You are what you think. I know you don’t think so, but it’s true. Even your feelings are often the result of thoughts—thoughts that travel through your subconscious so fast, you may not even be aware you’re thinking them.
And then there are times when you are definitely aware of what you are thinking. When your thoughts weigh so heavily on your mind, you wonder if you’ll ever be able to lift them.
I can relate. Thoughts can often start to spiral—starting innocently enough with one bad thought and then like a snowball, start picking up all sorts of negative thought confirming evidence in its path. For example, the thought: I am fat. Becomes: Oh that guy just looked at me like I’m fat. He won’t look at me again because I’m fat. I’m no good.
You get the idea.
It would be easy if we could stop that first spec of a harmful thought. We can’t and in fact, trying to stop it only represses it. There are techniques, like meditation, that teach you how to deal with those first few potentially dangerous thoughts. These techniques teach you not to hang on—let the thoughts go by like flotsam in a stream. Most of the time, now that I’m practicing meditation I can do it, but then there are times when instead of acting like a river my mind acts like a damn, piling up all the monkey thoughts.
That’s when I buy a lottery ticket or read my astrological forecast. I need something tangible that presents my mind with a possible alternate reality: like I could be a millionaire or Mr. Right is right around the corner. My logical mind knows these are fanciful diversions—and that’s why I don’t turn to them regularly—but what they do for me when my mind is really mired is extremely useful. They help me to see what I am currently seeing is not the only reality. There’s a whole other way to view the world; all I have to do is think about it.