Perception, Words, Behavior Modification!

Behavior modification is one of my main focuses as a life strategist. In doing so, I seek to identify the thought patterns that have a tendency to hold you hostage and implement ways to help you overcome them or perceive them more accurately. When one can control their thoughts or learn to perceive things correctly one can motivate more positive changes within his or her life.

Positive thinking generates positive actions and behaviors, which can lead to a richer, happier and more productive life.

Being in control of your emotions allows you to take control of how you respond/react. This can be observed through your behavior. Behavior begins with a perception/thought then it becomes a word followed by an action. In order for behavior modification to occur we must first learn to perceive things as they are so reliable thoughts can be filtered through our minds. If great effort is made to correctly perceive the input we receive daily, our thoughts can subsequently undergo a series of positive transformations and our world can appear more promising and full of hope.

The words we speak and the behaviors or actions we exhibit are based on how we perceive a situation or set of circumstances. Inaccurate or misinterpreted discernment can cause you to overreact with an inability to control your impulses or emotions. This can create difficulty in relationships in general.

If your perceptions are funneled through your experiences of the past, you may not be able to distinguish between what’s real and what's not real. Your inner critic will continue to barrage you, hanging on to those pessimistic impressions of self. You will continue to spend hours contemplating, moping around, consumed by your negative thinking. It will leave you feeling dejected, depressed, angry, tense, and stressed, as well as array of emotions you cannot explain.

The good news is that scientific research has suggested our brains are plastic. This means it is flexible, having the ability to rearrange and rewire itself to take in any new skills or learning we may experience. In other words our brains are moldable, ready for the process of behavior modification to take place. It's up to us to do the rest.

As a life strategist I recognize how significant this is! Learning to perceive the events that occur throughout life with accuracy can help to change your thought patterns and release the negative patterns of thinking. Then your behavior slowly changes. In time as more accurate judgments are established in the mind and your reaction to situations changes, the way others will respond to you will also improve.

During my years of depression, drowning in my self-defeating thoughts, there was an exercise that I practiced. This requires patience. It is not a quick-fix. It will only work if you consistently make the effort. Consider it a behavior modification exercise.

Awareness is always the first step to recovery. The following is an exercise I have personally used and frequently suggest to my clients as a life coaching technique to bring awareness to daily thought patterns and eliminate negative thinking:

I. Thought Awareness

  • In your purse or pocket, carry a small pad and pen that can be easily accessed. Try to be conscious of your thoughts throughout the day, writing down each time you had a negative thought for that day. Count the number of times and write it down. Your goal is to lower that number. This is the start of the behavior modification process. Identify the ones that were directed against you, or against someone else. The thought that repeats itself most often is the thought you must first work on to eliminate.

  • Begin each day on a new page and date it. You may not always remember to write it down but try to do your best.

  • The next step is to eliminate your worst, negative thought.

  • Each day make a conscious effort to get rid of that one negative thought you are working to eliminate. Whenever it pops into your head, fight to ignore it. Focus your attention on something to distract your thought. Do that for a few days, weeks. After a while you will notice the number of negative thoughts getting lower. Once you’ve eliminated the worse thought, continue to the next. Consistently perform this exercise to truly see the behavior modification occurring in your life.

II. Meditation & Yoga

  • A great way to unclutter your mind is through meditation and yoga. Find a class in your area and give it a try. The focus is on the breathing, allowing you to bring your thoughts back in focus whenever your mind wanders. I found it to be a great way to clear the mind of unnecessary junk.

III. Book

  • Always have a good book available to read. Replace the negative thought with interesting information and stimulation.

IV. Physical Exercise

  • This is a must. Review the section on physical fitness. Implementing a regiment of regular physical exercise can help to clear unnecessary thoughts and allow the release of endorphins.

V. Biofeedback

  • This is a treatment technique that uses physiological signals and feedback from the individual to identify problematic areas and determine a treatment plan. The biofeedback therapist has highly specialized equipment and training to examine internal functions such as negative thought patterns. This technique provides the opportunity to interact with your physiological functions and make the necessary behavior modification. The biofeedback therapist can assist you in making the necessary behavior modifications Again, this is not a quick-fix and requires patience in order to see results. There are many certified biofeedback therapists available in your area.

VI. Prayer

  • You can trust the in the power of prayer to transform your thoughts and actions.

VI. Self-Talk

  • You can trust in the power of positive self-talk. When negative thoughts enter your mind talk to yourself as if talking to a negative friend. Inject positive statements to counter the negativity. For example, when you feel jealous about what someone may may have, remind yourself of all the wonderful things you are blessed with. Or if you doubt yourself because the inner critic is relentless, remind yourself of all your wonderful talents or the great things you have accomplished in your life. On a daily basis talk to yourself reminding yourself of all the great things about you. For more on positive self-talk please click here. Begin your behavior modification today!

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