The Truth About Thoughts

We are not born with a specific language. We know this because whatever language you are exposed after you are born is what becomes your first language. The language centre of the brain develops as we are exposed to the language we are born into. So, the words we speak and the words we think are not actually our own. Realistically, they have come from somewhere or someone and we have learnt them as we have grown.

Why am I sharing this? Because we all have thoughts that don't serve us, thoughts that are not productive and honestly, are not actually real or true.

This week, I had a conversation with two of my students when I saw them working on a task and then, they gave up. When I spoke to them both (on two separate occasions) I asked them:

 What are you saying to yourself right now?

 What are the words you are telling yourself that are getting in the way of you pushing through or getting unstuck?

One response was: I can't do this. I'm dumb.

The other responded: I don't know what I am doing.

When I asked if those words made them feel good about themselves or helped them to know what to do next, they replied that they didn't. So then I asked:

 Do you think that those thoughts and what you are saying to yourself and about yourself is actually true?

This question stumped them a little because as humans, we naturally believe that everything we think is true. We think our thoughts are original and our own and the truth is - they are not! So, I explained this to them as best as I could. Then I asked them:

 What could you say to yourself instead that would help you to figure out what to do next and that would help you to feel better about how you see yourself?

They both responded with things like:

 I can't do it yet but maybe I can ask for help.

 I know some bits but I am stuck on others. 

I share this today because this lesson has been a big one for me in my life and it is still something I have to work on every single day and I know when I listen to what others say and how they act, I can see their thoughts can be a struggle for them too.


It's astounding that when I was young nobody ever told me that not all my thoughts were true!

 Why is this so important?

Your body believes everything you believe even if what you believe is not the truth! When your body is responding to these untrue thoughts many parts of your body respond in an 'unhealthy' way. These areas include your organs, muscles, nervous system, glands, digestive system and your mind. Every single thought creates a chemical reaction so let's have a lot of great ones!
 Mindfulness is the key to stress 
Being aware of your thoughts is the first step in understanding yourself. Our thoughts become our words and our actions. Our actions can or can not create increased stress in our lives. Being mindful of our thoughts gives us the ability to create a better understanding of ourselves and the meaning we give to situations and experiences in our life.
 Thoughts and Pain
I am not my thoughts, I am the observer of my thoughts. I hear them, I acknowledge them and then I let them go. That's what we are supposed to do. It is not always easy. It takes practice! But like Eckhart Tolle said: "Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take each thought that comes into your head for the truth." A lot of the pain we are dealing with are really only our thoughts. If people realised how powerful their thoughts were, they would never think a negative thought again. 

 Don't believe everything you think!

I saw this meme a few days ago. It said: If you had a thought that you were a unicorn, would you believe it? (The answer is probably no!) So why do you believe it when you have a thought that you're ugly or stupid or crazy or unlovable? It doesn't make sense, right? We have this habit of picking and choosing the thoughts we want to believe to be true and human nature is to default to the ones that are more negative. I don't know why but this is why we recall the bad experiences more easily than the joyful ones. 

 Our thoughts are connected to our emotions

We are all human. All humans experience the same range of emotions. Our emotions drive all that we do, all interactions, and all actions and decisions we take in life. Our emotions are connected to our thoughts. It is important to remind yourself that these thoughts that we have are just snippets of our imagination and that they have nothing to do with our reality. When we think they are real, they connect to our emotions and that is how we interact and conduct our lives and experiences. Your negative thoughts are not real or true. They are not original. They feel real but it is an illusion!

 The path to change
When we don't pay attention to our own thoughts, they often result in causing us emotional pain, especially the thoughts that are negative or untrue. The only way out of pain is growth. Growth of self and of the spirit. Spending time with people who uplift you and challenge you to be better versions of yourself,  reading and learning more about how to find more joy in life. This kind of growth is about seeing more of life than just yourself. Our negative thoughts insist that we focus on ourselves in a way that keeps us stuck. Learning to focus on seeing the beauty and joy of life, with all of its challenges and successes, is the path to change and growth and becoming who you were meant to be. Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don't control what you think, then you can't control what you do.
 Questioning Thoughts
The path to mastering our thoughts is asking the right questions. You know how I do love to ask good questions! 
 Why is this happening to me?
 Why me?
 Why do I always feel this way?
 Image result for tick images Is this thought true? (On autopilot, the answer may be 'yes')
Image result for tick images Is it absolutely true? (Is it 100% accurate? Can it be seen in a different way?)
Image result for tick images How does this thought make me feel? (Notice the stories you are telling yourself and name the feelings)
Image result for tick images What would things be like if I didn't hold this belief? (What are the benefits to relationships, energy, motivation?)
Image result for tick images What could you change the thought to in order to create more joy instead?
Ultimately, our life is controlled by what we focus on. If we choose to believe the negative thoughts, we are choosing pain. You can literally not control anything in this world apart from your thoughts, your words and your actions. Control your thoughts and your whole world will change.

My favourite  short story:

Image result for good wolf bad wolf native american storyUntil next week...have a mindful and joyful week.


Clarissa xo



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