The Power of Thought
We all get stressed by day to day life, and most of us feel anxious from time to time. But what would it be like to live a life free from stress and anxiety, regardless of the pressures of work and family and life in general?
Well, I recently stumbled across a way of doing just that. And it is down to the power of thought.
The gift of free will
We have been given the greatest gift as human beings. The gift of free will. We can choose to think whatever we want to think.
I believe that as humans, we have got our thinking back to front. Most people believe that their internal experience of life is due to their external experiences in life. However, I believe that it is the opposite way around. Our internal experience of life actually doesn’t have to be dictated by our external experiences – the ones that are beyond our control.
We all have thousands of thoughts every day – around 60,000–90,000 in fact, with only 10% of those thoughts being conscious ones – the other 90% are subconscious thoughts. Our thoughts are like snow falling – they just happen. We have no control over all these thoughts coming in and out of our minds. Just like we have no control over snow falling – it just snows.
We can create our thinking
What we do have control over though, is the thinking that we create from our thoughts. Just like we can create what we want to out of snow, such as a snowman, or a snowwoman, or a happy snow family, or alternatively a mean, nasty, ugly snow monster. That is our choice and free will. We can create powerful thinking out of our thoughts, or we can create negative or not so powerful thinking. It is completely up to us.
The thinking we do create (whether it is powerful or not powerful) tends to be due to the beliefs and values we have, which we draw from our life experiences. And the not very powerful thoughts, tend to arise because of our individual insecurities – which all of us without exception have to some degree or other.
This thinking then leads to how we feel, which in turn leads to our behaviour and how we act, and this in turn leads to an outcome or result.
So how do we create this powerful thinking, rather than the not so powerful thinking? How do we make the happy snow family rather than the mean ugly snow monster?
Well the secret is to quieten our minds. But first we have to notice just how noisy they are, with thoughts flying around non-stop and at great speed.
Speed of your thinking
Have you ever thought about the speed of your thinking? 30mph is a calm, peaceful, steady pace; you can notice the scenery going by and safely step on the brakes and stop if you need to and you can sustain this pace for hours on end without getting tired.
150mph is not sustainable; you are driving too fast to notice the scenery – it’s going past in a blur, you are constantly tired and exhausted, and if something goes wrong (which it always does), you have no room or space or energy to deal with it and you feel completely overwhelmed.
Take a moment and have a listen to your mind and look at what speed your thinking is at. Are your thoughts racing at 100mph or more, or are they travelling at a nice constant 30mph?
If you are at the higher end of the spectrum, I would imagine that you are feeling pretty stressed, overwhelmed and possibly anxious a lot of the time.
Slowing down our thinking and quietening our minds
So how do we slow our thinking down? How do we quieten our minds? Well this is the bit that takes practice and there are many ways of doing this – you just have to find the one that works for you. For me, I visualise a rev counter in a car. When my thinking is really noisy, I think of the arrow on the rev counter at a loud roaring 8 or 9 out of 10 on the dial, and imagine the arrow gradually falling down towards the zero, until my mind is still and peaceful. Or you could go for a walk for five minutes, or do some deep breathing, or meditate for a few moments. Try out a few things and see which one works for you.
The main thing is, that by quietening the noise, you are emptying your mind of thought, and creating a quiet space in your head. When you practice this and are able to do this, you can really listen to your other two brains – your heart and your gut. And this is where the magic happens. That’s where we have insight and wisdom and intuition, and we just know what’s right. When we have a noisy mind that is racing at 100 mph, it is impossible to have clarity and create powerful thinking, and it is too loud to hear our inner wisdom speaking to us.
When you can quieten your mind, and cruise along at 30mph thinking, that’s when the stress and anxiety fall away, and life is peaceful, no matter what it throws at you and how full your plate is.
Whenever an anxious thought appears, or you experience the feeling of stress beginning to take hold, practice quietening your mind and simply getting on with doing everything you need to do to move things forward, knowing it will all be okay, and without wasting precious energy worrying.
You might not always manage to let the snow settle whenever it starts flying around your head and getting noisy, but when you do, it is so much easier to build happy snowmen, rather than mean ugly snow monsters.
Do you have any questions?
I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions or would like to explore how coaching might be able to help you, just get in touch. I'm very happy to have a chat.
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