Changing the way we think is no easy feat – but this TikTok brilliantly breaks down one way we can begin to make that change.
January is always a month of self-reflection. As we get back into our daily routines – from work to fitness – it’s often a time to think about how to better ourselves in the process, and particularly in terms of the way we think.
In 2005, the National Science Foundation stated that the average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day, 80% of which are negative and 95% are the same repetitive thoughts as the day before, showing just how much of a hold negative thinking can have on our mental health.
This desire to change negative thinking into positive thinking is clearly no easy feat despite the endless self-help books and Instagram quotes that tell us otherwise.
But for those looking to make that change, it is possible – and this TikTok brilliantly shows a method that can be a great first step.
Sam, who often shares videos on manifestation, starts the clip by highlighting that changing your way of thinking isn’t as simple as just saying something out loud – it takes time to have a true impact.
“You can’t go from one end of the spectrum to the opposite,” she says. “Meaning I can’t go from ‘I hate my body and I’m so ugly’ to ‘I love my body and I’m beautiful’. You don’t believe that thought yet, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to.”
Sam says one of the first ways to change your way of thinking is by becoming aware of the thought and pinpointing what words are in your head.
“What is your brain saying? And actually, write these down,” she advises. “It doesn’t matter if they’re not positive, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like what they say, just write them down so you actually know what’s going on up there.”
Next, Sam says people should pick the phrase that causes them “the most pain” and invert this statement and turn it into a “what if question”. Here you’ll be able to focus on a negative thought you have and pose a question to yourself about what it’d be like to feel differently about this.
“Sit for at least five minutes and imagine this feeling in your body. Something should eventually shift,” she says. “You should feel a burden being lifted, a lightness moving through your body and then get on with your day.”
Sam says that after questioning how one thinks and feels you can then begin to reflect these in your actions – even if you’re not entirely where you want to be in your way of thinking, you can still begin to embrace it day by day.
“A lot of people get hung up and tell themselves they can’t act like that until it’s true. What do actors do before they become well-known actors? They go to auditions, they take acting classes, they network with other actors, they move to cities where actors are found,” she says.
“You don’t get to become an actor after your first movie comes out. It starts here [the mind].”
“Change your negative thoughts by turning them into inverted what if questions and see how your energy changes.”
The video, which gained over 283,000 views, saw many people comment on this approach and share how it relates to them.
One TikTok user wrote: “I love this approach!” while another said: “It’s funny how having a negative thought or feeling about something can change once you question what it would be like to think and feel differently. It really opens up the possibilities and makes way for you to think differently and more openly about something that you thought so negatively about before.”
While there is definitely no one-size-fits-all approach to changing your mindset, questioning those negative thoughts and wondering what it would be like to feel differently can open you up to many possibilities – and who knows, asking that one question might be the beginning of a bolder, happier and more positive-thinking you.