How to Change Your Mind and Feel Good About It
Have you ever been made to feel guilty because you dared change your mind?
Of course, changing your mind on fundamental things and at critical times is bound to unleash more than a few raised eyebrows. A bit like your steed changing its mind just as you approach that hurdle…
But let’s face it: Sometimes, changing your mind is the only thing that can bring about change – George Bernard Shaw.
This also means that you cannot be too harsh on yourself for changing your mind. Maya Angelou famously said: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Basically, she changed her mind.
We all dream of what we want to be when we grow up: Dressage Diva, Show jumping Star, Coolest queen of Cross-country riding. Somehow, changing your mind from those very first dreams and aspirations, is never frowned upon. You may even be reminded of it with a goodhearted wink from your dad at each and every birthday celebration.
Changing your mind at 18, however, and at 22 and at 38 and again at 54, often earns you the badge of being flighty, fickle and irresponsible.
Have you ever considered the effect random thoughts have on your emotions?
Thoughts wander in and out of your mind a thousand times a day. Unchecked, these thoughts may trigger feelings which may trigger a response. Changing your thoughts, can change your feelings, which can change your decision to act – or not.
So, how do you change your mind, your decision, in a constructive, rational manner?
Based on an article by Jeffrey S. Nevid Ph.D, professor in Psychology at St. John’s University, here are three key steps to changing your mind.
STEP 1: STOP
Trying to catch a wandering thought can be like trying to catch your pony at the end of the first day of turn-out after a harsh winter indoors. You really have to be ready for anything! And take control. Otherwise he’ll just ditch you and take off at full speed in another wind direction again.
Checking your thoughts at exactly the time when emotion overwhelms you, keeps that from happening.
Do you feel anxious? Angry? Upset? Sad?
What exactly is going on in your thought space right now?
People are actually much more aware of what they are feeling at any one time than what they are thinking.
So, if it is hard for you to vocalise why you are feeling the way you do, just start with the feeling and work your way backwards.
Think about your feelings.
Often the same thought patterns birth the same feelings and actions.
STEP 2: THINK AGAIN
Did you know that you don’t have to think what you think? Humans actually have the ability to take thoughts captive and erase the emotional response they would have triggered. But this is a highly underdeveloped skill.
Although you cannot prevent thoughts from entering, you sure as anything can decide how long they’re welcome to stay.
Just try it.
The next time you think of what you’re thinking of and feel your emotions rise, ask yourself: “Is what I’m thinking helping me, or harming me?”
Stress is not always a bad thing. If you messed up your jumping round and your adrenaline rises and these thoughts tell you to not even bother with the rest of the day and to just go home, that is definitely not good for you.
That same adrenaline rush could, however, help you in coming up with an innovative way of figuring out how to approach the next round and give it your best.
So, try picturing putting a halter on that runaway thought-mare and closing the stable door. Hard.
Remember: You ARE allowed to think again.
STEP 3: REPLACE
You know how you sometimes eat something that tastes just awful, and after spitting it out, you frantically look for something else to gobble down just to get that nasty taste out of your mouth?
You should have the same boldness when getting rid of and replacing bad tasting thoughts.
One way to do this, is by redesigning your self-talk.
Instead of: “That comment was really hurtful. She is such a <dog><female>”,
replace it with: “That comment was really hurtful. I wonder what happened to her that made her so cruel?”
Instead of: “I will not put up with this!”,
replace it with: “I do not have to give this my attention or my energy. Look – there’s a horse!”
Take home message: There is nothing shameful about changing your mind if changing your mind changes you for the better.
To read more, or to place an order for Elite Equine 100% Organic Rosehip Supplement, please visit www.eliteequineuk.com/product