Your thoughts may seem to come and go, but in reality, they're having an enormous impact on your mental and even physical health.
"Any thought that you produce either strengthens or weakens you," said Liz Diamond, a positive thought leader who spoke at the First Annual WomenCare Day of Health in October.
"Many of our daily thoughts are negative. And when you think negatively, you stress your organs."
Her prescription for banishing negativity: accept what is. Know that whatever happens is for your greatest good. "Whatever is your experience is meant to allow you to grow in some way. Accept whatever is showing up and find peace."
Liz's message resonated with me because I know it to be true.
During a difficult time in my marriage, I read a book by Byron Katie, who has a similar philosophy: live in reality and don't accept your thoughts as truth. Byron says that when you feel discomfort or stress, it's a signal that you're believing an untrue thought.
That I could and should question my thoughts was news to me. When I felt depressed or afraid, I identified the thought behind my fears and asked myself: "Is that true? Where's my proof?" Of course, I never had any.
The effect was almost immediate. I became more accepting of what was happening my life, knowing that even if it wasn't what I wanted, I'd be a stronger person for it. Because I wasn't reacting out of fear or anger, I made positive changes and looked forward to the future, whatever it held. I focused on making each day the best that I could; the current moment was all that mattered.
My change in attitude, my willingness to accept my reality instead of trying to bring about the outcome that I wanted, saved my marriage.
"When you're living in the flow of your life and not trying to force things to happen in your reality, you're inspired," Liz said.
Questioning your thoughts can turn challenges into opportunities.
You can learn about positive thinking in Liz's book, 7 Mindsets to Master Self Awareness. Visit her website for details.