Our thoughts are potential seeds of creation manifesting within us. What we think essentially becomes what we do and determines the life we lead on a daily basis. Being in control of our thoughts is an incredibly powerful tool with which to guide ourselves on the best path we can. Our thoughts are a commanding force of energy, to harness that energy and direct it to benefit us gives us the power over our emotions and behaviour. How do we do this?
Developing a deeper awareness
It is all about consciousness and clarity. To develop a deeper understanding of our own thoughts means that we need to connect with our emotions and understand them better. If we are experiencing a strong sense of anxiety, guilt, anger, sadness or fear we need to take note of this and delve deeper to find the root of this feeling. What is causing it, what could be the trigger? Once we address cause and effect we can take the reins and make positive changes. Once observed, such thoughts and emotions can be released, we have the power to let them go. We can allow our thoughts but we can also watch them come and go rather than fester and inhibit us.
How to deal with negative thoughts
Spiritual-interfaith Minister, life counsellor, teacher and writer, Michele Goldstein looks at negative thoughts as “squatters” who have infiltrated our minds and manifest in four particular ways:
The Inner Critic
This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:
- Other people’s words; many times your parents.
- Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
- Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
- The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.
He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.
Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?
This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”
He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.
Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.
The Reactor or Trouble-Maker
He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.
He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.
He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves, if it ever did.
The Sleep Depriver
This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the re-hasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.
His motivation can be:
- As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
- Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
- Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalised anxiety
- As listed above for the inner critic and worrier
We need to realise that we are not our thoughts or emotions, and that if we are capable of witnessing them then we are actually distinct from them.
Often a moment of meditation will help to focus on self awareness and allow us to make the choice to expel any negativity.
Taking negative thoughts and defining or labelling them is a useful tool, give them a name as Michele has done; by doing so we maintain that awareness of separation from them and the choice to be able to let them go.
One simple physical method used to dispel such thoughts is to be literal and breathe them out; release them and blow them away. Breathe in to find your awareness, use the power of your mind to observe the thoughts and emotions you are experiencing, breathe out to let go of those you no longer wish to harbour.
Outside forces do have an effect on our thoughts such as events and other people’s actions, but once we realise we are able to manage our own minds, that we are independent from our thoughts and can observe them we can gain full control. You will then find it easier to create the safe space between what arises in your mind and body, and how you act. That space is where you take power, and make a choice about how you want to think, feel and live.
How to use the power of your thoughts
We need to actively, daily be aware of our thoughts and be in constant control. If we find any of the negative influencers creeping in we have to embrace them, and empower ourselves to understand their reason for popping in, and then allow them to leave by extinguishing them with new, positive thoughts. Employ your conscious breathing if and when you need to and allow yourself to approach your thoughts with calm, clarity and rationale.
If there is something you wish to achieve, anything at all you can use the power of your mind to do so using the method of “practical daydreaming”. First you need to visualise what it is you wish to accomplish. Create a mental scene if you like, and add all the detail you can to this scene; colour, smell, sound and life. The more intricate the better, and put this scene on repeat. Not all day everyday like a mantra but often and with belief in your thought. Our subconscious accepts ideas as real, it doesn’t distinguish between thought and reality and so will consider your scene an actual experience. This means it will begin to start making changes and attract opportunity to make your reality match the images in your subconscious mind. How effectively this happens depends on how determined you are to make it so. Anything that we visualise frequently; actions, situations, objects, etc. eventually manifest on the material plane naturally. You can utilise this method to be able to change negative habits, and change your life by building new, positive habits, skills, relationships; anything you wish, that’s how powerful we are if we put our minds to it, literally!
“Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes. You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy. Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!”
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
“The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”
“It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to has power over you, if you allow it.”
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”
Online Holistic Therapy Courses
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer a distance learning diploma course of 10 lessons in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. Everyone can benefit from the knowledge found in this course as it focuses on assessing the particular ways in which individuals think, behave, perceive, act and react. Whether you want to work as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist or CBT consultant with your own specialised clinic or simply study for your own benefit – this course could change your life and the way you deal with the world around you completely.