Your Thoughts Are A Paintbrush
Thoughts are like a paintbrush. The artist uses a paintbrush to create his or her version of what is seen with the eye. This is exactly how thought works. We use our thoughts to make sense out of what is going on around us. Too often we make the mistake of believing that a thought is like a camera that captures our life experiences. Nothing could be further from the truth. We get ourselves into trouble, when we believe that our thoughts are providing accurate feedback about what is going on around us.
How Thought Works
Have you ever experienced a time when a friend didn’t return your call or respond to your text? Let’s imagine the friend you are trying to reach tends to go silent when she is upset with you. Your first thought might be to think that she is mad at you and deliberately ignoring your attempts to reach her. Instantly, you start feeling mistreated, discounted and annoyed at your friend. You complain to others about her and put yourself in an agitated state of mind.
A Picture Painted By Your Thoughts
Think about this… It was your thoughts and your thoughts alone, that led you to become upset with your friend. You don’t really know why your friend hasn’t returned your call, yet you have allowed yourself to get spun-up and irritated by the completely imagined injustice.
Later, you find out that your friend’s phone was stolen and it has taken her a few days to get a replacement. Don’t you feel foolish now?
Thought blunders happen to everyone, including me. No one is immune to the illusions that thought creates. Even when you understand the nature of thought, you will still get tricked into reacting to a thought mirage from time to time. The good news is that you will be able to see it for what it is and regain your balance more quickly and maybe avoid wrecking a relationship.
Your Built-In GPS
So how can we recognize that our thoughts are taking us off track before we do or say something we will later regret? Luckily, you have a built-in GPS (Global Positioning System). Your built-in GPS is your feelings.
We cannot control the thoughts that come into our heads and we cannot manage them. What we can do is recognize when we are experiencing a low mood (e.g. anger, fear, sadness). A low mood or feeling, is a signal to let us know that we need to relax, calm down and take some time to determine what if anything needs to be done.
How Not To Destroy Your Relationships
When you are feeling tense, spun-up, discounted or irritated and you are about to unleash your rage on someone… Stop! Ask yourself if what you are reacting to is real, or a figment of your imagination. 99% of the time, it will be the latter. This one tip alone could save your relationships.
Need Someone To Talk To?
We are all human. Everyone needs support at one time or another in their life. As a Coach, I am here to listen to others and help each person find their own inner wisdom. I am not a therapist and I do not believe in rehashing the past to find peace of mind today. We may need to briefly discuss your past, just to get some important details, but we will not stay there long.
Don’t suffer unnecessarily. If you don’t reach out to me, please reach out to another professional who can help you find the peace of mind you seek.