The quality of our relationship is the quality of our thinking.
Think about it.
What we think about affects how we feel. And how we feel affects our relationships.
For example, if I wake up thinking about how wonderful you are and how much I love you, then I feel good and we have a great morning. On the other hand, if I wake up thinking about how you are a lazy jerk and never help around the house, then I feel bad and we have a crummy morning.
Most of us don’t think about our thoughts. We just go around thinking stuff all the time that ruins our lives and relationships without knowing it.
For most of us, our thinking sucks.
We think about things that feel bad all the time! We think about all the things that don’t work, all the things we don’t like, all of the horrible things that might happen, all of the bad things that happened in the past and all of the things that drive us crazy about our partner and family.
She is a nag. He doesn’t care about me. I don’t matter. I will always be alone. I can’t get what I want. He never listens to me. She never wants sex. I hate this job.
It doesn’t take but one or two of these negative thoughts to make us feel like shit and ruin our day.
We don’t realize that our thinking is what is making us feel bad. We think it is the situation or the person that is having us feel bad. So we focus outward on the person as the problem, never seeing that OUR THINKING IS THE PROBLEM!
Truthfully, if we knew how our thoughts directly impact EVERYTHING we experience, we would discover that we best not afford the luxury of negative thinking. EVER.
Suffice it to say this. In order to feel good in our relationships, we need to diligently think good thoughts.
About yourself, your relationship, your family, your body - your life. Everything.
Now, to think good thoughts is not as easy as it seems, especially if you are in the habit of focusing in on bad things.
To shift your thinking, you need to first commit to think good thoughts. That means, that EVERYIME you catch yourself in a negative thought, you are going to do whatever it takes to switch your attention off of that thought and onto something more positive.
To commit is to choose in advance your course of action regardless of how you feel in the moment. In other words, you decide to GO THIS WAY, which in this case, is in the direction of POSITIVE THINKING.
There is a great quote from W.H. Murray, UNTIL ONE IS COMMITTED: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. But the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too.
Which is just to say, if you aren’t committed to changing how you think, you will keep thinking crummy thoughts forever and have an equally crummy relationship and life.
So, you have to commit first.
The second step is to notice your negative thinking. What are all of those thoughts running around in your head? Pay attention. Write them down. You can’t change your negative thoughts to positive ones if you don’t know what they are.
For example, let’s say you wake up and notice a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. You find yourself thinking thoughts like, He Never Helps! He’s a Lazy Jerk. I Always Have To Do Everything Myself! Instead of getting all caught up in your reaction about the dirty dishes and chasing your man with a broom and a bunch of swear words, go write down your thoughts on a piece of paper.
As you think these thoughts, notice how terrible you feel. You might think that him not washing the dirty dishes is making you feel terrible, but really, it is your THOUGHT that is making you feel terrible. Get out on a piece of paper all of the terrible thoughts that are making you feel bad.
Don’t try to change your thoughts right away. Just notice the ones that are there. Be in a mood of curiosity as you notice and write down all these thoughts. You might even wonder why you think this stuff, let yourself wonder where these thoughts came from.
As you notice your thoughts, you will become aware that YOU are not YOUR THOUGHTS. They are separate from the YOU that is observing them. As you get better at this over time, you will find something sort of amazing start to happen. You will start to have your thoughts instead of your thoughts HAVING YOU!
When you are calmed down and ready, begin to think about what else you could think about the dirty dishes in the sink that would have you feel better. ANY THOUGHT that would have you feel better.
For example, you might think it is lucky the ants didn’t get all over them in the night, or how fortunate you are to even have a sink and dishes when so many people in the world don’t. Or you might think about how grateful you are that he worked all day to pay for the house and the dishes and the sink. Or you might remember a time he DID HELP around the house by fixing that shelf in the bathroom.
Keep going until you find yourself thinking good thoughts that feel better.
If it is really challenging for you to find good thoughts, you might put on some music that helps you feel better. Or read a good book. Or pet a cat. Or watch a funny video clip. Or take a walk and listen to the pretty birds.
Once you feel better, the dirty dishes will look different to you. And so will your husband. And from this good feeling place, you are more likely to come up with a workable solution to the dirty dishes.
Commit to changing your thoughts from bad ones to good ones. Surround yourself with people who think positive thoughts. Get help from coaches and trainers who have great tools to help you change your perspective and see new possibilities.
When you change your bad feeling thoughts with good feeling ones, you can’t help but change your bad relationship into a good one too.
Bio: Sonika Tinker, MSW, and Christian Pedersen, loving husband-wife team, are Relationship Experts, coaches, mediators, trainers and authors with over 40 years combined experience coaching and leading courses helping hundreds of singles and couples to dramatically improve relationships. Owners of LoveWorks, a cutting-edge relationship training company, both are passionately committed to shifting the current relationship paradigm from blame, resignation and scarcity to one of joyful, expansive, delightful co-creation. They offer a unique leading-edge relationship solution that is uplifting, light-hearted and powerfully effective. Loveworksforyou.com