11 Ways To Expand Your Thoughts: Positively

  • Time to read: 9 min.

If you want to start doing big things with your life, then it is time to deal with the thoughts from your brain. It is not enough to stop thinking these thoughts; they have become such a large part of who you are that their existence feels natural, and there’s no turning back now.

You can change your thoughts by changing the way you think. If a thought has been bothering or worrying you for some time, it may be mixed with good and bad but there is 11 ways to expand your thoughts: positively.

Expand Your Thoughts And Change Your Life

Limiting beliefs keep you boxed into a routine in which you may feel horrible but are content to stay in until you’re not. Whereas, thoughts result from chemical changes in our brain, which send signals to different parts of our body about what we should do and how we feel. They affect our behavior and significantly impact how we interact with others; however, they don’t control us as much as most people think. As long as we have thoughts, there will always be an opportunity to expand our ideas and thoughts.

If you have a belief that you think is holding you back, you can change it.

It’s easy —- well saying it or writing what to do is easy, but the truth is it takes time, patience, commitment, and practice. Changing thoughts takes time and effort, just like anything worthwhile in life does. You cannot sit around waiting for your thoughts to change magically; for them to change, you must take action.

I’m Not Good Enough

One of the most significant limiting beliefs people tend to have is “I’m not good enough yet.” Perhaps someone thinks that they are not attractive enough or intelligent enough, or wealthy enough. The undercurrent of this thought is that they don’t feel ready to take on the world yet. They are not comfortable enough in their own skin yet.

Whether it’s going after a career opportunity that might be out of your comfort zone or working on something creative like writing, making music, or drawing a picture, you can change thoughts like “I’m not good enough” to thoughts such as “I’m good enough to do this right now.” or thoughts like “I’m afraid I won’t be successful” with “If I work hard at it long enough, to “there is no way I cannot succeed.”

The point is, if we limit ourselves by our thoughts, then we will restrict ourselves in all aspects of our life. Only when you are ready and believe in yourself can you take action to change your thoughts.

I’m Not Ready

Another limiting belief that is common is “I’m not ready,” but this means that it’s too scary to try something new.

Maybe you try something new and fail. This failure does not mean you are not ready or you are a failure or made a mistake. The reason you failed was more likely due to being out of your comfort zone. Fear can set in and hold you back from doing something amazing, which happens to everyone at times.

By believing thoughts like “I’m not ready,” people are essentially saying, ‘It will be easier if I stay where I am.’ Nothing great comes from staying comfortable, and thoughts like “I’m not ready” directly contradict beliefs that expand thoughts.

I Can’t Wait Until….

Some people have limiting beliefs about things that haven’t happened yet. Their thoughts might be, “I can’t wait until I graduate/get a promotion/sell my art.” There is nothing wrong with having thoughts about the future and these thoughts have the potential to motivate you to take action today.

However, these thoughts are sometimes just imaginings and not honest reviews of the circumstance. These future thoughts might keep someone from doing anything because they think they will already be happy once their goal is met, so why do it now? These thoughts cause procrastination, delaying our expansion.

Your thoughts are what make you who you are. They can also determine if you have the life you want or if your life is full of drama and uncertainty. If a person has thoughts like “I’m going to fail at this,” maybe they will indeed fail. On the flip side thoughts like “I’m capable of succeeding” will lead to success.

Action Is Needed To Change Limiting Beliefs

Take action by practicing being more positive and using affirmations to expand thoughts. For thoughts to change, you need to take action. Just thinking thoughts without taking any action will not change your thoughts.

It helps if you make an effort to notice the thoughts that have been negatively affecting your life and begin to challenge them with thoughts that will open up new possibilities. When thoughts limit you, they can cause fear to build up inside of you. Fear manifests itself into nervousness, a fear of being judged by other people, shyness, fear of socializing with others, anger, losing control, sadness, and hopelessness.

By expanding your thoughts positively, your beliefs about yourself or the world around you open up and you can free yourself.  Everyone’s journey will vary as we are all individuals and have various views and thoughts that are unique to us.

11 Ways To Expand Your Thoughts To Live A Life That Represents The Best You

1. Be open-minded about everything around you.

Being open-minded can be challenging but will create a clearer understanding of the thoughts in your mind. Be open to trying new things and learning from other people and don’t be so quick to judge them or something they say, instead work at understanding where they are coming from. 

Being open-minded is good as it will allow you to look at and challenge your limiting beliefs. It will present you opportunities to try new things and enable you to see reality as it truly is instead of filtering through box-like thoughts that can limit perspectives.

2. Start a journal

Writing and journaling are great ways to express thoughts and feelings. It helps keep thoughts organized to see how thoughts change over time.

If you have trouble expressing thoughts in writing, try talking them out loud or drawing your thoughts. Over time you will notice your thoughts changing as you write more about yourself, leading to a better understanding of your thoughts. Make note of thoughts that expand your thoughts, especially ones that relate to everyday life, e.g., “I am going to make a positive difference today.”

It’s easy for people to fall into old thinking habits, but if you have written down negative thoughts many times, you become more aware of this pattern. Then when thoughts arise, you will be reminded to think thoughts that free your mind.

You can even keep a journal of thoughts that have expanded your thoughts just for this purpose. Look at both sides of the thoughts, e.g., “Why do I feel sad ?” When thoughts lead to negative emotions, it is usually due to limited thinking.

Instead of settling with a thought such as “I should not have been so upset by what happened today,” try expanding the view more with questions like “How can I learn from this experience?” or “If given another chance, how would I handle the situation differently next time?” By finding solutions instead of dwelling on negativity, you open up your thoughts based on realistic perspectives, and thus, limiting beliefs don’t control you.

Keeping track of thoughts allows you to think about different perspectives on the thought. It’s important not to let others dictate how we live our lives but instead find the life that suits us best, and thoughts that expand thoughts will help us do that.

Explore more about Journaling through our guide The Benefits of Jounaling.

3. Take time for yourself every day

Socially, it can be hard to find time for yourself, but when thoughts are clear and ideas expand, you will know how to deal with life’s challenges. Do something just for you – it will allow you to explore who you are as a person and help grow your mind in different directions.

Perhaps your time is spent exercising or meditating but there are other ways for you to take time for yourself. Explore your leisure interests, try a new hobby, do something you enjoyed doing as a child such as painting, racing cars, or flying kites.

Of course, it’s important not to let thoughts dictate your life, so make sure you have time to do what you enjoy.

4. Endeavor to keep your thoughts positive

We all make mistakes, learn from the mistakes instead of dwelling or wallowing in them. For example, when thoughts lead to a downward spiral into negativity, look at the thought to understand how or why something happened. This way, the ideas become an opportunity for growth rather than something that limits you.

By dealing with your thoughts, you will begin to expand your thoughts and learn from mistakes without being caught up in emotions.

5. Expand thoughts simply

Expanding thoughts can be as simple as reading a book, watching a movie or educational video, or even looking through an album of inspirational pictures. Anything that opens our mind up to new thoughts or opportunities are ways to learn more about ourselves.

For example, if you are a writer, reading books on writing would free your thoughts from the limited ways of thinking that self-doubt can bring. It would expose you to multiple forms of thinking about something, and limited thoughts will not control you as much. Instead, you become the master over your own thoughts, which allows greater opportunities for growth through learning.

6. Routines and comfort zones

We all have daily routines we follow, and our thoughts are no exception. However, when you do unfamiliar things, this frees your thoughts from the box they were in and allows you to think thoughts that expand thoughts.

For example: going out for dinner with people outside your social circle or speaking up at work even though it’s not something you usually do. By doing these things, your thoughts will grow by opening up new opportunities to experience different ways of thinking.

7. Spend time with people who have varying ideas

You may have thoughts like “I’m not creative” or “I can’t learn to do that,” but when you spend time with people, your thoughts will change because being open to and hearing others’ thoughts expands your thoughts. By doing this, instead of living in the box created by our own ideas, we can grow past our thoughts and live a life where thoughts don’t control us.

8. Engage with positivity and gratitude

Thoughts are contagious, so negative thoughts around you will affect how you think; however, positive thoughts will expand your thoughts. Therefore, when your goal is to have positive thoughts, surround yourself with positivity, including smells, fabrics, weather, food, leisure pursuits and people when possible. Speak, write and think about everything you are grateful for.

9. Expand your thoughts by listening to upbeat music.

What thoughts are you creating?  For example, if we have opinions about how terrible our life is, this can cause us to feel depressed and thus think depressing thoughts. On the other hand, our emotional state is affected when we think of happiness, optimism, or relaxation, bringing greater joy.

It’s important not to obsess over our thoughts because by doing that, we end up living for them rather than living through them; however, at the same time, it’s crucial to understand what thoughts limit us. Upbeat music can help us expand our thoughts as the upbeat music is positive and directly will impact us to be more joyful.

10. Expand your thoughts through exercise or meditation

Thoughts are physical energy. When we exercise or meditate, we release stress and the physical power of our thoughts, which allows us to be open and expand. A research study in Scientific Reports found that positive thinking increased sleep quality and engagement in physical activity.

Exercise and mediation will enable us to grow for the following reasons:

  1. during meditation or exercise, we focus less on our thoughts, which becomes more positive.
  2. physical activity releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone, which positively affects the brain, creating better thoughts.

11. Go on vacation or spend time in nature.

Much like exercise and mediation, when we go on vacation, we experience new things. We have less limiting thoughts that separate us from life, so our thoughts naturally expand with our environment.

Thoughts connect with the flow of physical energy on this planet. Being in nature allows us to explore our thoughts more deeply through our interaction with nature and ourselves and the ideas we experience around us in nature and other people.

Final Thoughts

Many people haven’t taken the time to understand how their thoughts affect their lives. A simple idea that can profoundly effect how you live your life because when you stress less about things that don’t matter, this opens up space for new experiences that will improve the quality of your life.

To fully enjoy the journey of life, it’s crucial to understand how thoughts affect your emotions which affects the quality of your thoughts. Expanding your thoughts leads to living who you truly are.

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