Change the Channel

August 27th, 2012

How often have you slipped into what I would call a “funk”. This is a very “down place” for which there is no immediate explanation. We all do cycle through a variety of moods in our lives, but this “funk” can literally “flatten us” and can put any form of happiness on pause. It can feel at times like a temporary depression as one’s mood spirals down. Perhaps it may be time to “Change the Channel”

I am not referring to changing the television channel, but what I am referring to is about changing your “thought channel”. The plain and simple truth is that our thoughts govern our lives, and believe it or not, we do have control over our thoughts. It can be done, but it takes doing, and remembering to do it. I have used this expression of “Change the Channel” in dealing with clients with a variety of emotional problems ranging from depression to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). This expression seems to be more effective than asking people to change their thoughts. This might be because we often use this expression with reference television.

There is a form of therapy that has been found to be one of the most effective. It is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT for short). Through this form of therapy we are taught to change our negative, or self-destructive thoughts to positive thoughts and thereby change our feelings and our mood. By this means, as our lives get better the whole process becomes self re-enforcing which allows a pattern of positive thoughts to become a habit.

You do not need to see a therapist to use this method. It is there to use, if you have the determination to do it. The following is one of many tools that can be used to pre-condition one’s self to use a positive thoughts to get you through a rough spot in your life.

This tool is called “anchoring” and it is a device by which one can “Change the Channel” in advance. Find a quiet place or room where you can relax and do the following imaging. Think of a time in your life where you were feeling great. Imagine this time with all of the sounds, colors, and feelings that you can bring up. When you totally immersed in this event, squeeze the thumb and middle finger of your right hand. Then clear your imagination and repeat several times. When negative thoughts overwhelm you, squeeze the same two fingers, and the pleasant memories you created will sweep over you and release the negativity that seemed to engulf you in the moment.

Another aspect of this whole process is the effect of thought has on our lives in a completely different way. Much has been written about the “power of positive thinking”. It is about how one’s thoughts can actually change one’s physical world. Doors can be opened and events can be “caused to happen” in a truly physical way. I am not just referring to psychological events.

Bottom line, watch and monitor your thoughts. If you find yourself dwelling on less than positive thoughts, “Change the Channel”. And see how your life will change. This may take constant vigilance. It really works.

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