‘Behind every feeling you ever had, behind every emotion you ever
felt, there is a thought. Even pain is thought generated. Does that
surprise you?’ – From Joyride by David Key
Well it may surprise some of you – but it is truth.
What is feeling? In the dictionary its says;
‘an emotional state or reaction’ or ‘an idea or belief, especially a vague or irrational one’
Interesting that it specifies especially a vague or irrational one ….
A thought will create a feeling, this will in turn create a behaviour
and that behaviour most likely will create more thought
and so the cycle continues.
So – if you have a fear of bees for example, then your thought about that bee will create a feeling – in this case FEAR and this will in turn create a behaviour; running screaming from a bee. Then your thoughts tell you the bee is now chasing you and so you create even more fear and then run even faster etc etc.
And then what we do is we blame the bee for scaring us.
Its not the bees fault …. it is actually our thinking about the bee that caused our feelings about it and then our subsequent behaviour.
In truth – we are doing this to ourselves! This must be true if other people don’t react to bees in the same way we do ….. mustn’t it?
So can it be as simple as just changing our thoughts? Is it a choice?
Well as humans we have between 60-90,000 thoughts per day so imagine trying to manage all of those!!
Thankfully, the vast majority of those thoughts we are not even aware of. They are transient which means they come into and pass out of our minds without us even acknowledging them – like clouds floating past in the sky. These thoughts will be mostly neutral which is why we don’t remember them.
However, every now and again a happy, or fearful, or negative, or joyful, or anxious thought comes along and we grab a hold of that thought (mentally) and we give it energy and allow it to control us. Which is great when we give energy to a happy or funny thought because it makes us feel good, but what happens when we get an anxious or sad thought?
We hold onto it and nurture it with our energy and allow it to control us until we have fed it so much of our energy, we are wiped out and we feel deflated and eventually depressed.
I’m not trying to say that those of us that are feeling anxious or depressed can just switch it off nor am I saying that it doesn’t exist. It feels pretty real to us when its happening right?
What I am saying though, is that the moment we realise that it’s a made up movie in our minds of what we predict may be true, that it’s just our thoughts creating the movie, and therefore the feeling of fear or anxiety or depression, then suddenly its not so scary anymore.
And this can be applied to everything in our life. The moment we actually truly see that all our feelings are 100% made of thought, then we can open up the space in our minds where we find freedom, great mental health, peace, happiness.
So going back to my question – Can it be as simple as just changing our thoughts? Is it a choice?
We have no way of controlling our thoughts, we can’t help what thoughts come into our minds and managing over 60,000 per day, as I said earlier, is impossible. So no – we have no way of changing our thoughts and no we don’t have a choice as to which thoughts come into our minds.
BUT what we do have as humans is free will and this gives us the choice to not allow those thoughts to control us. And if we give them our energy and allow them to control us, then they will.
If I asked you now to think of the worst food you have ever tasted – think about how it looked and smelled – I bet you are having an unpleasant feeling – maybe even a nauseous one. Now if I ask you to stop and instead think about the best food you’ve ever tasted – how it looked and smelled, then I’m sure that you now have a more pleasant feeling and maybe even a bit hungry!
All you did was give 2 different thoughts your energy – 1 unpleasant one and 1 pleasant one and that thinking created 2 different feelings.
So in summary – No, we cannot control our thoughts but yes, we do have a choice on how much attention we pay to those thoughts. On how much control we give those negative thoughts over our lives.
I do appreciate that this sounds very simple (although not easy!) and it is simple, but understanding all of this takes time and may not help how you are feeling right now.
Just try it …. next time you get a thought that doesn’t serve you and your life positively – try and let it go. Just ignore it until it passes because it will if you let it. Take control back and find the space in your mind to let peace and happiness in.
If you would like to find out more about this understanding or you are struggling with negative feelings, then please get in touch for a chat about how I can help.
Lisa Holton – Lisa Holton Coaching Ltd May 2018
“Your thoughts are like the artist’s brush. They create a personal picture of the reality you live in.” — Sydney Banks
For more details on Joyride by David Key please use this link: http://amzn.eu/2bW81CI