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Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Taryn Harris (South Africa).
Science and Our Natural Intelligence
There are many schools of thought and supporting research advocating the health (mental, emotional and physical) and neurobiological benefits of positive thinking and present moment awareness. They include, but are in no way limited to integral theory, ontological and positive psychology, mindfulness, somatic experiencing, Nia, Yoga and much more! We know all of this intuitively and are born to experience life in this way… think of children – they are totally in awe of the “magic” in every moment. It is our natural intelligence and state that we know on a cellular level.
As we grow up, we consciously and unconsciously dull our senses, which dulls our experience of life and living and stops us thinking innovatively. We spend most of our time in our head thinking the same thoughts, or reliving the past and worrying about the future, missing out on the richness of living right now. Our obsession with the brain being paramount has ultimately lead to us divorcing ourselves from the rest of our mind/body. The brain likes patterns – so you literally become what you focus on, do and think about.
Science and research are now supporting this intuitive inborn knowledge: that not only are thinking and feeling/sensing inextricably linked but also that sensory data and present moment awareness can open up a new way of being in the world – resulting in more joyful and effective living, thinking and reduced stress levels! (Just by sensing our perception and shifting it consciously)
What is “Healthy” Thinking?
“Thinking” is not limited to your mind. It is inclusive of your entire body! All parts of you are designed to help you “think” – learning to use your mind (which includes your emotions and imagination) with the five senses is defined as healthy thinking. Healthy thinking improves behavior, builds self-confidence, improves communication and information processing and leaves you feeling energetically balanced and connected to living through your whole body. Unhealthy thinking is the defense mechanism we use to ignore what we are really thinking and feeling. It leads to unhealthy (and often addictive) behavior, loss of self-esteem and leaves you feeling confused, separate and energetically depleted – often on a roller coaster of emotional lows and highs. ” © The Nia Technique
Tips to Ditch Unhealthy Thinking:
So, how can you start “consciously perceiving” with your whole body? To move to a more balanced state in your body and mind, which allows for clearer, healthier thinking? How do you expand your awareness and change the way you think, do things and live in your body and the world?
Start noticing where you put your attention.
What is your mind busy with?
What are common thoughts you have on repeat?
Do they foster confidence and serve you on any level?
Or do they keep you stuck in a self-created hell and separate from all the yummy-ness available to you through your senses?
What are you missing by being busy with what you are busy with?
Is it future thinking that encourages hope and excitement or dread and anger?
Is it a past memory that brings joy and inspiration or shuts down your thinking?
Could you shift your attention to focus on what colors and textures are in your awareness right now? How your hands are warmed by the mug in your hands and how your taste buds dance with delight from a sip of delicious tea, which then fills your body with warmth? Can you plug into the present moment? Just for 10 seconds?
My invitation is for you to let go of one unhealthy way of thinking that does not serve you. Got one in mind? (Just one!) For the next week, every time you notice yourself having that particular “unhealthy” thought, consciously shift your attention to something pleasurable– even if it involves calling on a happy memory or watching a child in a checkout queue. Gently turn towards a pleasing experience that promotes healthy thinking. This will create space within you to let more healthy thinking in and shift your perception to the positive that is available to you in that moment. Notice your breathing patterns. When you notice anxiety is present, focus on taking 3 deep focused breaths, allowing the exhalation to be twice as long as the inhalation. Re-calibrate and allow other perspectives into your awareness to replace the “unhealthy” thought instead of resisting it – beating yourself up for “unhealthy thinking” is not exactly healthy behavior!
Invite the new, healthier way of the whole body thinking in by soft candlelight – not with a massive flashlight – this will only shut down your limbic brain – that is what too much pressure does! So, coax this awareness by gently shifting your attention and noticing – and once you have noticed, you can make a conscious decision to either keep that thought or behavior or let it go – the choice is yours!
About Taryn Harris
Taryn is a professional executive transgender youth mental health and life coach, speaker and the creator of the In-Body Method. Taryn moves people into their power and organizations into their power through people. Her programmes focus on developing interpersonal and leadership skills, emotional intelligence and team functioning. Taryn will show you how to create a life –both personally and professionally – that you want to show up for! She gives you the tools to effectively navigate through the opportunities and challenges and teaches you how to positively affect your behavior and emotions by rewiring your mind to become more content, resilient and confident by tapping into the intelligence of your body.
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