On the one hand, changing your thinking is pretty easy. You just make a choice. When you encounter a stressful situation, you choose to think “it’s all going to work out” instead of “#@$% why does this always happen to me!!” It is a simple choice, however as you begin to observe your thoughts and change your thinking, you might find that you are met with some internal resistance. There will be part of you that rebels against “it’s all going to work out” and desperately wants to go to the “@#$%!” place. You might even feel it physically. You might feel panicky, or ill, or just not right when you attempt to shift your thinking like this. This is because you are, in a certain way, addicted to your current way of thinking. The reason it takes time and effort to change thinking is because your neurons have specific relationships with one another and with certain brain chemicals. If your knee jerk reaction to stress is anger (“$#@&*”), or self-pity (“poor me”), or self-depreciation (“stupid me”), it is because your body and your brain have become accustomed to, or addicted to, the neuropeptides which are associated with those emotions. Overcoming that addiction is like overcoming any addiction. On the surface it seems easy, you just choose something different. You choose to stop drinking. However as any recovered addict will tell you, it is also not that easy. Now, I do not want you to go away believing this is hard, because it is easy once you recognize what you are dealing with. Just like a drug addict will recognize the withdraw symptoms, and will stay the course in spite of them if they are determined, so you can recognize the symptoms of your own withdraw from patterned thinking and choose to stay the course in spite of them (and they are not nearly as bad as drug withdraw. If people can give up a drug addiction, you can certainly change your thinking. If you’ve given up an addition you may even have an advantage here, since this is immeasurably easier). Recognize the resistance for what it is, a withdraw, and just tell yourself “this is the withdraw, and I’m OK with that.” Then keep thinking your new thought. Eventually, the new thinking patterns will become your norm. When this happens, you will begin to see things shifting all around you. You will begin to experience synchronistic events, even miracles. You will begin to realize that you do indeed have a real power within you. You are no longer at the mercy of patterned, unconscious thought. You instead are consciously choosing how to think and how to respond to any given situation instead of being at the mercy of your own unconscious wiring. You will be free from thought addiction, and it is well worth the discomfort of your temporary withdraw.
To illustrate this a bit further, here is an entertaining clip from the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know?” about the nature of addiction to thought and emotion.