How To: Think More Positive Thoughts

I’ve studied a lot about thoughts and thought patterns during my life. It’s a topic that especially intrigued me when I was attending University, and I remember being in the library for many long nights completely fascinated by all the information available about how our brains work.

Our thoughts are either conscious or unconscious. When we have an unconscious thought, it is triggered by something that happens in our daily life. When this occurs (which can happen many times during the day), we either relive a fear from the past or go into a state of worry about the future. Either way, it’s an unconscious dip in how we feel, which we assimilate as a negative feeling.

It’s really helpful when we are able to start noticing these dips in how we feel. They usually have a physical feeling which accompanies them, and those physical feelings can help us notice that it’s happening. That uncomfortable feeling is manifested in different ways for different people. Some experience headaches, others experience a tightness in their back or neck, and some many notice a nervous twitch or something more subtle like a simple stomachache.

The whole key here is to realize that we aren’t the thoughts that we have. Those are not who we are. Isn’t that refreshing to know? They are just thoughts, and the essence of our being is separate from them. It’s easy to slip into becoming the thought, and reacting to it. I’ve done it a million times myself. If you haven’t heard about this before, I encourage you to Google it and learn more. It’s truly fascinating.

However, there is a catch to it all. You see, when we have a negative thought, if we try to resist it (which seems like the right thing to do), it only makes more problems for us. Willpower doesn’t work. Look at all the people who try to use willpower for dieting. It’s a set up for failure. Instead, we can just accept the thought and move on. Being able to do that though is a conscious way to think. I’ll admit, it’s hard to take responsibility for the way we think. It’s much easier and requires a lot less energy to just unconsciously become the thought and react to it. For me, just knowing that a thought is a thought, and not me, is enough to make me feel happy.

Now, with all that being said, I have never known a way to truly explain this to someone where it made sense. I don’t know if the way I’ve written it here makes any sense either. Once again, my favorite writer at Wonder How To, Yumi Sakugawa, drew a fabulous little illustration that makes a lot of sense when it comes to this. I love thinking of my thoughts as little monsters. As Lady Gaga says, ” I love my little monsters!” Enjoy!

How Our Brains Work

Header Image Credit: [AISPIX / Shutterstock]