Thoughts are habits

I want to make sure you read that title right – “Thoughts ARE habits.”

Thoughts aren’t like habits. The thoughts you hold in your head are habits. Thoughts are habitual – similar to your morning cup of coffee, your excersie routine, or your daily dose of social media.

Like a well-worn path through the woods, we develop paths (and sometimes trenches) in our neural network. The human brain appreciates familiarity. But we humans also have a knack for novelty.

When a new thought pops into consciousness, we marvel at it – we are struck with a sense of wonder. “Where did that thought come from,” we ask ourself. Heck, I just asked myself that a few minutes ago!

So when you struggle with unhelpful “invasive” thoughts, remember that like any other habit it can be changed. People quit the habit of smoking everyday. Some abstain from coffee. And the strongest among us are able to give up the habit of hard drugs for good.

We have the power to re-train our brains – to turn away from harmful thoughts of self-doubt, self-depreciation, and self-harm. Instead, we can choose to fill our heads with thoughts of confidence, empowerment, and well-being… but it requires effort, desire, and determination. And we need the aid of a strong support network and sometimes that includes the help of professionals.

Don’t be afraid to take that first step. Don’t be shy about asking for help. When you “fall off the wagon” get right back on it to continue your journey to wellness. When you hear (from either yourself or others) that it’s not worth it – push back and tell them that they are wrong. Make a list of your reasons. Put that list in a place you will see it often – by the bathroom mirror, the refridgerator, your dashboard, or desk at work. Remind yourself frequently that it’s a worthwhile pursuit and that you are worthy of good things, good habits, and having good thoughts.

Thoughts are habits – and habits can be broken.

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