I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear advice, or a different point of view, or a possible reason for my low mood. I didn’t want to hear any of it.
I was having a rough day. Nothing in particular was going “wrong”, it just felt that life in general was going “wrong”. I “knew” my life was going “wrong”. (Of course this was just my view of life when I was in a low mood. Because now that I am in a higher mood, I can honestly tell you that there isn’t anything “wrong” with my life.)
At the time, my thoughts were telling me that my life was going “wrong”. “You’re a failure.” “There is nothing beautiful about your life.” “You aren’t helping people.” “You are such a fraud.” And because I was thinking these thoughts, the thoughts obviously must be true!! (please note the sarcasm!) And if these thoughts are true then I don’t want to hear anything that doesn’t align with them or discredits them.
I didn’t say the following words or necessarily form them into thoughts but I was living them - “These thoughts are the truth so I’m sticking to them.” And because I was holding fast to the truth, I felt justified feeling…poopy. My life was going wrong, therefore I could only feel one way- miserable.
Maybe you can relate. Have you ever believed your thoughts to be the truth?
Have you ever held on to this “truth” at the expense of making yourself miserable?
You have thoughts in your head every moment of the day. Your past thoughts form a system through which you see the world. Every decision you make, every reaction and interpretation you have is coloured by this thought system. Your thought system is familiar to you, therefore you trust your thinking and believe your thoughts to be the truth.
But here’s the thing. Your thoughts are not the truth! Negative thoughts and positive thoughts alike are not the truth. They are not reality. They are just thoughts. If you see 2 people a ways ahead of you, whispering and looking in your direction, you might think, “Those 2 people think I look ugly.” This may seem true to you, but in reality, those 2 people were talking about the way the sun behind you looked as it was setting on the horizon.
Thinking is an ability, a function of being human. Unfortunately, we forget this and fill our own heads with misinformation and call it “reality”. Thought is not something that happens to us, but something we do.
Changing the content of your thoughts is not as important as simply recognizing the nature of your thoughts. Remember that you are the thinker. This provides space between you and your thoughts so you can see them for what they really are - just a function of consciousness, a part of being human.
Don’t take them so seriously.
What thoughts are you taking as truth?
What would be different in your life if you acknowledged your thoughts as just thoughts?
Here’s to conquering stress,
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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