Did you know that by changing the quality of your thinking you can change the quality of your life? In a previous post, Why and How We Grow Stories, I wrote to you about growing our personal stories and how neurodiversity shapes them.

Changing our thoughts is a powerful and necessary step for growing our stories in ways we wish. Over 100 years ago, an Englishman named James Allen wrote the book, As a Man Thinketh. In 2005, Gay Hendricks and Debbie Devoe contemporized this book into The Power of a Single Thought. These authors noted the impressive power in Allen’s wisdom from all those years ago, in part, because you don’t need outside help to change your thinking.

BrainWhile pondering Allen’s work, I found myself thinking about my recent knee replacement surgery. My orthopedic surgeon had suggested that I have both of my arthritic knees operated on at the same time. My first thought, and my response to him, was “No way.” On the ride home from my appointment I began to think that maybe I could handle having both knees replaced at one time. This one thought grew into many other thoughts. These thoughts led to my further researching his suggestion, and ultimately, to my own choice to have double knee replacement.

This switch in my thinking has worked out well. It reduced my recovery time by almost half. It also has me walking comfortably much sooner than I would have, if I had been waiting for a second knee replacement all these months later.

Of course, there are times when outside help in changing our thoughts is not only wise but necessary and welcome. Some symptoms of depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, and other mental health challenges are simply too much to bear alone. That said, there is much you can do inside or outside of professional guidance to change your life stories.

Changing our thinking is not always instantaneous or even a hop, skip, and a jump. It is often a process, more than an event. However, it begins with changing a single thought.

*See psychology writer JB Allyn’s recent post, How Do Thoughts Become Story?, for ideas on how we convert our random thoughts into the stories we tell ourselves.

Note: In this post, the author, Diane H. Engelman, is not directly or indirectly giving psychological or medical advice. Nor is she prescribing the use of any technique to treat medical, physical, or emotional problems. The author intends only to offer information of a general nature that may assist you in seeking personal growth. If you choose to use any of the information the author presents, she assumes no responsibility for your choices or actions.