These top mind exercises will help shift your pattern of thinking. By practicing them you’ll manage the way you process thoughts and perspectives on people and situations. Soon, you'll start making dramatic changes in your outlook on life. You’ll be blown away by how differently you will eventually view yourself and the world around you!
Don’t give up! Nothing worthwhile comes without effort. We develop patterns of thinking in our childhood because of interactions with our parents. So becoming aware of and managing our thought patterns is sometimes a challenge.
Try one top mind exercise at a time . Practice it for a week; then choose another while maintaining the first. If a particular exercise is too difficult, choose another. There’s no point in getting frustrated or beating yourself up. You want to be successful. Right? On the other hand, if you think you might not be working hard enough, try not to let yourself off the hook.
Keep persisting with these top mind exercises. Eventually, things will click. In my experience, they always do.
Start a journal to record your thoughts and successes. Make sure you date each entry so that one day you’ll look back and wonder who you were way back then.
There’s nothing mysterious about journal writing. It’s simply a record of your thoughts. Your writing doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy. It’s for your eyes only. Magic happens when you take note of your thoughts, when you name things.
Writing is a powerful problem solver and a fantastic top mind exercise with many benefits. It is an outlet for our frustrations and a creative window into alternate ways of looking at ourselves and the world around us. I’ve filled many journals over the years for many reasons. They have enriched my life and they will yours too.
1. Thank people for giving you compliments.
2. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it immediately. Think of your mistakes as gifts that can help you progress. Feeling embarrassed and ashamed only eats away at your self esteem. Mistakes are a necessary part of everyone's journey. We can’t get better at something without making mistakes along the way.
3. Take responsibility for your actions.
4. Make small commitments and keep them.
5. Sleep 7 – 8 hours a night. Being overtired can make you cranky, unfocused, and less likely to commit to healthy habits. Try to wind down earlier in the evening. Avoid strenuous exercise, phone calls, and e-mails before climbing into bed.
If you have a sleep problem, check with your health care professional for solutions or check out the Dr.Oz website for tons of tips and articles on sleep.
For photos and adventure stories, have a look at my adventure blog.
6. Pay someone an honest compliment. Heartfelt praise of a friend or neighbor sounds simple. But if you are not used to giving compliments, you may feel awkward at first. Keep doing it anyway. Push through the discomfort until saying positive things becomes a habit.
This action will boost your positive thinking skills and steer you away from negative mindsets such as gossip and insults. Try telling a neighbor you love her new hairstyle or congratulating a colleague on a job well done and unconsciously you'll bring out the best in yourself.
7. Tell the truth to yourself and about yourself.
8. Avoid blaming and accusing others.
9. Be a role model for others. Avoid criticizing and judging. There’s a quote about people who judge, “It takes one to know one.” When you point a finger at someone, you have four fingers pointing back at yourself. This is because we notice our own flaws in other people. So when you feel like judging someone, remember that you probably possess the same trait you are accusing someone else of having.
10. Practice listening . This takes emotional strength. Listening involves patience, openness and the desire to understand. We operate from a low emotional level when we give advice instead of listening.
11. Take stock of how you try to get people to do the things you want or how you try to get people to like you. Do you use tactics? Are you insincere or do you try to manipulate others to get what you want? Do you act differently from the way you really are? If you answer, “Yes,” to any of these questions, then start being yourself. Make your actions good ones. Think of others more than yourself and you’ll find others wanting to do the things you suggest.
12. Think positive thoughts. To these positive thoughts, add some goals. Positive thoughts need actions attached to them to make things happen. For example, we can’t become better at playing golf, tennis, painting or listening simply by thinking positive thoughts. We have to set goals with specific actions.
13. Identify your excuses. Recognize them for things you need to take responsibility for.
14. Picture yourself happy. Find a photo from a happy time in your life. The photo could be of a relationship, colleagues, family or friends. Put it somewhere where you'll see it often. This photo will remind you that you can be in that place again.
15. Silence your inner critic. If you hear a voice in your head saying that you’re lazy or have no skills – the list goes on. Stop that voice.
It’s the voice of your ego and your ego is a judge. Replace that gremlin voice with a kind, accepting voice. The more we allow that voice to exist in our heads, the harder it will be to get rid of it.
Remember that we are the creators of the “story” that we tell ourselves. We imagine who we are. I always say to my clients, “We are directors in our life drama and as directors we assign our own roles and write the script." That script, that story is the opinion we have of ourselves -- it’s an opinion we can change whenever we want.
16. Connect with people. Strike up conversations with people throughout your day and you'll create opportunities to build personal and professional relationships.
17. Find the courage to be brave. Think back to events in your life when you acted bravely or did something adventuresome. Perhaps you confronted someone who treated a friend badly.
Maybe you asked for a deserved raise or went on a long overnight hike. Think about how proud you felt later. Make a list of these times and refer to it. Take more brave actions and you’ll feel stronger and stronger.
18. Do something you’re good at. Whether it’s swimming, cooking, dancing, or even drawing. Try to do it once a week. Hobbies and activities – doing things -- reduces stress because our minds are focus on action and not our “to do” list or our problems. Being more proficient at something we like to do is a self esteem booster.
19. Try something new you wouldn’t normally do. We all get into patterns not just in our thinking but in our activities as well. Stepping outside our comfort zone is a wonderful self development activity.
20. Avoid feeling guilty. This is a top mind exercise. Turn your guilt around and try to learn from it. For some reason, women especially seem to feel guilty. We feel guilty about things we might not have done for our kids, our parents and our friends or we feel guilty about things we’ve done. We've got guilt in spades.
Getting rid of these feelings means knowing that guilt is like our inner critic. We’ve created these feelings and allowed them to be in our heads. If we created them, then with effort we can silence those feelings as well.