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Intentional Thinking

How to Change Your Thoughts: Mapping Out the Process

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Transforming your mindset can be a long and cyclical process. Your brain is in the habit of thinking certain thoughts. Those thoughts happen pretty automatically, by default.

You absolutely have the power to choose to think different, more helpful thoughts, but it doesn’t come naturally. 

So let’s map out this process to see what generally happens when you try to change your thoughts. I love a good visual and I think it is particularly helpful here: 

How to Change Your Thoughts diagram showing steps one through five

How to Change Your Thoughts Explained


You have a default thought that is not super helpful.

(Example: There’s not enough time and there’s so much to do!)

Most people never make it past step one. They just allow their thoughts to happen, unsupervised. 


You become aware of this unhelpful thought. 

Awareness is always the hardest part. This is big progress! 

STEP 3: 

You take charge and choose to intentionally think a different thought that will serve you better. 

(Example: It’s possible that I can relax. It’s possible that there is enough time for what’s important.)


Steps 1-3 repeat many, many times. 

This can be frustrating, because now that you’ve noticed that intentional thought, you want it to be gone. But changing those well-established neuropathways can take time. 


After repeating this process, it becomes easier and easier to think that intentional thought.

Eventually, that thought that took effort to think becomes your new default thought! Woo! 

Have you ever noticed this process happening? Leave a comment to let me know what thoughts you would like to change.

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