So, it has been said that our mind can create up to 60,000 thoughts in a day. It may be hard to believe, but thoughts come and go all day long. A lot of them just come and go since they aren’t important, but there are some that we pay more attention to. And it’s these attention grabbing thoughts that can create us joy.. or even sadness. We choose which thoughts we are going to give attention to. Think about that for a moment. We CHOOSE the thoughts we are going to pay attention to.
To explain, let’s say we are driving, and we see a boy cross the road. A thought may enter your mind about the way he is dressed, and think “that boy is dressed sloppy”, but you let it go and continue driving, because as quickly the thought came in, it was more important to focus on the song that just came on the radio. But the car behind you may look at the boy and say, “that boy is dressed sloppy”, followed by the thought “why do kids dress so sloppy these days”, which can lead into “why does my nephew dress like that anyway”.. which can lead into “why is he such a deadbeat, and why can’t he just smarten up”. This can lead into a domino affect of thoughts that can create us stress, if we allow them to. I will say again.. IF WE ALLOW THEM TO. Two cars, same boy. One driver lets it go, while the other allows stress to build, because that person decided to give the thought attention. If you give a thought attention, the mind has been given permission to run with it.
Think about how many times one thought turned into stress for you. The answer may be “too many to count”. And that is NOT a bad answer, because we ALL do it! You are NOT alone. So what can we do?
Well, just by knowing this, we can give ourselves additional power against our thoughts! Just KNOWING thoughts can create more thoughts, allows us to be more conscious when we do our thinking. When we KNOW a certain thought or situation can cause us stress, we can put the brakes on right there and say to ourselves, “this can lead me into stress and anxiety, so I need to let this go!” Then purposely put a smile on your face and think of something funny someone said or put a positive thought in your mind. It’s always good to have a “positive thought bank”, as I like to call it. A bunch of thoughts you can redirect to, as you need. So, if a negative thought enters your mind, you can switch gears to the positive thought and Boom! You can free yourself from the domino affect.
Now, this MAY take some time to learn and get used to, especially, if a particular type of thought, or a "trigger thought" has a hold on you. Remember that you gave that thought importance, so the mind had permission to run with it.
I was very proud of my son the other day. We were watching “The Angry Birds Movie”, and there was a scene where Red Bird comes across a welcoming sign with an annoying looking bird on it. Red Bird stares at it for a while, then immediately gets angry and throws himself at the sign and rips it apart. So in Red Birds mind, the sign was mocking him and laughing at him. The longer he looked at the sign the more thoughts created anger inside him, which ultimately led to him ripping the sign apart. My son just looked at me, laughed and said, “All that could have been avoided if he just walked away”. Absolutely! If you attach yourself to a thought, in this case, a thought that said, “that sign is mocking you”, it can lead to more thoughts, which may not even be true, that can ultimately lead you into a reaction that you may regret.
Remember, thoughts are ok, unless they give you stress, and can push you towards a negative reaction. If you start to get worked up about a particular thought, it may be time to back off, or detach from the thought, and think happy thoughts, so to speak. The more you know yourself and how your own thought process works, the easier it may be to help you alleviate your own stress and anxiety…
Love and peace..
Michelle has a BS, E-RYT, YACEP, CHN, CLYL, and Y12SRL.