(image by Ymind.nl)
The influence and power of the quality of our thoughts is such an important topic, that I decided to share some thoughts more about thoughts with you. I first published a post on this topic here.
Every day we are subjected to a huge dose of negativity and fear-based news. If it’s not the politicians with whom we’re upset, then it’s the crisis in the middle-east that has us reacting in anger and fear. The list of possibilities is endless. And as if this isn’t enough, we also endlessly play the blame and shame game. We either beat ourselves up over something that has or hasn’t happened or we’re blaming someone else for our problems.
Our thoughts create our reality and they also affect our physiology. So many wise people have shared this lesson with us. Robert Sapolsky who has researched stress in humans, says that we are constantly bombarding our bodies with a stress reaction, not from any imminent danger but from the imagined danger our minds have created.
“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie 1888-1955, Author and Speaker
“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Khalil Gibran 1883-1931, Artist, Poet, and Writer
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back put it on your heart and say : “No. This is important” Iain Thomas
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” the Bible
I could go on and on sharing quotes from eminent writers, researchers and philosophers (sorry that I couldn’t find a wise woman quoting on this – they’re out there too!) but I think you get my point.
Start observing your thoughts. This is what mindfulness is all about. We think it’s something vague but actually it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself. Ask yourself: are my thoughts serving me or hindering me? What you focus on really does create your reality.
If they’re hindering you, then there is a good chance that not only are you not very happy but they’re also creating a toxic chemical soup mix in your body. This is at the root of so much physical and mental illness. And it’s something we do have control over. No-one can ‘force’ us to have a certain thought. But they can certainly influence you, if you let them.
By creating an awareness of our thoughts and by focusing on the positive aspects of our lives, we can rewire our brain to see and experience greater positivity.
Do the gratitude exercise as one step towards self-reflection and to creating a brain that is hardwired for positivity. You’ll be amazed at what an affect this will have for your emotional and physical state. Every day focus on 3 things that went well. Feel the gratefulness in your heart. Life is good.