Understand the cycle of your thoughts

“All problems are illusions of the mind” – Eckhart Tolle

People often feel that the feelings and emotions they experience are determined by what’s happening around them, or by the behavior of other people. The underlying assumption is that someone or something other than ourselves is defining our feelings for us. We come to these conclusions automatically without asking ourselves, if the above assumption is even true. Despite all, if we pause and try to analyze what links those outside factors to our emotional responses, we might find that there is a catch.

In psychological terms, we experience what is called Automatic Thoughts. As the name suggests, they are so automatic and happen so quickly, we’re mostly unaware of them but they often affect the way we feel. We don’t learn to generate these thoughts, they’re immediate since the time we take birth. Come to think about it, there is a cycle between our thoughts, emotions, and our behavior, which is often dependent on the negative and positive resistance. Positive thoughts simulate our brain to experience positive emotions which reflects on the things we do. A mere thought of danger might make you feel anxiety or fear which tends to lead you to avoid/escape the situation. Similarly, hopelessness makes you feel depressed that drives you to isolate yourself or withdraw from certain situations.

Thoughts are simply electro-chemical impulses in our brain, they are not a statement of facts. It is found that there are around 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, of which almost 80% are negative and 95% are the same thoughts as the previous day. This is known as the Tendency of the Mind. All these thoughts are constantly helping us interpret what’s happening around us, they help us examine the situation we’re currently in, to make sense of why whatever’s happening is happening but mostly they help us develop six senses of one’s body in space.

What we must understand is, these thoughts are not necessarily true, helpful, or accurate. They generally pop into our minds and we don’t even notice more than half of them. We tend to believe they make sense which drives our opinions on facts, often making a wrong decision. We must be able to recognize that there are different kinds of thoughts and must act according to the authenticity of them rather than base them on emotions. They’re either negative, positive, or neutral, can be invoked from words, an image, a memory, an imagination, or intuition – a sense of just knowing.

Our thoughts are ours – they can be specific to us; a bad experience might train our mind in such a way that we get habitual to bad thoughts over time, due to this recurrence, they seem believable. It is relevant that we don’t let negative thoughts keep hampering with our thought process, emphasize on refraining from feeling bad about ourselves. There is no one or anything that can help define our thoughts for us but us. It’s difficult to comprehend what we’re feeling and often challenging to put it into words but remember – Feelings are not Thoughts.

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