Better Understand Your Thoughts with Mindfulness

It is important that you do not underestimate the power that your thoughts have. It is now being stated by many that the power of thought is “all powerful”. Look around you right now, almost everything you can see started off initially as a thought in somebody’s mind. Obviously this does not include nature but even landscapes are modified by man and therefore starts off as a thought in somebody’s mind.

These are thoughts that someone or some people persisted with to produce the clothes that you’re wearing, the sofa you’re sitting on and the building you’re sitting in for example. If these people hadn’t acted on their initial thoughts that they’d had, that sofa or building may not exist now, or it would, but in a different form because it started from a different thought in maybe a different mind.

Everything you do starts with a thought, from the words you speak, through the actions you perform, and even emotions can be triggered by thoughts. Thoughts are also habit forming, each time you have a new thought, good or bad, a new neural pathway is created in your brain. It is easier for thoughts to take an existing neural pathway than to create a new one, so you are more likely to have the same thought again, which then reinforces the neural pathway and increases the chances of having the thought once more, and so on. Being mindful is key to stopping negative thought patterns becoming habitual in your mind and helps create new neural pathways for hopefully more positive thought patterns.

THE LAW OF CONCENTRATION STATES
THAT WHATEVER YOU DWELL UPON,
GROWS. THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT
SOMETHING, THE MORE IT BECOMES
PART OF YOUR REALITY.
BRIAN TRACY

By being mindful you learn to watch your thoughts, emotions, feelings and actions. This way when you detect negative, untruthful or unhelpful thoughts passing through your mind you can question their validity with kindness and self-compassion. This process alone seems to be enough for your mind to discard them instantly. Just ask yourself, “what of the thoughts I’ve just been having do I know for sure are actually true?” You won’t find many, as most will be assumptions, judgements, imaginary scenarios and more assumptions based upon earlier assumptions.

Good vs Bad Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, it does not matter where you are from in the world we all have this same drive to be happier in our lives, it is curious though that our mind often seems to try to steer us in the opposite direction. We give more value to negative and bad thoughts than we do to positive and good thoughts and feelings.

A NEGATIVE MIND
WILL NEVER GIVE
YOU A POSITIVE LIFE.
ZIAD K. ABDELNOUR

Generally a good feeling or thought is a subconscious way of you telling yourself that you like something or it makes you happy. The opposite to this is a bad or negative thought or feeling is your subconscious telling you that you don’t like something or it makes you unhappy. If you are going to move in the direction of a happier life then surely you should be listening to these thoughts and feelings as an indicator of direction of travel, which is what most of us do without really realising what’s happening.

Here is the problem, when you have a bad or negative thought you often tend to ruminate upon it and as part of that process producing more negative thoughts and consequently more negative feelings. This gives far more value to the original negative bad thought than it should have had. Whereas when you have a positive or a good thought or feeling you don’t tend to spend so much time worrying about it as you would a bad thought, if at all. Someone may pay us several compliments that typically we tend to brush off with a hint of embarrassment and not think about too much again. Yet when the same person makes an observation of us on the negative side we don’t forget it, we go over it in our minds and may even end up holding it against them for a while.

So now bad thoughts and feelings are given much more weight than good or positive ones. Your instinct is to move further away from whatever is producing the the bad or negative feelings and thoughts, and closer towards whatever is producing the good ones. What if a situation, person or decision generates both of these types of thoughts and feelings at times which is completely normal? Your negative thoughts and feelings tend to be given more weight so as a result your mind could be tricking you into moving away from something that makes you happier and in turn making you unhappier. We all want to be happier but our mind doesn’t always serve as a good judge of whether we are heading in the right direction if left to itself.

As you become more mindful you will be able to better identify these negative thought patterns and the affect they are having on your life judgements and better choose the correct direction of travel for you to be happier. You will also learn to be more grateful for what you do have, reinforce and give more weight to the good thoughts and feelings more. You will also be more compassionate which will help you understand that the negative or bad thought you are having may not be justified or based on fact before you start giving it so much weight. After all that’s what we all want, more of these good and positive feelings and thoughts in our minds to make us feel happier. So always follow the good feelings and give less value to the bad feelings, you will become happier automatically.

TRAIN YOUR MIND TO SEE THE GOOD IN
EVERYTHING. POSITIVITY IS A CHOICE.
THE HAPPINESS OF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS
ON THE QUALITY OF YOUR THOUGHTS.
MARCANDANGEL

John Burley

John Burley lives in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and is the author of Mindfulness for the Mindless due for publication on 2nd April 2018. He is also the director of a software development company producing software solutions to mainly the gaming industry. He blogs about mindfulness at www.amindfulway.blog which has a growing following both on the blog itself, the accompanying Android app and on social media too.

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