“How frail the human heart must be―a mirrored pool of thought.”Sylvia Plath
Our mind is like a traffic jam, always honking, flashing lights, jammed with innumerable irrelevant thoughts and only a trivial portion of pertinent information. To channelize such a commotion, we first need to understand the importance of it.
Have You Ever Speculated The Reason Why We Associate Such Absolute Importance To Our Thoughts?
Well, it is because from the very conception of human life we are made to believe that we are nothing but our thoughts. Philosophers like Descartes hailed the phrase “I think therefore I am” which dismembered our body and brain, making us believe in the superiority of the latter.
If looked at from a contemporary perspective, we find that capitalism coerces us to seek the intellectual pursuit of our existence while being ignorant of its relationship with our emotions. Emotions do not materialize in a cognitive void, rather are triggered by our thoughts. Behind every emotion is a thought. Every sensation of anger, sadness, anxiety, depression or happiness, felt by us is a result of the thought that our brain triumphed in making us believe.
Hence by channelizing our thoughts we channelize our emotions and hence achieve a tranquil state of body and mind.
Do You Know What Exactly A ‘Thought’ Is?
Neuroscience defines thought as a “mental representation” of the world around us. Our brain incessantly functions on a hit and trial mechanism which depicts the possibilities and not the outcomes of the dilemmas that our brain is attempting to solve. The problem arises when we give unnecessary importance to these thoughts.
We fall into the trap of “Thought-Action fusion”, where our thoughts manipulate us to such an extent that our trust starts to shift from the real world to a mere interpretation of it. We not only believe in the possible conceptualization of these false images but also base our identity on the intentions they throw at us.
For example, if our mind shoots a thought, where we kill an innocent dog we start believing that we are cruel enough to execute such an intention. This feeling fills us with self-disgust, where we further experience self-hatred and enter into a vicious cycle of negative thoughts.
Does That Mean, Thinking Is A Nasty Pursuit?
Well, a BIG NO to that! But, while on one hand, to have a thinking mind is an asset, we also need to be conscious of the distinction between introspection and rumination. Introspection refers to a positive contemplation of our life events whereas rumination is a continuous analysis of the grim aspects of life which can trap us into an incessant loop of pessimistic thinking.
The Origin Of A Thought
Our thoughts are uncertain, unreliable, discreet and short-lived events. When subjectively defined, Yohan John asserts that our thought occurs in limbo, they materialize ” Nowhere” whereas, objectively, they exist “Everywhere”, engineered through a chemical reaction in our brain catalysed by every external and internal stimulus.
They occur as a cloud of information in our unconscious brain which through a mysterious process conceptualize into a stream of thoughts. Do you really think you ought to give importance to such an uncertain process?
You Got A “Veto Power”, Use It!
Your thoughts communicate and are interpreted by your awareness, your ability to be mindful of the reality and that is YOU. You are that mindfulness and not some ugly thought. Michael Shermer conceives the notion of ” Free Will” as “Free Won’t” which can be employed as a veto power to eradicate any thought or impulse we dislike. It is the formula to torture your torturing brain.
Mindfulness is defined by the Buddhist psychologist as “being watchful rather than being watched”. Every being retains a possibility of manifesting evil in himself, which if not tamed can choke your existence leading to depression and miserable living. As rightly stated by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, “A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”
Tame The Evil!
Your thoughts are like a monster which sustains on your attention and thrive stronger every day. All you ought to do is block the supply of your scrutiny and starve the monster!
Your critical self is the voice of evil within you that manifests into an image and projects itself as a thought to you. The only possible way to tame it is by critiquing your critical self, by hushing that “anti-self” voice which keeps clamouring in your mind. Mindfulness is the power which familiarizes us with our thinking patterns and hence makes the process of taming the evil voice easier.
Ignore And Accept!
Ignorance and acceptance are the two keys which help us to practice mindfulness. Ignorance is the practice of dismissing unpleasant thoughts while engaging your brain to get rid of difficult emotions. Whereas, acceptance is a much superior method which enlightens you to barely acknowledge the facts and make peace with the sensibility of your brain as it is.
Many people encounter unwanted and repetitive thoughts which disturb their peace of mind.
They feel guilty of having such thoughts to an extent that they start hating themselves. But let me remind you, if your thought says that you will kill the person you love does not mean you are really going to. It is just an experimental idea manufactured by your brain which you ought to dismiss.
Live in and for the Moment
One of the best ways to break your ” Thought Loop” is by practising the most common saying “live In The Moment”. Ignoring the banality of this statement, it really works in breaking your thoughts. Most of the people unconsciously throw themselves into the practice of mnemonic thinking which accounts to the act of recalling the past events that have a considerable effect on your being.
In doing so, even if momentarily, you are endangering your existence to depend on some random image of the past interpreted by your brain while letting the present moment slip from your hands. Practising to live in the moment, can really be a watershed moment of your life.
We take life way too seriously and hence any projection of it depicted by our brain in the form of thoughts will have a considerable impact on us. But while giving importance to these impressions we forget to recognize and cherish the reality of life. We start dwelling in a world fabricated with lies as your thoughts are nothing but lies.
Learn to strangle your unpleasant thoughts, to put them in the backseat of your mind so that you can tune your senses to the beauty and happiness that the world inhabits.
Liked this article? Also read: Are You Choosing Unhappiness Over Uncertainty?