Turning It Off

At the end of a challenging day, it’s sometimes difficult to turn your brain to the “off” position and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep. You hear every creak and drip in your house. Maybe the wind is rustling through the trees or rain is tapping at the window. You turn the other way, hoping that a change in position will quiet the sounds, but it doesn’t help and you become irritated.

All kinds of thoughts are running around your head, like miniature people with pitchforks poking your brain. Now you really can’t sleep. You try focusing on positive thoughts, like the great meal you made and how everyone complimented your culinary skills. Yes, that was very satisfactory…getting more relaxed now. But then those needling, negative thoughts slip through. You think about a harsh email you received from a co-worker and how you could’ve handled it better. Restful sleep may elude you tonight. This is the power of the brain, of your thoughts.

Space for rent

Your mind is a virtual condo. Every nook and cranny has occupants – thoughts, ideas, emotions, something you want to do or need to do.

Some of the tenants are positive, like love, gratitude, compassion and empathy. These are the occupants that pay rent. They contribute to your overall health by helping you build stronger relationships, enhancing your self-esteem, and controlling your stress.

Since all of these are positive elements, we tend to overlook them, keeping them in small corners. We don’t really appreciate them, but we should. They are extremely important to shaping a better YOU.


Unfortunately we also have lousy tenants who squat in large spaces of our minds. They’re good for nothing – they don’t pay rent, and they don’t give us anything useful. It seems they exist solely to destroy our soul. They play their angry music too loudly. They shout out resentment, fear, and hate from the windows. We want to ignore them but instead we start analyzing them. Why must they keep making their presence known, and why we do bother to pay attention?


These occupants lower our self-esteem. They damage our health by creating more stress, and more stress means our relationships suffer. The better YOU is severely affected.

You are the landlord

Remember, though, that you are the landlord, and you’re the one with all the power. You can evict the negative occupants and welcome the positive ones. Maybe you acknowledge those negative thoughts and address them. You have the power to turn any negative into a positive. If it can’t be done, then throw them out on their butt, and tell them not to come back…they’re not welcome here any more!

As for the positive occupants, make sure you acknowledge them too. Recognize their value. They’re the ones who will rescue you when the building is on fire. They’re the ones who will help you when you need a pick-me-up. Use their gifts they so graciously give for the greater good. This is the ultimate value package.

Fill your condo with positive thoughts. They’re the best possible security deposit. Meet negative thoughts at the door and don’t allow them past the threshold. Instead, open the door to positive thoughts and embrace them, welcome them. Each and every one gives you another solid rock to build your foundation.

Vacancy Opens Up

Next time you’re tossing and turning, ask yourself: What thoughts are living rent-free? Identify them and say, “You have zero value. Get out!” That’ll open up a vacancy and guess what? Positive thoughts will line up to get into this very desirable space. That’s valuable. That’ll send you off to a restful night’s sleep.

Call to Action

  1. List 3 negative thoughts that commonly reside “rent-free” in your mind. What effect does this have on your life?
  2. Share with our readers an example of how you turn “negative thoughts” into “positive action.”

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