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Positive Thoughts and Words

You want to change your self-care habits and you can't seem to do it. Or, you realize that changing your self-care habits might be a good idea but you just can't seem to get on board and be sold on the idea. Maybe the words that you're thinking and saying are getting in your way.

Let's look at an example. You joined a gym and paid for the whole year. It's yours for the taking. Today is the day you'll go. What kind of thoughts might stop you?

- I might do the exercises wrong

- I'm fine the way I am, I don't need to go to the gym

- I have too much else to do

- I'll never be thin/healthy/strong so why bother

- I'll go tomorrow

So what can you do?

Whatever you say or think about yourself is what will come true ? choose what that will be! Rick Carson, who wrote the wonderful self-help book "Taming your gremlin", says, "a belief is just an opinion to which you've developed loyalty." Wow, if that's true, then you can challenge and even change your beliefs! I've decided that it's true ? how about you?

How to choose your words and thoughts more powerfully

1. Notice that your thoughts come and go and that you choose whether or not to pay attention to them. Play with how much you pay attention to them. When negative thoughts come up, try to purposefully "think positively" and tell yourself the opposite.

2. Instead of thinking and talking about what you DON'T want or what you DON'T like, focus your energies on the opposite. What DO you want? What DO you like? Have gratitude and appreciation when those things appear in your life and you will easily attract more of them.

3. Listen for when you say the word "but" ? especially at the beginning of a sentence. Notice what happens when you replace it with "AND". There are many things that can be true at any given time. When you say AND instead of BUT you're opening your mind to other truths.

4. Dr. Daniel G. Amen, author of "Change your brain, change your life", cautions negative thinkers to think before giving an "automatic no". He suggests taking a few deep breaths and deciding if this is what you truly want to say. For instance, if someone invites you to coffee, and you're staring at a pile of work, your inclination might be to say, "no, I don't have time for that." Stay with it for a moment - what would the payoff be of accepting the invitation? Maybe you will be more energized and motivated to finish your work once you've done something enjoyable.

5. Notice which words & thoughts seem to limit you and keep you from improving your self-care habits, and which ones seem to motivate and encourage you. Which ones get in your way and which ones expand your belief about what's possible?

6. Notice the impact of your chosen words on the people you are talking to and spending time with.

7. Notice how your self-care habits affect your mood and your ability to think positively. I know that if I don't eat balanced, healthy meals that are timed evenly throughout the day, or if I don't get enough sleep, I'm bound to get caught in some negative thinking that I have to consciously find my way out of.

So talk back to your negative thoughts:

- I might do the exercises wrong I can ask for help

- I'm fine the way I am, I don't need to go to the gym I'm fine and I will be even better when I'm taking better care of myself

- I have too much else to do Yes, and if I practice self-care I will be healthy and strong enough to do more things that I enjoy

- I'll never be thin/healthy/strong so why bother Every minute at the gym takes me closer to my goal

- I'll go tomorrow YES! And today as well

(c) Linda Dessau, 2005.

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, is the author of "The Everyday Self-Care Workbook". To find out more about the book, or to receive one of her free monthly newsletters, visit

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