Did you know that it is impossible to hold opposing thoughts in your mind at the same time? You cannot be angry at someone and feel lovingly connected simultaneously. You cannot feel sadness when you are telling a happy story nor can you laugh when you’re thinking about something sad. Humans cannot think contradictory thoughts simultaneously.
This is why learning to refocus the thousands of thoughts that fill our minds daily is so important. It’s also why we want to think of ourselves, and those we love, in the most positive ways possible.
As we’ve discussed before, trying hard to not think of something pretty much assures that it will remain top of mind. All research studies confirm this. But let’s look at a constructive example for restructuring our thinking: Suppose you were meeting someone for the first time — work-wise or personally. It would be natural to start wondering: How will it go? Will they like me? Will I say the right things? The only way we can eradicate these worries is by thinking the opposite: Imagining a fantastic meeting! Seeing ourselves laughing, visualizing the exchanging of a constructive conversation, imagining ourselves really relating and connecting to the other party. Picturing ourselves confident and relaxed.
Trying to control our thoughts doesn’t work. Refocusing them does. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
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