Detoxing Your Thoughts

by Stacy Musial

What Are You Focused On?

A penny for your thoughts. Are they helpful thoughts or harmful thoughts? You get what you focus on—whether you want it or not. You may have heard this statement before. Are you focused on what’s important? The things that REALLY matter? What about those areas in your life that make a long-term impact on your well-being, like health, relationships, career and purpose, and spirituality? Are you focused on the process of your experiences and excelling in the areas that matter most? Or are you focused on fears, anxiety, what you don’t have, what’s wrong and what you don’t like?  Are you gossiping about others or judging and comparing yourself to them? These patterns may be keeping you stuck. We all think about 60,000 thoughts per day, and 95 percent of them are the same thoughts from yesterday. Is it time for a change?

Questions Create Answers

What type of answer might you get when you ask, “What is wrong with me?”’ or “What else could go wrong?” or “Why do bad things always happen to me?” These types of questions keep us stuck in the past, in the problem, what’s not working, why it won’t work, what we don’t like about ourselves/others/it, as well as blame. When we begin to make a conscious effort to choose new questions, our brains will automatically start to search out the answers. We really do receive what it is we’re searching for in our lives—whether we realize it or not.

Thoughts create reality, and if you’re thinking, “yeah, right!” it might be time to check in with yourself about the hidden beliefs that are underlying your actions. If you’re not where you want to be, there just may be a limiting belief running the show.

Too Old? Think Again!

Think you’re too old to change your thinking patterns? Think again! There is a new field of research called neuroplasticity, and it has shown that the brain can create new neural pathways to help learn new behaviors, thoughts and patterns. Anytime you begin to do something new or think in a new way, your brain creates a new neural pathway, and the more you do something the stronger the pathway will become. We can change the way we think about anything! Consider what this means for your health, wealth and happiness!

Let’s look at health. It can be a big trigger for people struggling with weight and other health concerns, as there are many emotional and physical addictions connected to overeating and food. There are beliefs about healthy food tasting bad and that giving up unhealthy foods means missing out, etc. Many also believe that getting sick and feeling bad is a part of aging. However, when we really begin to create awareness and understanding about what we’re struggling with, it begins to develop new neural pathways and different thoughts and beliefs emerge.

Which Wolf Will Win Inside Your Head?

One evening a Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth and compassion.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This story reminds us to remember that we get to choose what we want to focus on. Let’s make the decision to embrace positive thinking. Here are some questions to get you started. Ask them routinely when faced with a challenge and see what changes can come!

  • What are you holding onto that is no longer serving you?
  • What do you need to let go of?
  • What story are you telling yourself?
  • What meaning are you giving to your experiences?

Become Aware of Your Thoughts

When we create awareness in our lives, we begin to open up and realize our true power. We begin making conscious choices, rather than running on autopilot. Have you ever been driving in a car and arrived to your destination but couldn’t remember how you got there? When we run our lives in that way, our minds are automatically driving, and we are more likely to react based on emotions rather than through conscious awareness.

Here are some things you can do to create awareness:

Set the intention: By setting an intention that you choose to create awareness, your brain will find ways to become aware.

Question your thoughts, beliefs, emotions and patterns of behavior: We are all creatures of habit, and we’re likely doing things the way we’ve always done them. The question is: Why? How is that impacting you? Is it keeping you stuck?

Notice beauty: Become aware of the beauty that you have around you, the little things that you take for granted or don’t typically think twice about, like your breath, the flowers blooming or hitting every green light on your way to work.

Be mindful of the present moment: When you connect to your breath, you choose to slow down and focus inward. Your breath connects you to the present moment. One exercise that will help build this foundation is to create a mindfulness/meditation practice.

Starting a mindfulness practice:

Pick a quiet environment: Choose a quiet place in your home, office, garden, place of worship or in the great outdoors where you can relax without distractions or interruptions.

Find a comfortable position: Get comfortable, sit up with your spine straight, either in a chair or on the floor. You can also try a cross-legged or lotus position.

Pick a point of focus: Focus on your breathing, and just notice it without trying to change it. You can close your eyes.

Cultivate an observant, nonjudgmental attitude: Don’t worry about distracting thoughts that go through your mind or about how well you’re doing. If thoughts come up during your mindfulness session, don’t fight them. Instead, gently turn your attention back to your breath.

Power Questions to Move You

In closing, here are some questions adapted from Tony Robbins that can be a great way to start and end your day and help move you through a challenge and begin creating freedom in your life.

Morning Power Questions

  • What am I happy about in my life now?
  • What about that makes me happy?
  • How does that make me feel?
  • What am I excited about in my life now?
  • What about that makes me excited?
  • How does that make me feel?
  • What am I proud about in my life now?
  • What about that makes me proud?
  • How does that make me feel?
  • What am I grateful for now in my life?
  • What about that makes me grateful?
  • How does that make me feel?
  • What am I enjoying in my life right now?
  • What about that do I enjoy?
  • How does that make me feel?
  • What am I committed to in my life right now?
  • What about that makes me committed?
  • How does that make me feel?
  • Who do I love? Who loves me?
  • What about that makes me loving?
  • How does that make me feel?

Evening Power Questions

  • What have I given today?
  • In what ways have I been a giver today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • How has today added to the quality of my life or how can I use today as an investment in my future?

Problem Solving Questions

  • What is great about this problem?
  • What is not perfect yet?
  • What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it?
  • What am I willing no longer to do to make it the way I want it?
  • How can I enjoy the process while I do what is necessary to make it the way I want it?


Stacy Musial is president of Health Coach Connect and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a passion for whole-person wellness. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work at Colorado State University and has been providing mental health therapy to individuals in community mental health, private practice and online therapy venues. She began her journey into health when she realized her own was not optimal and it impacted the way she felt physically, emotionally and spiritually. Her journey led her to earn a certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.® She enjoys running, biking, yoga and fermenting yummy foods. Visit Health Coach Connect online at



This entry was posted in Tips and Tools. Bookmark the permalink.