Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What You Think Is How You Act

I tried writing several different rules this afternoon and the words just keep bringing me back to this topic. I figured that instead of forcing something out just to have it out there, I'd write what I seem to keep coming back to.

Your Thoughts

Every action begins with a thought. Most people believe that their minds are a private place. We convince ourselves that our thoughts don't necessarily equal a physical reaction and that we have no control over where our minds wander. 

However, I'm learning that what you think affects how you act. Your mind is the birthplace for all action. You get out of bed each morning - your mind begins the movement and the reason for movement. You slap someone (hopefully not!) - your mind informed you that you were angry and motived the movement of your hand.

What you think becomes what you do. If you are thinking negatively about your spouse, you'll start treating your spouse negatively. If you are thinking about all the wonderful attributes of your spouse, you'll treat them like they're wonderful.  Remember your senior year of highschool?  The word senioritis applied because all you could think about as being done with school and moving on to the next stage in life. Your mind was elsewhere and therefore you energy was as well.  Your actions reflected this in reduced effort in your studies, general dissatisfaction with your day-to-day activities, frustration with homework, etc.

This mind to action process can be slow sometimes - formed from a collection of thoughts that have been stored over days, months, or years. However, I've never known a thought, if not brought under control, that doesn't eventually come out in your actions.

Consider this - what negative things are you thinking about your spouse?  How do those thoughts affect how you treat your spouse?

For example, your spouse leaves a mess of dishes in the sink. All the time. Every time you pass that sink, you are frustrated and annoyed thinking about how lazy they must be to not bother to put the dishes in the dishwasher. The second you begin to think about how this annoys you, you think about how they don't help fold the laundry, or how they don't pick up their clothes, or empty the trash, or keep you informed of their plans for the evening, or.... the list keeps going on in your brain and by the time you see your spouse you're already annoyed and frustrated with them.

These negative feelings can often be based in legitimate concerns, but dwelling on them and allowing your frustration to build can cause resentment and escalate problems.

Instead of thinking and, therefore, venting/discussing your frustrations, try thinking and talking about your goals and what is important to you. Don't let your thoughts control you so that your reactions are negative. Control your thoughts so that your actions are proactive and uplifting.

Consider replacing negative thoughts with the things you love about them and the things they're good at.

I've heard several women mention that they keep a mental list of the things they love about their husband and when they're upset or frustrated with their man, they pull that list to the front of their brain. Then they review the facts: I am in love with this here man in front of me and these are the reasons why. Reason #1...

I like this idea.

There is a part II to this post, so stay tuned for What You Do Is Who You Are.

Whatever is true,
 whatever is honorable,
 whatever is right,
 whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely,
 whatever is of good repute,
 if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, 
dwell on these things.

Phillippians 4:8


Rayleigh said...

I love this post! I plan to write a similar blog on my marriage blog about seeing your husband as being perfect in your eyes. It's along the same lines.

becs_2 said...

Hi! Just popping over to check out your blog after your comment on mine. I liked this post! Why no posts since July? :)