“The true definition of mental illness is when the majority of your time is spend in the past or future, but rarely living in the realism of NOW” – Shannon L. Alder
A lot of us identify ourselves too much with our thoughts. What we think. But in reality it’s not really US who thinks. That would mean that we did it on purpose and that we would be able to shut it off. But that’s not the case.
The thing is, if you believe that you are what you think, then you’ll never find out who you really are. A lot of people tend to grab and hold on to whatever thought that pops up in their head. Both positive and negative. This can be very dangerous. If you’re not aware of your thoughts, then you are not really in control, and you’re not truly living your own life.
As mentioned, we can’t just stop thinking. Just like the rest of our inner body, the brain is constantly working from the day we are born till the day we pass away.
Now, in this time there’ll be a lot of negative as well as positive thoughts running through our minds. But if we are not aware of them, and identify who we are with every one of them, then we’ll be running around in endless circles, our mood will be up and down and there’ll be a lot of unnecessary unhappiness.
A lot of us are slaves to our thoughts. But the thing is, we unconsciously put the chains on ourselves and we only need one thing to break free again — awareness. Be aware of your thoughts. ALL THE TIME! Once you are aware you can never go back to being a slave again, because now you know, and when you know, you have a choice. If you’re aware of the negative thoughts and you still let them effect your actions and your life, then it’s a choice that you make. A choice that’s not good for you and a choice that is hurting you. This is called self harm. This is not like cutting yourself or harming yourself physically on purpose. This is much worse, because when some people feed the negative long enough, this is what leeds to that in the first place.
I cannot touch on this topic without talking about overthinking.
Many of us have a tendency to overthink, and we do it often. I used to do this A LOT. Like many others, this has been a massive problem for me my whole life. It has gotten way better the last couple of years and especially within the last year. Overthinking is also very bad for our body. Our body doesn’t know wether what we are thinking about is going on right now or not. It can’t tell the difference. The body believes that we are actually in the situation right now. That’s why a lot of us feel uncomfortable or starts sweating when we get nervous, even though we are completely fine and safe in the moment. Our thoughts have a direct impact on our body.
Overthinking is a terrible thing and it’s most often used with negative thoughts. It’s like taking one or multiple negative thoughts and pumping it with steroids! We are trying to predict the worst possible outcome and often we do it about things that we actually really care about and things we want to do. “I really want to do this, but what if…” We are basically creating a problem that does not exist. When we do this, we’re not in the present. We are in the past or future and as mentioned many times before, neither of them exists. Overthinking is the biggest misuse of imagination ever! Do not use your imagination for negativity.
As mentioned before, awareness is the key. We have to learn to select our thoughts. Imagine picking fresh fruit. You don’t just grab every fruit you find. You want the finest, freshest and most beautiful ones! Be as selective with your thoughts. Only pick the beautiful and useful ones. It has a major impact on your life.
We will always think, we will always have thoughts. And sometimes some of these thoughts does not make any sense at all. They can be confusing, bad and seem cruel, but it has nothing to do with who we are. The only way it can have an impact on us is if we let it. If we take it seriously. Don’t believe them. It’s not our thoughts that makes us bad or unhappy. How we choose our thoughts and actions do. It’s completely up to you.
You can’t control anything in the outside world, so if you can’t control the things that’s going on inside your own head, you will be lost.
Create some distance between your thoughts. Kind of like “the river of emotions” that i mentioned in my previous post Control Your Actions – The River of Emotions
Take a step back and observe. Choose your thoughts carefully and get back in control.
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