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A Thought About Thoughts

Here's a thought; what if you decided that, "I decide how I feel, no matter the circumstance."

Picture this; you and some friends are meeting up outside for a socially distanced catch up, when one friend texts the group chat, not long before the previously agreed meeting time, to ask if they can push it back 30 minutes as they're running late.

One friend is happy, as it means they can stay inside next the the heater for a bit longer before braving the -1 icy temperature.

One friend is relieved, as they were rushing trying to get their winged eyeliner just right.

One friend is raging, because they were ready early and is sick of waiting on the same friend who is always late.

The situation itself doesn't create our experience of the situation, but rather how we choose to perceive it. This applies to literally every aspect of our lives.

The reality is, that there is no external circumstance that can impact the way you choose to feel, and that the way you feel is just that, a choice. Our own internal is what creates our external. In other words, our thoughts create our realities, and we are only ever one new thought away from changing how we feel.

Not convinced? Let's look at it like this...

When a bad situation arises, let's say a shit day at work, a colleague has been snippy and their stinking attitude has rubbed off on you and in turn, you are now in a bad mood and being snippy with others the rest of the day. The good excuse you would give for your behaviour, would be that your colleague (the external) is the reason for your now bad mood (the internal) right? WRONG. You yourself have subconsciously chosen to respond to the situation in this way, by a feeling which has been driven by a thought. The thought appears so quickly and is so conditioned in our minds, that often we don’t hear it, and are just left with the feeling that is has created. Many of us have difficulty processing our emotional states, due to the lack of awareness of our thought patterns, which keep us stuck in the ruts we have created for yourselves.

So how do we then get out of these negative cycles I hear you cry? Well, it's simply this; we change our perception of the external circumstance. That's right, we just change the way we think about said situation that we have made ourselves believe, has made us feel negative. The reason it sounds so simple, is because it really is. Stay with me on this.

Let's for a minute look at that one situation that we all currently have in common - the pandemic (or as I've been enjoying calling it, the panny dee.) So, if you really believe that it is the pandemic and these continued lockdowns (what number are we on again?) that has created your negative low vibe story, then why isn't a universal feeling for everyone? Why can different people view it differently? How am I and many others who are experiencing this same thing as you, able to view things more positively? Because my friend, we have made the choice to do so, and you can too.

Now, please don't be mistaken in thinking that I am saying you shouldn't feel these completely valid emotions that arise from this situation, because in such unprecedented times, feelings such as sadness, fear and worry etc. are all absolutely normal and I encourage you to honour those initial feelings and really feel them, because it's in allowing ourselves the time and space to process theses feelings that arise, that we can begin to accept them to then let them go. Holding onto those feelings and letting them control you rather than you being the one in the drivers seat, is what holds us back from making changes. Once you have had the time to really feel those emotions, allow them to pass, let it go and then consciously decide to choose to feel a more neutral response. Choose to see through a more loving perspective rather than letting fear take over. What if you chose to change "why is this happening?" to "what can I learn from this?" What if you chose to change "I hate this" to "I am doing the best I can"? What if you decided that life is not happening TO you, but rather FOR you, and that we can take lessons and make room for growth from any circumstance? How would you feel then? Remember that the feelings don't come from what's going on in your life, they come from your thoughts about what is going on in your life.

Now these kind of changes don't just happen over night, they come from practise and a willingness to break the negative cycle. I myself am still learning to imbed this way of thinking into my own life and it most definitely is not easy, however the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more natural it feels. As human beings, we have somewhere along the way in transitioning to adult life, allowed fear and negativity to be our default setting due to our past experiences and projecting those experience on our current situation, rather than choosing see things more positively. The way we choose to perceive our thoughts, will determine how we respond to them. This goes hand in hand with making positive changes in different areas of your life, which I will also cover off in future posts, but this small step, this small change, is a powerful way to start and can have rippling effects.

A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances, rather than your circumstances having power over you. Now, I'm not naïve to think that just by having a positive attitude, things will turn out okay, but it is knowing that you will be okay no matter how things turn out.

For those of you who would like to dig deeper into this topic, I strongly encourage you to read the book "The Inside Out Revolution" by Michael Neill. I'm not kidding when I say that this book completely changed my perception on how we process thoughts. It talks in more depth about how we can retrain our brains to look on the world from the inside out, and understand that it is our internal that creates our external. I also recommend watching his very thought provoking TED talk, which I've dug out for you here - ted talk | Michael Neill

I hope this has prompted a shift in you and look forward to sharing more ways to be more positive with you real soon.

Until then, keep on keeping on,

Nico x

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