Make good thought habits

photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson

Ever find yourself obsessing over something small? The other night I was laying in bed completely obsessing over whether my husband turned off the gas grill. Now, my husband is very responsible when it comes to things like that, but I got the thought in my head and it just kept going and going and going… How would I get the cat out if the house caught on fire? What could I grab? All kinds of anxiety-driven thoughts, but never once did I wake him or walk outside to check. I let myself spin.

What we focus on, whether it’s spinning at night over a gas grill, or gratitude during the day, trains our habit of thought. 

Speaking of gratitude, it’s no coincidence that when we’re grateful, we are happier, calmer and even healthier. The more we focus on gratitude, the more we find to be grateful for. We are training ourselves to think a certain way. We are creating thought habits.

Just like physical habits, we can be intentional about our thought habits. I don’t believe in mantras that feel untrue or inauthentic, but I do love a list. Want to create some good thought habits? Start a list of things you’re proud of, grateful for and/or love about yourself. Write 3 things every day, and watch as your focus shifts and your thoughts evolve.

Most importantly, cultivate awareness of your thoughts. Even when my thoughts were spinning about a gas grill, I was aware that they were anxiety-driven. When I’m intentional about gratitude or proud of myself for something, I am very aware of how I feel. I feel happy and content and I stand a little taller. Those are the thought habits that I want to create.

Thanks for being on this journey with me.


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