Did you know that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected? Mindset is the way our brain perceives ourselves and the world. This means that how we interpret an event or circumstance will impact what we feel and how we choose to respond. How many times have we heard someone say that something “made them angry”? If our thoughts tell us how to feel, then our feelings often influence how we act, and our actions can affect how we see the world and our future thoughts.
Here is a simple formula:
- EVENT: Something happens
- THOUGHTS: I tell myself something
- FEELINGS: I feel something
- BEHAVIOURS: I do something
Let’s look at an example:
If Johnny is walking in the hallway and bumps into me, I may THINK, “Johnny is mean. He did that on purpose”. This may lead me to FEEL Angry. Because I have these strong feelings, I may react with BEHAVIOURS such as pushing him back.
However, if Johnny is walking in the hallway and bumps into me, it may change how I feel if I THINK, “Johnny wasn’t looking where he was going. That must have been an accident.” I may still FEEL a little frustrated or annoyed at the situation, but because I chose to think it was an accident, I don’t react with BEHAVIOURS. I just keep on walking and let it go.
Our thoughts have the power to change how we feel and the choices we make! Since our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all connected, when we change one of those things, it changes the others. By learning how to notice when we are perceiving a situation negatively, we can turn our thoughts into something more realistic, useful, or positive. In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we learn a strategy to take charge of our thoughts.
As a class, group or family,
- Watch the following video that explains how thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are connected: https://youtu.be/gd65sMGERrU (5:15)
- After the video, talk about how replacing our negative thoughts with more realistic, neutral or positive thoughts can change how we feel and behave.
- Put it into action. Together, think of an example when it would have been helpful to challenge negative thoughts. Remember, ask these questions: Is this thought true/accurate? Is this thought helpful?
- As the video mentioned, if the answer was no to either of these questions, consider how to challenge and reframe the thoughts to something neutral or positive.
- How could that change the outcome?
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer
Is there a situation that I could challenge my thoughts?
How would that change my feelings, behaviours, or future thoughts?
Connecting to our faith:
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. (Matthew 7:1-2)
- Children’s Book: “What Were You Thinking?” by Bryan Smith
- Adult Book: “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
- Workbook: “Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel By Changing The Way You Think” by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A.
- : “Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck)” (Alison Ledgerwood) https://youtu.be/7XFLTDQ4JMk (10:00)
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