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I’ve been teaching a lot of Corporate Mindfulness classes lately and the experience and has taught me so much. It’s also given me insights into the pressures and stresses that people feel every day.

I wrote a while ago about gratitude and how it can help you to develop a more positive perspective. It literally re-wires your brain to look for the good in your life, and you get more of what you focus on.

Then I realised, that not only does gratitude help you become more positive, it also helps you become happier and more compassionate – towards yourself and others.

So this is a practise really worth getting into. You can recap yourself on this topic via this link/

Another beneficial practise to employ is to be mindful of the questions that you ask yourself.v When you’re in a negative mindset, then everything seems negative. I’m sure you’ve had one of those days, when nothing seemed to go right, no matter how hard you tried it was just one stressful situation on top of another. Most probably your internal dialogue was down in the gutter and you felt like you were there with it!

When you change your questions, you change your world.

How do you do this? Well, by asking yourself different questions.

According to scientists, every day we have over 80,000 thoughts! Imagine that’s 2,500 thoughts per hour, and nearly 42 thoughts per minute.

80% of those habitual thoughts are negative.
That’s 48,000 negative thoughts per day.

It’s exhausting just thinking about it!

In amongst all those thoughts are thousands of questions, questions that you might not even realise you’re asking. Questions that are so common to you that you don’t even know that they’re there!

Take a minute to think about that and write down or mentally take note of the questions that you ask every day. Perhaps you ask questions, such as:

“what’s wrong with my life?”
“when is my life going to change/get better/ start?”
“why is everyone else’s life better than mine?”
“what does she/he have that I don’t?”
“why don’t things turn out the way that I want to?”
“why can’t I afford x.?
“why can’t I get this right?”
“why am I so stupid?”
“whats wrong with me that I’m ….. (fill in the blanks.)”

Etc etc, I’m sure that you can fill in some more. Do you identify with any of these?
For each of the above questions, can you see how they are framed in such a way that the answers to all of them are negative?

Q:”what’s wrong with my life?” A; Wow, everything, I could give you a big long list.
Q:”why don’t things turn out the way that I want to?” A: Because, nothing ever does.
Q: “why can’t I afford x?” A: cause I’ve a terrible job and i’m never going to be on a salary to afford x.
Very few of these questions or the thousands of other ones that we ask ourselves every day give us empowerment, enlightenment or are action focused.

Whatever you ask for you get more of.

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers.
You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”

– Naguib Mahfouz

The only difference between you and the people that you admire or are successful are the questions that they ask.
All of the great people of our time are the same as us, they too have two arms, two legs, a brain and a heart. We are no different physically. However internally there is a whole lot of difference and that boils down to the questions they ask.

For example, successful people ask questions like:

“How is my life great?”
“What’s wonderful about this situation?”
“What can I learn from this?”
“How can I improve on this area in my life?”
“Is there someone I admire that I can model?”
“What’s not perfect yet, and how am I going to make it better?”
“How can I learn from this person?”
“How can I afford x?”

Can you see how these two sets of questions differ so radically from each other? How these give great answers?
Q: “How is my life great?” – A: Well I’ve my healthy, happiness, family, friends, partner, money in the bank, a roof over my head, money in the bank….etc,etc.
Q: “How can I afford x?” A: If I borrow from the bank and reduce my savings for x number of months, then I can approach the bank about getting a loan for this.

My challenge to you this month is to write out these empowering questions (feel free to add your own empowering, action-driven questions to the list) and have them somewhere that you will see them often. Once you’ve done that the hard work is over as now all you have to do is to begin to use them in your life everyday.
Research has shown that if you do something consistently for 21 days then it becomes a reality.
It is that easy to change your mindset.

Great news! Studies done by Dr. Richard Davidson in the USA, demonstrate that thinking new and different thoughts create new neural pathways. When we change our thinking to support our happiness, the negative neural pathways shrink and the positive pathways widen. This makes it easier and more automatic for us to think more positively. So once we start changing the habit of negative thinking, our brain changes physiologically to support us. How incredible is that.

So start today to begin to change the habit. As always, I’d love to hear how you get on with this or any feedback on the content of this article.

Ellen

Blackock, Co Dublin