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Ep. 40 – Morning Thought Audit

Being aware of your thoughts is a practice. Changing your thoughts from non-productive thoughts to productive thoughts takes practice. Today I discuss tips on the awareness needed to move you to thoughts that serve you, without judgment but instead with love and kindness.

Transcript

Hey, my beautiful friends, and how are you? I’m doing good. I wanna talk to you today about what I call morning audits. When you wake up in the morning to take a moment before you start your day to figure. How you are feeling not to judge yourself or be critical of yourself, but just to be aware and make a decision on how you want to go about your day.

So let’s get started.

Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you. And desire as partners, both in marriage and coaching. We use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life the best chapter.

So we’re gonna do a little bit of a recap today on Buffering, which is on episode 15 of my podcast, November 15th, 2021. So if you wanna go back there and listen to buffering, I’m gonna touch a little bit about. That today, and I’m gonna talk about indulgence. Buffering is when you take action to avoid feelings you don’t like.

You know, in divorce things are going on, likely your feelings are heightened, your emotions are heightened, and you’re having a lot of probably, Thoughts in your brain, right? It’s very easy to avoid those negative emotions. Those negative thoughts by buffering. So, Doreen, what is buffering? Buffering is when you use something else to avoid the feeling that you’re feeling, right?

So you’re feeling uncomfortable, like maybe you’re dealing with a lot of self-doubt and anxiety, sadness. And so buffering might be something like cruising for hours on social media or eating everything in the house, right, or drinking too much Cabernet. Or shopping. Those are examples potentially of how we might buffer and you have to be careful cause buffering can also appear to be a good thing.

Buffering can be things like working all the time, you know, I was very guilty of that, right? Buffering by working, appearing to look like I’m being very. Di and doing great things right and moving forward, but really using it as an excuse to avoid other feelings. People also, believe it or not, buffer with things like exercise.

So what I want you to do is just recognize. How you might be buffering, but there’s something else that we can do when we’re having negative emotions, and that’s called indulgence. We’re indulging in non-productive behaviors, non-productive thoughts. We’re obsessing over things. Spiral in these non-productive emotions and not making any progress moving forward from our divorce.

It’s kinda like that victim mentality that we’re feeling, sorry for ourselves, for example, you know, and we’re indulging in a lot of that self-pity and I’m the victim and all of that, so be aware of that. If you are indulging. Emotion in thought that is not productive. You want to be aware. So I like to do this first thing in the morning before you get outta bed.

I like to sit there or, or lay there, um, before a few minutes and just kind of like, listen to my thoughts. Be aware of my thoughts. How am I feeling today? What are the thoughts that are running through my head? It’s basically an audit. I call it a morning audit of my thoughts. So I got up this morning and I did my morning audit, and I was feeling.

A lot of anxiety, right? And so what I said, okay, I’m feeling a lot of this anxiety. It’s just like for me, I even know where it is. It lands like right in my throat area. It’s kind of like right between my throat and my chest. It’s very heavy. It almost feels sometimes hard to swallow or even to breathe.

And I can feel it. And then I wanted, and I did get to my thoughts. What was I thinking that was causing this anxiety? And what I thought and the thoughts that were running through my brain this morning were, I’m dealing with some business issues. Having to make some changes, not wanting to deal with that, and I knew when I started to do my audit, there’s where my thought was leading to my anxiety.

Remember, thoughts create feelings, right? I like to write my thoughts in the morning down on paper as well. It’s amazing for me when I put my pen to paper all of the thoughts that come out. So I did. And the thought was, I’m having this business issue and I have to deal with this, and I really didn’t wanna deal with it.

What I would’ve preferred to do is just kind of turn off the alarm, put the, you know, the blankets over my head and just like veg out, you know, and not. Face it, not get out of bed, not do it. So there’s three things that I like to do when I do my morning audit. The first thing I just talked about, I want to take a moment and be aware of what is going on in my body, what am I feeling, and what are the thoughts that are creating my feelings?

And that’s what I call being. The next audit piece that I put in is I get to make a decision. I have this thought, it’s creating anxiety. I have a decision. I can either decide to stay in bed and throw the covers over my head and avoid, or I can make a decision to take the third thing, which is small steps in the right direction.

So the awareness, the decision, and then the small step. That’s how I describe my morning. When I do this, I can make a conscious decision and it for me, it’s baby steps at time. Now listen, there’s no judgment here. Absolutely no judgment. It’s very easy to go to that place of judgment. Why am I feeling this?

I shouldn’t have to deal with this. You know, it’s all about me. Whatever. I did something wrong. I don’t know. Whatever you are, think. Whatever you are feeling, it’s very easy. Do not judge yourself. Look, if you wanna decide to stay in bed and take the day off, make that decision for yourself and own it, okay?

Be aware though. But if you make that decision, for example, if I would’ve made that decision to stay in bed today, I probably would’ve put off doing my podcast until tomorrow. I probably would not be dealing with the business issue. Other things are going to pile up that I have to take care of. And now I’m just that much more behind the eight ball, right?

So for me, I made a conscious decision without judgment, just to take one small step. Okay, Doreen, you’re gonna get outta bed and now you’re gonna take the next step and you’re gonna take a shower. And you’re gonna get dressed up and instead of just wearing anything, you’re gonna make yourself look good, okay?

You’re gonna feel good about yourself. So small little baby steps. Now when I do this, I can hear myself. Thinking, my thoughts are starting to change. I’m now becoming aware that, oh, okay, maybe there isn’t so much anxiety today. Maybe I am ready to deal with my business issue that I have to deal with.

Maybe I’m ready to take that next step of the thing I really don’t want to do, and just basically stripping it down one step at a time to see if I can change my. Another thing that I like to do, and I didn’t do this this morning, but I’ve done this on other mornings after my audit. My morning audit is I’ll go for a walk.

I find that being outside does wonders for me, and when I do this, I do not take my mobile phone, my cellular, right. It’s just too tempting to get on, even if it’s something productive like my podcast to listen to or someone else’s podcast. I, when I’m feeling this anxiety, I like to take that small step to just walk maybe once or twice around my community.

Sometimes I take the dog, sometimes I don’t, and just listen to my thoughts. Just breathe the air in. Take in the beauty of the. You know, we live on the water in South Florida, so you know where you are. It may still be cold, but still you can put on clothing you, you know, to be warm. You can get out there and you can maybe use that trick to ch try to just move in that right direction.

Not only that, you’re getting some exercise along the way and for me it usually works to get me going in a different direction. So my question for you, Is, and you can do a thought download or I’m sorry, a thought audit at any time. Okay. I do it in the morning because it just works best for me and I like to do it as a regular habit, but you can do an audit of your thinking at any time that works for you.

The question that you want to address when you’re doing the audit is, are you thinking negative thoughts, for example, are you thinking negative? About your ex, about someone else, about the divorce. It can be about anything. Think about what that looks like for you. Are you thinking about that next glass of Cabernet that you’re going to have or something that might not be productive?

And then be aware of that thought as well. Again, I wanna emphasize this is not a place of judgment. You don’t have to change anything. It’s your choice. You’re aware. You make a decision if you’re gonna stay in that thought or if you’re gonna potentially take small steps to move in a different direction.

It’s very easy in divorce and post. Divorce to be obsessed over how this is all just wrong. The poor me syndrome, the, I don’t know how I’m going to get past this thought, but you have to then say to yourself, is this what you want to spend your time on? Is it productive? Two, becoming and being the best version of what you want for yourself.

I would suggest that when you do that, you’re gonna hear yourself say, Hmm, this isn’t so productive for my future self, for my best self. Right? You wanna ask yourself, where is this thinking? Getting me grab one negative thought and really think about it, audit it. What is it doing for you today, tomorrow, and to proceed forward on whatever your goals are.

You see your brain. Is an amazing, an amazing tool that you have access to. You know, I’m gonna equate it to like a knife, right? A knife can be used to prepare an amazing meal, or it can be used to hurt someone. Your brain is an amazing tool. It can be used to help you or it can be used to hurt you, or it can be used to keep you stagnant and the decision is yours, just like how we’re going to use the knife.

Are you using your brain to grow and succeed or are you using. To indulge in negative thoughts about your ex, anyone blaming people, and that this how this all went wrong. Use your brain instead to do what you most want for your future. Gently talk to yourself. Coach yourself to steer your thoughts away from non-productive thoughts, not getting you anywhere to facing those thoughts, getting past them somehow, and moving forward Gently think what is the best use of my brain tool?

Yes, my brain tool today. Then ask yourself, what do you want to think? Maybe you want to think things like, I love myself. I’ll be okay. I can do hard things. I want to accept the divorce and move forward in a kind, productive way for myself. This takes practice. We are not, To listening or recognizing our thoughts, but just like a meditation practice or a yoga practice, it takes time.

I truly wish that they would teach this in college or high school because I, it’s so important to how we become the best version of ourself is our mind, our brain. They tell you. Tools in college, but they don’t teach you about your thought work. That’s why I’m here. That’s why others like me that are life coaches are here to help you think about these things and make progress moving in the right direction based on what you want.

Working with clients that are going through or past divorce, I typically ask a question, what do you think of yourself? And I’m sad to say that so many clients have a lot of self hate, they don’t like themselves. And then I ask them, well, do you want to do something about. And I’ve never had anybody ever answer in the negative.

Of course, they wanna do something about that. They may not be ready at that moment. That’s a whole other episode. You may need to give yourself time to grieve. Try time to be sad and that’s okay. As long as you’re not staying in that negative thought, non-productive thought for, you know, days on end, months on end, and sometimes even years on end after your divorce.

And once you make that decision to start to have a different thought about yourself, it’s a gentle. Movement in that direction. In other words, it has to be believable to you. Look, I can have all the belief that you’re going to be wherever you want to be because I know. That you can do hard things. I know it because I’ve done it.

I’m an example of what’s possible. Remember, I came from nothing. My parents divorced. I didn’t know my father. I left my house at 17 with 50 bucks in my pocket. You know, I’ve been through divorce. I know I’ve gone to law school, put myself through school. Look if I can do it, I’m no smarter or better than.

We all have the capacity for change, but you have to believe in your new thought. What I mean by that is someone can’t change from basically a statement of, I hate myself, do I love myself? Right? But maybe it could be a small step in the right direction. Like, I’m a good person, I’m a good mom. I am a good friend.

Identify a small change in equality about yourself that you can believe in. It’s important that you believe in the thought and it’ll start to grow. It’s like a flower. Once you start to plant that seed about how you can find something good about yourself, it just starts to grow and blossom, and you are on the way to creating the life you want for yourself.

When you have better thoughts, you believe in about yourself, that gentle shift and not indulging in self-pity or other emotions that don’t help you, that are non-productive, and you don’t buffer your negative feelings away, you’ll have the opportunity. To make the choice to change. You know, the brain is a beautiful thing, and it’s all yours, absolutely yours to use in so many productive ways.

All right, my friends. Be productive today. Do an audit of your thoughts. Take gentle steps in the right direction. Make decisions. On where you’re going to stay in that negative thought process or the positive, and go for it. You got this. You can do hard things, right? All right, my friends have an amazing week.

I’ll speak to you next week.

You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at l a d coaching.com. That’s l a d as in life after divorce. Dash coaching.com.

Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after after divorce.

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