Learning to listen to your thoughts

How many people do you hear constantly complaining that they just never get any down time? Life is so busy!
People’s minds are running non-stop all the time, even as they sleep. It is no wonder there seems to be so much need for prescription drugs, illicit drugs, alcohol and other escape routes in our society.

There is one basic problem that is at the root of all these life choices. It is the belief that we have no power over our minds.

The fact is that we have constant power over our minds. Most of us just don’t know it.

We have never been taught how to have a relationship with our minds. It is just this uncontrollable thing that interferes in our lives relentlessly until the day we die.

There seems to be some kind of a fear that is prevalent in our makeup that says; “You must keep yourself busy all the time and mask that mind of yours so you can never hear what it says”. It is like listening to the thoughts in our head is some kind of cardinal sin.

If we are to move forward in our lives and have some high degree of functionality and peace, we need to learn how to have a good relationship with our mind. We need to understand the truth about that relationship and how to develop and manage it.

Most of us do our damnedest to avoid listening to our thoughts. We use alcohol and drugs to keep us out of focus while we jam earphones into our ears and play loud music until we are deaf all in the name of avoiding our dearest ally.

Everyone has thoughts they would prefer to avoid. However, it would be far more beneficial for our mental health and well being if we actually listened to those thoughts. Unfortunately the fear of feeling an old hurt again causes us to choose to avoid all thoughts.

By recognizing the feelings attached to the thoughts and understanding that they are just feelings, we can learn to manage the thoughts. If we separate the feeling from the thought we can turn off the feeling attached to it and keep the thought.

Why would we want to do this? So we can understand what the thought is trying to tell us!

These uncomfortable thoughts come from our subconscious mind. This mind is trying to protect us by understanding what is going on in your life. It does this by comparing the current activity with the past memories it has in its bank.

Rather than running away from the thoughts, if we turn off the emotion  related to the thought so we can look at the thought rationally, we can often determine what the mind was trying to tell us in that situation.

For instance, if we just had a heated discussion with our spouse, we are feeling hurt. The thoughts in our head tell us that we want to hurt this person, or we want to yell at them because they didn’t hear us or maybe we want to run away.

When we take the emotion out of the thoughts and look at their root, we quickly come to realize that we are not feeling safe. We may also see that we believe that we can only feel safe if we are loved and supported by our spouse in the manner we understand is best for us.

If we are functional enough to realize the dysfunction in our thinking, we can choose to regain our functionality by centering ourselves while choosing thoughts that work better for us.

This process requires knowing our own anchor inside ourselves. If we believe our safety is dependent on the actions of others we can never make peace with these thoughts.

In my book Stamp Out Stress there is a CD with two visualizations. They teach the tools for fostering a strong sense of anchoring in oneself as well as how to redirect thoughts.

Working with challenging or dysfunctional thoughts will redirect those thoughts. Once the fear is taken away from the thought its true message can be seen. Once the message is understood, the thought goes away. This is a fairly easy to use process. It just takes trust and practice.