10 ways to shift your persepctives on life, to change the way you think:
  1. Take a different route - look for a different path to the same destination. Whether you're on a walk in the woods, or taking the bus to work, try exploring another route to give you some new ideas and insights into your environment 
  2.  Play the other's role, walk a mile in your enemy's moccassins - set your own opinions aside for a moment, and look at the same situation through another's eyes, try to see and feel what they are seeing and feeling. It doesn't matter whether you are arguing, or simply exchanging ideas, looking at a problem or question from someone else's perspective leads to a much greater understanding
  3. Notice your unloving thoughts, judgments and limiting beliefs - "I am too fat", "I can't...", "she's too pretty to notice me" "he's a freak" Change those negative thinking patterns to positives: "I look better and better every day", "I can...where there's a will, there's a way", " she is so lovely, somehow I intend to get to know her", "wow, now doesn't he look like an interesting fellow". It is awesome how shifting from a negative to a positive perspective starts attracting a lot more positives in your life - and makes you feel a lot better.
  4. Clear out the old - make room for new energy and new ideas by cleaning out the basement, the garage, closets, drawers, files. Clearing the clutter from our physical spaces is tantamount to clearing the clutter from your mind and heart. Just as we burden ourselves with old stuff that we don't need anymore, we burden our souls with thoughts and feelings that are old, no longer serving us. Tackling a clean-up in your living and working places, also clears and opens YOU.
  5. Change your routine, your daily schedule - evaluate your priorities, decide what's important in your life, then change your daily routines to allow you to focus on the priorities. Example, a client is a single parent of three young children and needs to work to support them. She is a loving Mom with great skills and a good job that she can manage on her own time from home. Yet I am often mystified at how frequently she gets lost in tasks that have nothing to do with making an income or caring for her family - and then suddenly notices that the gas is about to be cut off. If this woman would make the simple change of daily deciding what is important in terms of her family and income, she would make different choices about how to best allot her time in the day - and would not have to worry about the gas being cut off. Knowing your priorities, what's important to you, changes the way you think about using your resources, including your time.
  6. Notice your language - change your words, the way you express your thoughts and feelings and lo and behold, you change the energy around you. If I use a negative statement like "you can't do that because it's not safe", chances are I will be disputed, and the person I am trying to protect may even choose to take on the dangerous task, just to prove me wrong. But if I ask instead "how will you protect yourself in this job, it seems a little scary?" or "have you tested the safety harnesses?" this person will be far more thoughtful about the job, and will likely complete it successfully. Language is a powerful tool in changing the way we think - and also the way others react to us!
  7. Choose to be happy - be the source of your happiness, as opposed to expecting it to come through someone or something else. Happy people attract more happy people - and also happy circumstances in life. Being happy from moment to moment is about choosing to focus on what is good in your life and work - and setting the negatives aside. Taking time to smell the flowers, refusing to let the little disappointments take you down keeps your vibrational frequency high and makes it a lot easier to see solutions when you are presented with a problem.
  8. Meditate and pray frequently - send requests, as well as gratitude, loving thoughts and feelings through prayer; receive new ideas and inspiration through meditation. Prayer and meditation are essential parts of anyone's daily routine because they keep us connected to our souls and our Source. And through these connections we can open ourselves to new and more expansive thinking processes.
  9. Simplify, self-edit, seek clarity - apply the KISS principle in all you think, feel, say and do. An extremely intelligent client regularly calls me in a panic about a decision that he's seriously complicated with so many factors and future potentials that he is, of course, stuck, doesn't know what to do. Typically, I have to cut him off in the midst of his tale of woes to ask, "what's really relevant here?". I then go through the process of eliminating the fuzzy elements in his thinking, asking him to make it simple for me. Within a few minutes, he will see that while some of his concerns might be relevant down the road, they are not now and can be dealt with separately when and if they come up in the future. Invariably, he gets off the phone with a new sense of clarity and is able to easily make the right decision. Simplifying, whether in the way we live, or the way we analyze a problem, changes our perspective, and produces clarity.
  10. SMILE - smiling has a physical effect on the brain - and yes, also on the way we think. I called my psychologist sister one night, in some real personal distress about some family problems. She listened for a few minutes and then stopped me with the words "smile, smile, smile, whether you feel like it or not." Then she explained the physical effects of smiling, how it uplifts you by releasing some "happy hormones" in you... and these change your perspective on the problem at hand. I tried it, smiling like an idiot while I did the dishes, typed at the computer, talked to my friends - it worked... the family problems resolved themselves gently over the next few weeks. Smiling while you're talking on the phone actually comes through to the listener in your tone of voice; smiling while you deliver a needed reprimand makes it easier for the correction to be received; smiling while you work makes the work seem more enjoyable... and it all adds up to a change in the way you think about yourself and your world. That expression "fake it, 'til you make it" has real merit.