Happiness and success go hand in hand, but what does it really take to be happy?
I’ll tell you one thing that I’ve learned; success does not equal happiness.
For many years, I sought success and only realized in recent years that what I was really seeking was the dopamine hit from achieving my goals. Even more than that; I had this desire to be seen … to be validated and to source my happiness based on how I thought others perceived me. Of course all of this, at the time, was unconscious behavior. Friends, this is not the way…
This blog; and the practice of SOUL/Life Balance is about bringing the unconscious to conscious awareness.
So, the question is – What can we do to create that happiness within ourselves?
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) answers those questions, teaching that there are five parts of yourself that determine your happiness. These parts – or voices – are fear, anger, sadness, joy, and love. If you’re not happy with your life or your performance, chances are one of these voices is running the show.
What if you could reprogram the voices in your head to be that of Love & Kindness?
We have over 60,000 thoughts a day and over 80% of those thoughts are from the previous day. Without a clear focus & direction we may get caught in a cycle of stress and overwhelm. In fact, if you feel weighed down by stress or anxiety and unable to find solutions to your challenges, it could be that your internal dialogue is holding you back from achieving your goals, making positive changes in your life, finding the success you desire, and overall just living a more fulfilling life.
This blog will teach you how to reprogram your internal dialogue using Internal Family Systems (IFS) to become the person you want to be.
I’m going to share a model with you that helps me navigate the parts within me, and gives me clarity on how to act when faced with conflict in my life and in my relationships. This model is Internal Family Systems (IFS); a framework developed by Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D. in the 1980’s.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a set of process-oriented techniques used to understand personality development and improve relationships and communication with oneself and others. Internal Family Systems (IFS) looks at personality development as the result of an internal family system consisting of different parts of ourselves having various roles, positive or negative, in relation to the outside world.
The two key concepts: your parts and your self-as-context (or SAC). By learning how to identify and work with these two elements of your personality, you can find greater harmony within yourself, with others, and in the world around you.
One of the most powerful tools that I use in my practice to help people break free from destructive thought patterns is Internal Family Systems (IFS) and you can learn more about IFS by checking out this episode of my podcast called SOUL SEEKR with Alicia Kay.
As an addition to IFS, here are 8 things to know about reprogramming the internal dialogue of your mind to focus on love and positivity.
#1. What if our internal dialogue was positive?
Neuroscience teaches us that we have 60,000 thoughts a day, and 80% of those are from the day before… and 90% of those thoughts are negative!
That means we’re constantly recycling the same negative thoughts unless we take action to change them.
Imagine if those thoughts were positive instead!
What would your life be like?
Imagine how much more fulfilled you’d feel every day, not just on good days. The reality is that no matter what you do or who you are, your brain has been conditioned to think certain ways. And while this may seem frightening at first glance (what if I can’t ever change?), neuroscience is revealing some incredible news…
You CAN reprogram your mind and begin living a more balanced life.
#2. Be aware of how you speak to yourself
If you’re not aware of the voices in your head, they can control you. To break out of this negative cycle, it’s important to bring conscious awareness of the thoughts in your head and be mindful of if they’re negative or positive. AND if they are negative, counter them with positive affirmations.
There are neuroscience studies that have shown that neurons that fire together wire together; so every time you think a thought, whether it’s positive or negative – every time you think a thought about yourself, about others, about life – those thoughts wire up neural pathways in your brain. The more often these pathways are activated by us, the stronger they become (or our perception of reality becomes).
It’s hard to rewire old mental habits overnight but through repeating new neural pathways we create new habits and change how we feel! By adopting the mindset of SOUL/Life Balance and asking yourself “How can I feed my Soul today?”, you’ll notice how you start to slow down and will be able to shift the thoughts in your head on a more consistent basis.
#3. Regular Meditation Leads To Remarkable Results
When we take the time to meditate, we’re not only practicing SOUL/Life Balance, but we’re also renewing our energy, clearing our mind, and increasing our performance. Our thoughts are no longer scattered, but focused. We can better handle stress and feel more at peace.
Research from Stanford University found that meditation lowers levels of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with chronic inflammation, high blood pressure and increased susceptibility to illness. It’s because of this that people who practice mindfulness-based interventions experience improvements in both mental and physical health.
Studies have shown that meditation reduces depression symptoms in about half of patients who participate in eight weeks of mindfulness training. Additionally it’s been shown to reduce or eliminate chronic pain in many cases by releasing endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller). Meditation has also been proven to increase immune function as well as decrease inflammation throughout the body–both signs of lower risk for developing diseases like cancer or heart disease!
#4. Let go of toxic words like never and should
If you want to create a more positive reality for yourself, it starts with your thoughts. Are the words you use to talk to yourself kind and loving? Or are they harsh and judgmental?
If you find that you’re using a lot of never and should statements, it’s time to let those go. These words are nothing but limiting beliefs that will keep you stuck in the same cycle of stress and overwhelm.
Instead, focus on thoughts that are empowering and lend itself to your dream way of being. This means making time for the things that truly matter to you. When you have a clear focus and direction, it’s much easier to let go of negative thoughts and create a life you love.
#5. Focus on what works best
There’s no one path to creating harmony within the mind, or to anything else in life for that matter. The best system is to take what works for you and leave the rest. For some people, that might mean meditating every day, others it will be to connect with your breath and some may focus on reframing limiting beliefs.
This blog is meant to inspire ideas, rather than lay out a path and say this is the only way to reprogram the mind for success or anything else you’d be calling in. The important thing is to find what works best for you and to stick with it.
#6. Take it step by step rather than worrying about the big picture
If you want to make a change in your life, it’s important to take it one step at a time. Trying to do too much at once can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Instead, focus on making one small change at a time.
Once you’ve mastered that, you can move on to the next thing. Over time, all of those small changes will add up to big results! Plus, focusing on what you have control over (your thoughts) rather than worrying about things you can’t control (the state of the world) is empowering and helps put everything into perspective.
#7. Believe In Yourself Every Step Of The Way
It’s not easy starting out on your own. You have to believe in yourself every step of the way. Even when things get tough, remember why you started down this path in the first place. Stay focused on your goals and don’t give up.
The practice of reprogramming our thoughts is a constant practice. Not to the extent that we are constantly caught in our mind ping ponging thoughts back and forth. Rather, it’s about awareness…
#8. Awareness is the Ticket to Transformation
When we become aware of the negative voices in our heads, we can start to reprogram them to be more positive. This takes practice, but it’s worth it! Once you’ve transformed your internal dialogue, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and how much more successful you become.
As humans we’re constantly faced with different challenges. When we let stress eat away at us, or when we allow ourselves to worry too much about the future or our past, we lose sight of who we really are. The practice of SOUL/Life Balance to its core is about bringing awareness to the present moment. To connect with what you need moment to moment and we can do so by quickly checking in with our internal dialogue.
What kind of life do you want to live? Once you know what you want, start reprogramming your internal dialogue to reflect those desires. Every time a negative thought comes up, sit with it to let the thought fully develop. Then and only then, after you’ve sat with what arises to the surface and then you may counter it with a positive thought. For example, if you think I’m not good enough, go deeper and ask yourself why, then after letting the story emerge; say I am worthy and deserving of success. It may take some time, but eventually, with enough practice, you will start to believe those positive thoughts and see the changes in your life that you desire.
For more, check out this FREE guide with the 3 Undeniably Simple Tactics to Practice SOUL/Life Balance.
To a More Fulfilling Life,