The 'Triple A' Method For Getting Past Limiting Thoughts

Yesterday I wrote about a new mental perspective I’d finally taken with a problem I was facing.

And today, I thought I would make something crystal-clear.

In life, you’ll face disappointments. You’ll be angry over some things, and you’ll be anxious and fearful over others.

There will never be a time when you’re completely contented, all day long, every day.

The great achievement in life is to feel all of your emotions, let the negative ones be as real and valid a part of you as the lovely, positive ones – and then continue moving forward.

To not let the “bad” feelings overtake you and prevent you from moving back into the good ones.

It’s when we struggle against those parts of ourselves that feel a little less-than-enlightened that we end up shooting ourselves in the foot.

Remember, you’re a spiritual creature leading a human existence – you ARE going to think and act human quite a bit!

In that vein, though, I’d like to share my three-step approach to getting through the inevitable slumps that we all face in life. I call it the “Triple A” method: Awareness, Acceptance, and Action.

Step 1: Awareness

Awareness of your thoughts and feelings means recognizing they are only thoughts generated by a mind that likes to tell you stories.

The mind, being a problem-solving mechanism, likes to find problems to solve!

So it will be scanning your environment constantly for things that are going wrong – things it can “fix”.

Becoming aware of this tendency, and recognizing it as the purely mechanical function it is, is sometimes all it takes to knock you back into feeling good again.

Step 2: Acceptance

Once you are aware of your feelings, full acceptance of them allows them to disappear.

Resisting your feelings will only make them grow stronger, because the more you resist, the more you focus and put energy into them. And whatever you put energy into only expands.

Accepting your feelings means allowing yourself to fully experience them instead of trying to “cheer yourself up” or “calm yourself down”.

For instance, when you’re feeling stressed or panicked about something, the most effective method I know of to snap out of it immediately is to say to yourself, “Omigod, I’m gonna die!” or some other dramatic thought, and dive completely into those feelings of panic.

It’s like magic – instantly the panic evaporates.

Similarly, when depression or sadness hits, acknowledge it and fully accept it rather than trying to “talk” yourself into feeling better.

It’s important to fully accept yourself for having your feelings, too. You are not flawed, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, no matter how lousy you may be feeling.

Everyone shares the same spectrum of human emotions, so whatever you’re feeling, it’s simply because you are human.

Step 3: Action

However, once you have become aware of your feelings and accepted them (and yourself for having them), the best way to catapult yourself back into happiness is to take action toward resolving the situation.

The action can either be the mental actions you take when you become aware of and accept your feelings – or it can be physical action such as getting outside and taking a walk, pumping up your exercise routine, getting together with a supportive friend, taking in a good movie, or even doing something simple like sitting up straight or putting a huge smile on your face.

Your physiology DOES play a part in how you feel! If you are slumped over with a frown on your face, it’s easy to feel miserable.

Try this now: sit up straight and plaster a huge smile across your face.

Pretty hard to feel bad, eh?

Surprisingly, it’s often the simplest techniques that carry the most power.

So there you have it; my three-step quick and dirty routine for daily transformation of those pesky little thoughts and feelings that sneak up on all of us.

Keep it in mind the next time you’re beating yourself over the head for a “bad” decision you made, or any other perceived misstep in life, and get ready to see your life transformed!

Helen Hunter Mackenzie