I’m always a little amused when I drive through a town or city and I see all the dogs, big and small, taking their owners for walks.
Those dogs are pulling so hard on their leashes, honestly believing that they’re steering the ship. Until the human makes a hard turn and —yoink!—they’re going a different direction.
This is a bit like our thoughts and our emotions.
We’ve been taught that our thoughts steer the ship, that our thoughts drive our emotions, that our thoughts can drag our emotions along with them.
Our thoughts take the lead like, “I got this.” Until —yoink!— a particularly strong emotion arises and internally, we’re off in a different direction than where we thought we were going.
That’s because our thoughts don’t really steer the ship. Our emotions do.
We can try to think positive. We can try to think that the best will happen. We can try to think that everything is going to be ok. But the moment that something threatens our positivity, our emotions derail our best efforts.
Our emotions are hugely powerful. Our emotions decide if we like something or not. Our emotions dictate if we see the best in a situation. Our emotions decide our opinions. Our emotions create our thinking.
That’s right. Your emotions create your thoughts.
Negative thoughts, out-of-control monkey mind, worst-case scenario thinking, self-depreciation, and intolerance aren’t steering the ship. These negative thoughts aren’t making you feel lousy.
They are symptoms. Symptoms of negative emotions that are poisoning your thoughts. Your negative emotions are calling the shots, even if you try changing your thoughts.
That means that your positive thinking is just a dog on a leash to the emotional master.
So is there hope?
Yes. But just as in working with dogs, we don’t train the dog. We must train the master. And the master trains the dog.
It’s not the dog that needs to be re-trained. It’s the one on the other end of the leash.
It’s not your thinking that needs to be re-trained. It’s your emotions.
Do you want to train your thoughts?
Train your emotions.
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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