how incredibly important our thoughts are
The truth is, everything stems from a mere thought.
When we eat something, it's because our mind is thinking "I'm hungry and I need to eat some food." When we cry, it's because we are thinking about an unhappy event. When we start an argument with someone, it's because we are thinking "he isn't right, I need him to understand it’s supposed to be like this."
Every action or feeling of ours is a result of a thought that is processed through our minds, regardless of whether we are consciously aware of it or not. As Susie Moore said, "Your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings create your actions, and your actions create your life."
Have you ever had a bad day where nothing was going right for you at all? I know I did. And looking back, I realized it all began simply with one negative thought that crossed my mind.
If you've read the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, you'll know what I'm talking about. In the book, she talks about the Law of Attraction, where she believes that based on the energy that the universe is built upon, all energies vibrate at certain frequencies, and as humans are also a source of energy, they vibrate at their very own frequencies.
I'm sure you've heard about the term "like attracts like" before? According to Rhonda Byrne, the frequency that humans vibrate at attracts other things that vibrate at a similar frequency. And in fact, the frequency which humans vibrate at is actually determined by their thoughts and emotions.
What does this mean? It means that if we want to attract positive things into our lives, we have to actually adjust our own frequency by altering our thoughts to think more positively. According to her,
"Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency. As you think, those thoughts are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency."
It might sound like some hocus-pocus nonsense to you, but you can't deny that there's some truth in what she said.
Bringing us back to the example I mentioned above. All it needs for a bad day to unfold is one simple negative thought. When we let a negative thought control our minds, it tends to attract more thoughts alike, and we often find ourselves dwelling in an endless chain of negative thoughts, inviting negative events to enter our lives. It's no wonder that we feel as though nothing is going our way.
Which is why our thoughts are so powerful, and why learning how to control them instead of letting them control us is so important. Below are a few ways that you can manage your thoughts better and slowly reclaim the control that you have over your mind.
1. Our first thought
As you would now understand, our thoughts are interconnected, often forming a long chain of thoughts. Which is why it's important that our very first thought of the day is a positive one! Beginning our day with a positive thought would help us to attract more positive thoughts into our minds throughout the rest of the day and consequently allow us to feel happier. We can practice this by taking a few deep breaths when we wake up, and think about one thing that we are grateful for in our lives, or something that makes us happy. Remember, we can control our thoughts. Don't let our thoughts control us and determine how our day is going to go.
2. Press pause and evaluate
During an unpleasant event, our minds would be racing with unhappy and negative thoughts. Being angry, sad or anxious and letting our emotions take over can cloud our minds. We can train ourselves to put a pause to those thoughts by taking in a few deep breaths. Follow that by asking ourselves, "Why am I feeling this way (sad/angry/anxious)?" Remember that our feelings are usually triggered by a thought, so it's helpful to begin at the starting point to get a clearer picture of what's going on.
3. Listen to our inner voice
After evaluating why we're feeling this way, we can ask ourselves a few questions.
For example, if you are getting angry because someone else doesn't respect your opinion and it makes you feel unimportant. You can ask yourself:
• Is it worth getting this angry/sad over this event?
• Would this still matter 5 years down the road? 10 years down the road?
• Is it really true that I'm unimportant?
When answering these questions, try to step back to see the full picture, and shift your focus away from the bad and onto the good if there's any. Eg. "I'm not unimportant, I have actually been recognized by my company for my various achievements" or "it's not worth it to get so worked up and consequently affect my health” or “I don’t have to let other people define who I am, I am much more than that.”
Say these out loud in your head. Believe it or not, the voice inside our heads can be quite persuasive.
4. Understand that our thoughts determine what's next
There are many things in life that we do not have complete control over. However, we have full control over our thoughts and that alone is a power that we should never undermine because our thoughts are so incredibly powerful that they affect the frequency at which we vibrate at.
Often times, it's not so much about what happens to us, but more so about how we react. Someone else might be facing the exact same situation as we are, but the ways in which both parties react would be vastly different. This is because it's the way our thoughts are mapped out that affects our perceptions, and consequently influencing our actions, therefore causing us to react in the way we did. And if we react in a different way, what comes after might greatly vary.
When an unpleasant event occurs, we can choose how we are going to respond to that event. And how we respond to that events determines whether the rest of our day is going to remain bad or it's going to change for the better.
I find it so helpful to identify when a negative thought decides to creep into my mind, and at the first sight of it, I try to put it to a stop to prevent it from manifesting to even more anxiety-triggering things. However don’t put too much stress on yourself, it is normal for negative thoughts to come and go, they actually remind you of what you don’t want to have in your minds! What matters most is that you know how to gain control over your thoughts.
4. Focus on the good
Once you've calmed down, think about the positive side of the situation. For example, if you quarreled with your partner, think about times that he has shown his affection and love for you. If you struggle with finding the positive side of the situation, then think about the good things that are present in your life. Even simple things such as "I'm thankful that I have a loving family and a roof over my head" counts. Focusing on the negative only affects our moods even further and in turn attracts more negative thoughts, feelings and events.
5. Penning down the event
It is said that it is helpful to write down the unpleasant event that has happened, because writing it down takes it out of our minds and keeps it from constantly replaying in our heads. Also, it allows us to take a step back and see a clearer picture of the event.
According to Travis Robertson,
“Inside of your head, it has power and seems much larger than it really is. Written down, it is now outside of your mind and you gain a distance from the emotion that it creates.
The term for this is dissociation and writing out your mental tapes is just one form of doing that. Dissociating yourself from an event means to remove yourself from the first-person position in the memory.
If I were to ask you to think of a painful time in your past and to remember it as if it were happening, you would put yourself right back in that situation. It would stir up emotions and you would feel yourself becoming angry, bitter, frustrated, depressed, etc. That is referred to as associating – putting yourself inside of the event."
That being said, I know all these are often easier said than done, but if you constantly try to incorporate these habits into your life, it'll become part of you before you know it.
I hope this post has convinced you of how important our thoughts are and that these tips would be helpful for you to improve your mental well-being.