Sometimes it feels like the mind has a life of its own!
Many of the thoughts we think are not quite conscious. There is a stream of thought that goes on underneath the conscious daily thinking we’re familiar with. This type of thinking that can be very detrimental if it’s negative.
Often established early in life, it has become so normal that we hardly notice it. It tells us things like we’re not good enough, we’re bad, we’re awful, useless etc, etc. Or it tells us what we “should” be, do, feel or look like. The result is feeling bad.
These types of thoughts have nothing to do with reality. Just as little as positive thinking has. What’s worse is that they create fear and worry and sometimes disease.
But you can turn it around.
When my son was younger he sometimes felt afraid at night. This fear, as we all know, is irrational. It doesn’t really matter if someone tells you that there are no murderers under the bed, no ghost in the closet etc. You are still afraid.
One night I told him: you need to do some guerilla warfare on those scary thoughts, and I told him to exchange the scary thoughts with thoughts that were calming. I told him that he could use some good memories he had or think of something fun. Anything. Just keep attacking the scary thoughts with happy thoughts.
Not only did he find this game fun but the next morning he reported that he had immediately stopped being afraid. It has since helped him several times.
You can try this right now if you like. For one minute, think scary thoughts about an area you worry about. Let other supporting thoughts come along. Notice how you feel.
Then change your thought pattern by thinking fun thoughts. Let those thoughts be accompanied by other happy thoughts. See how you feel after one minute (or a little longer if you managed to scare yourself a lot in the previous exercise.)
If you did the test properly you probably noticed a dramatic change in how you felt. This is how controlling your thoughts can help you. It has nothing to do with fooling yourself into believing things are better than they are (you won’t be fooled anyway). It’s a way to be on top of your emotions. It’s a way to feel better and to be in control of your life. For people who find themselves in emotional roller coasters it can be life altering.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t feel difficult feelings. That is part of being a human. Feelings should never be suppressed but you can be in charge of them.
It just means you have more power than you might think.