You may have heard the phrase that Our thoughts create our reality. But how true is it? Let’s find out. What do you see in the pictures below?
Now if you are like most people, you would say you saw a car, an aeroplane, a dinosaur, and a house. But in reality, all you saw was playdough. Your thoughts made it what you perceived it to be. In other words, thoughts do have some role in creating our reality. But there’s something else here too. Something that we call consciousness or awareness. When you look at it from a superficial level of awareness you see things as they look, but when you see things from a deeper level of awareness you see things as they are, without any preconceptions, judgements, or definitions.
The key to better Mental Health
The key to better mental health is not in manipulating what we are thinking, but in understanding that we think. There is a lot of effort that goes into positive thinking. But in my experience, positive thinking plus negative thinking leads to overthinking. So instead, what we need to do is realize that every thought is not, we thinking. And fighting every thought is like trying to calm the waves in an ocean by using more wind in the opposite direction.
So, what can we do instead?
Realize the difference between conscious and unconscious thinking. You only need to watch and choose your conscious thinking and stop caring about your unconscious thinking. Any thought that you did not choose intentionally is ‘a thought’ not your thought. It originates from years of subconscious programming. There’s not much you can do about it, apart from accepting that it's there, and it's okay.
I think therefore I am
What we do is we live by the philosophy that I think therefore I am. Which means we let our thoughts run our lives. When we believe that it's our thought we do not inquire or question it and so the emotion that comes from that thought becomes our identity. We don’t say I am having an unsupportive thought, and as a result, I feel anger. We say I am angry. I am sad.
Instead of believing I think therefore I am, try this: I am, therefore, I think. Which means my thoughts come from me? My thinking is a part of me. My thinking does not define me. So next time you find yourself saying that I am angry, I am sad, or I am depressed. Try changing your words to I have angry thoughts or sad thoughts.
We understand this concept for physical pain If you injured your elbow, you would not go around saying that day that you are an elbow pain today. But when it comes to emotional pain, instead of saying I feel sad or I feel angry, we often say I am sad, I am depressed, and I am angry.
How to deal with unsupportive thoughts?
Just like your nails grow and it does not bother you, you just cut them. You have accepted it as it is. Brain also thinks, you just have to accept this and that you won't be able to control every thought. Then stop labeling thoughts as positive or negative. Label them as supportive or unsupportive. Conscious or unconscious. Accept that brain thinks. Thought only becomes a feeling or emotion once we give it attention by either trying to control it or explore it.
Imagine this, You are working on a laptop and you go on of these buggy websites and all of a sudden 10 different pop-ups appear. What do you do? Do you browse them? Write an email to the website owner, or do you just close them. That’s what you need to do with unconscious unsupportive thought. Visualize a cross next to that thought bubble and just close it.
This blog is posted by Anurag Rai. Anurag is the Founder of Superhuman In You and Superhuman University. He is also the founder of multiple other businesses and a certified NLP & meditation practitioner and organizational psychologist.
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