Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • April 2015
Written by 

Healthy in spirit: Changing your life, thought by thought

If your life is less than fulfilling, take note: You can change your life thought by thought! No matter what the situation might be, your attitude about it can make all the difference in the world. You can choose how you want to be in the face of anything, from life-threatening illness to the smallest of daily annoyances.

Yes, you can actually choose which thoughts to keep and which to release. When thoughts come into your mind, you can ask yourself if you choose to believe them and carry them with you, or if you want to release them and let them float away like balloons, rising higher and higher into the sky until they completely disappear.

You can ask yourself, “What will my day be like if I choose to hold onto this thought? What will it be like to focus on it, to dwell on it, to let it fill my day, to tell all my coworkers about it? How will I feel at the end of the day?”

If your answers to such questions point to a day of fear, depression, anxiety or resentment, you can ask yourself, “What would I rather emphasize today?” Negative emotions can seem overwhelming at times, but when we realize that our emotions come from what we think, we can begin to change what we think and bring our emotions into better balance.

When Captain Sully Sullivan landed that airliner on the Hudson River in 2009, he was able to contain his emotions and focus on what he needed to do to save the passengers and crew. The rescuers who came out to the plane commented on how calm and orderly most of the people were. Captain Sullivan managed his own emotions and had a very positive influence on the passengers and crew.

You may not be an airline pilot, but you have probably encountered difficult situations, such as an illness, a problem on the job or a family conflict. The thoughts that you hold onto in those situations are extremely important.

If Captain Sullivan had focused on fear, disaster and the potential death of more than a hundred people, he probably would not have been able to land safely. Negative thinking can be toxic to you and those around you. You know this if you have ever spent time around someone who is always negative. It can be a very oppressive experience, and you might feel like running for the nearest exit — even on an airplane! Do you run the other way when Negative Norm walks down the corridor at work? Have you heard all you can tolerate from Hypochondriac Helen and the latest illness that “everyone is getting — it’s going around, you know!” You don’t have to get sucked into such conversations.

Now, consider your own thinking and your topics of conversation. Are you raising yourself and others up, or are you bringing yourself and everybody around you down?

Of course, we all need friends who can listen to us when we are having a problem, but we don’t need to tell everybody everything. In fact, we can limit our negative conversation and our negative thinking by redirecting ourselves. All it takes is awareness, willingness and persistence. Give it a try!


 

Rev. April Kain-Breese

Rev. April Kain-Breese served at Unity of Appleton for 32 years, beginning as volunteer and ultimately as an ordained Unity minister. Unity is a community for spiritual growth that focuses on spiritual well-being through affirmative prayer, positive thinking, and the daily application of five basic principles. Sunday services and youth ministry occur at 10 a.m. Newcomers are warmly welcome! Try us out! For more information, including archives of Sunday talks, calendar of upcoming events, and links to the worldwide Unity movement, visit http://unityofappleton.org or call 920-739-4823. Rev. April continues to be available to officiate at weddings and memorial services, to speak on topics related to spiritual well-being, and to lead small groups of individuals seeking to overcome fear of public speaking; call her at 920-213-4223.

Website: unityofappleton.org
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