Liberation is defined as the act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release or the freedom from limits on thought or behavior.
Happy Juneteenth! What better time than to discuss liberation? Today, I want to explore the oppression of thought that keeps us in bondage. This bondage prevents us from exiting unhealthy relationships, engaging in risky behavior, and even, traveling. In clinical practice, this is referred to as maladaptive thought patterns such as engaging in self-talk that instills self-doubt, sadness, and restlessness (e.g. “I’m a failure”, I’ll never be good at that”, “Nobody else will want me”, I’m not good enough”, etc.).
It can be quite difficult to change the core of oppressed thought, but there are a few things you can practice to liberate your thought.
- Power of Positive Words. If you constantly tell yourself, “I can’t”, you will likely convince yourself that it’s truth. Replace these negative words and phrases with positive ones. Try telling yourself, “I will do my best” or “I will try harder next time”.
- Power of Positive Affirmation. Probably, one of the most widely used positive thinking exercises is positive affirmation. It’s quite simple. Just repeat a positive phrase to yourself daily, such as like “I deserve happiness” or “I am worthy of love”. There are power in words. Thus, believing that your affirmation is true helps you cultivate a more positive outlook on life.
- Power of Visualization. I use this technique with my clients who are managing anxiety and depression. Visualization is a useful technique and you can use it to transition yourself from an unpleasant to a more pleasant state of mind. Simply, close your eyes and imagine whatever makes you feel best. Personally, I like to imagine lying in an hammock on the beach as the wind blows gently across my face.
- Power of Thought Tracking. This works well with my clients who are managing anxiety and depression. In cognitive behavioral therapy, we refer to this as thought logs. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, try writing them down (preferably, in a journal). As you review your journal, you may find a pattern that reveals how you are seeing yourself. TIP: For each negative thought that you track, write down an alternative positive thought. Now, you have created new positive thoughts!
Changing negative thoughts can be quite challenging without the help of a professional. If you desire professional assistance to help you feel your best, schedule a personal session with me today or visit my private practice website.