It’s time to take out the trash! Unfortunately, it’s entirely too common for people to be automatically subscribed to the junk mail that clutters our minds.
What is mental junk mail you ask? It’s the negative thoughts that are intertwined with the normal “inbox” messages in your head. You’ve subscribed to them because they are either a belief you’ve created based on your experiences or you’ve decided to go with the flow of what you feel is the standard of living.
You know that feeling of too much junk mail cluttering up your inbox? The same goes for your mind, which spills over into your life. Why pay attention to mental messages you really don’t want to deal with? You are the one in control of what you read in your inbox. You DO NOT have to open up and accept everything that comes in. It is necessary to declutter and unsubscribe from all the things that do not serve you in your life.
Don’t just accept things because you think that’s the way they are supposed to be. Things are supposed to be the way you want them. You can’t just take life at face value. If you determined your life only by what you see, you would be devastated and disappointed often. Life is more than what you see. There is a force behind it all, and if you fail to tap into that force and believe in something bigger than yourself and all the negativity you see around you, you will never be able to make a better life for yourself.
What “mental junk mail” is taking up your mind space? Are you subscribed to the personally created beliefs based on your own experiences, by thinking things like:
“I hate my job.”
“I don’t have enough money.”
“I feel unattractive because I’m not the weight I want to be.”
“I feel like a loser because I’ve been single for too long.”
“I am not satisfied with my relationship and I’m tired of being unhappy.”
“I feel lost in life and hopeless about my future.”
Or, are you subscribed to negative societal standards because you’ve been made to be believe “that’s just the way life is”, by thinking things like:
“Kids are bad.”
“Throwing events are stressful and chaotic.”
“Running a business is hectic.”
“All men are dogs.”
Things don’t HAVE to be this way just because other people say so, or because they are most people’s experiences. You create your own experiences in your life, and that starts with what you think and believe in your mind.
Many of these statements are commonplace mentalities that many people subscribe to on a daily basis, because they are looking at the circumstances instead of the potential. It’s like looking right down at your feet while walking across the street, you won’t get too far if you don’t look up.
Recently, I realized I had been subscribed to a lack and limitation mentality. My way of thinking automated and expected blocks at every turn. It wasn’t until I actually started paying close attention to my thoughts that I realized I was the one putting limitations on myself, and new opportunities wouldn’t open up for me until I did. I realized it was time to unsubscribe from the nonsense.
I use the term subscribe, because when you subscribe to a thought process you believe it, you accept it and you expect it. Why believe, accept and expect negative outcomes for yourself? Aren’t you worth more than that? Treat yourself to more of what you truly want and deserve. It’s time to believe, accept and expect what’s positive and possible for your life, with no exceptions.
And if it’s too much of a stretch for you truly believe in the positive because your circumstances seem so bleak, at least consider that this is not the ultimate plan for your life. Know that there is and always will be something better for you. Know that you were not put on this earth to suffer. You were put here to prosper and live in your purpose.
As much as I may have subscribed to negative thinking, I never stopped praying. I knew there had to be a better way, and I was determined to get to it. There was no way I could settle for the worst. I knew that God had my back, and even when my faith got weary, I prayed for that too. You always have to believe in something bigger than yourself, because your existence consists of more than what you can do alone and what you can see in your immediate surroundings.
We all have to take the blinders off and change our thinking from negative to positive, no matter what the situation looks like. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but nothing worth it ever is. It’s imperative to look beyond what’s wrong and see what’s right and what’s possible.
So do yourself a favor and clean out the junk mail in your mind and fill it with all the things you want for yourself.
Change your language about your situation, no matter what it is. One of my favorite positive mindsets came from my mom recently when she made a conscious decision to change her way of thinking by saying:
“I am so glad my new laptop is on its way” instead of resorting to the common complaint of, “This laptop gets on my nerves, I need a new one so bad.”
You can apply this mentality to any circumstance. And whenever it may seem a little far fetched, just “fake it ’til you make it” and if all else fails, PRAY. Pray for the desire to think more positively. Pray for a stronger faith to accomplish anything, no matter how impossible it seems. Pray for the miracles you know you deserve in your life, and then subscribe to a better life for yourself right away.
Share your thoughts in the comments: What are the most common negative mindsets you hear from other people or subscribe to yourself? What do you do to get rid of negative thoughts? How do you defy the odds by staying positive in a negative world?
Peace, Love & Positivity,
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Love the analogy. You’re right, in that it’s as difficult to unsubscribe from mental junk mail as it is real junk mail. (Try it some time: the catalogs just keep on coming for months and months after you turn them off…)
I’m reminded, too, of a concept called “Ladder of Inference.” Often our mental junk mail comes from suppositions that emerge from all that prejudging, all those preconceived notions. Remembering this simple tool (http://charneycoachingconsulting.com/get-down-off-that-ladder.html) is a little mental “trick” that we often use to de-junk our minds.
Thanks Michael. You are so right about junk mail being hard to get rid of whether metaphorically or literally! And thanks for sharing your article. I love discussing this topic and getting different points of view on it.
It’s difficult to remember that sometimes my head lies to my heart. I get the idea that just because my head tells me something, it must be true. And that’s just crazy. My head tells me that:
*I can’t do that
*I look too old
*I’ll make a fool of myself
*My mother was right — about everything!
Sometimes you have to ignore your head. You have to climb off the mental hamster-wheel that is spinning around in your brain, taking you nowhere. It’s not easy. For some people, it is impossible. Those are the folks who end up sitting in the middle of the floor playing with a piece of string.
How many of us are able to admit that just because we “believe” it, that doesn’t make it so? It ain’t easy.
And, for the record, my mother was right about a few thing. But only a few….. 🙂
Kay in Honolulu, Hawaii
You are so right on point Kay! Just because we believe it, or just because we think it, does not make it truth. Learning to dissect our thoughts and process them as just that, thoughts, is definitely a learned and mastered way of life that is very necessary for contentment and even sanity, like you said. I love the way you spelled it all out. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I love the connection to “junk mail.” Much like jumk mail, those thoughts are there so much that after a while we stop really seeing them, and just accept them as clutter that we can’t do anything about. Sometimes I’m not even aware that I’m actually processing all of the junk around me. Definitely gives me something to think about.
That is so true Aja, that the junk mail becomes such a norm that it just mixes in with everything else and it becomes a way of life. That is why I have to constantly work on and monitor my thoughts to keep the negative thoughts at bay.
YES! This is life-altering when you really get it! I do this all the time–I reframe my experience when I’m starting receive those messages–I like to call it mental manure 🙂 And when it’s a life circumstance I’m not happy with, then I do a gratitude exercise like your mom’s example. I’m thankful for what’s going to be in the future for me as if it’s already happened.
This is good stuff, Alexis! Thanks!
Thanks Brooke, yeah I realize that I have to constantly do it to be sure to keep the negative thoughts from taking over. It’s fun when you can recognize it for what it is and know what to do about it. 🙂
I love your analogy! I think I have less and less “mental junk mail” as I get older (and older) because I can look back and see all the mountains and valleys which gives me a larger perspective (not to mention a deep sense of gratitude). Great post as always!
Thanks Sandra. That is so important to do – look back at all the peaks and valleys to get a better perspective. I love doing that.
Really nice analogy. Our negative thoughts are simply unwanted messages which we have no choice but to delete due to the mental clutter it causes. Our mental junk mail not only entails thoughts that we subscribe to but those that find us. Sometimes, I receive spam emails in my inbox and this makes me wonder where these senders got my email address from. This is the same with the mind.
Some negative thoughts just find us and get mixed up in our inbox. Some of them are cloaked as rational thoughts and appear in our inbox. This is why we should not just restrict our examination to thoughts in our mental junk mail alone but those also in our mental inbox.
Positive affirmations is one of the best ways to strengthen our spam filter and as you said, when all fails, PRAY.
Thanks Lanre. Excellent insight as always. You are right, it’s important to stay aware of all thoughts to be sure to keep them under control.