Hey everybody, today I am going to touch on something we have all had from time to time. That is the problems with our thoughts!
It seems, that the earliest evidence for meditation goes back to around 2980 B.C
This means that for roughly 5000 years, people have been looking for ways to slow down their thinking. As well as get in touch with their bodily impulses in the moment.
Now I imagine that human beings have been looking for ways to slow down much earlier in history. But we will just leave that as speculation.
That tells me that for at least that long, thinking has been a tricky subject for the average human.
Now with my history of mental illness and addiction, I understand the torturous nature of thinking, very well.
Why has Meditation Been Sought?
Meditation was not born just for those whose thoughts are susceptible to insanity. It is a tool that is helpful to human beings of all brain types.
I realize that meditation is a word that can turn some folks off. It is not meditation that we are really focusing on in this article, but for what meditation does that have helped people find mental and emotional respite in the act for so long.
For me, what it does is simply calm my brain down. In this article, it says that “there is a decrease in beta waves which is a sign that the brain cortex is not processing the information as much as usual.”
I don’t know about for you but the processing of information can be a painful routine to be in. Especially the times where it seems like the process has gotten out of control.
Habitual Thought Turning into Obsession.
Thinking becomes such a habitual thing, so much so that quite often we may not even realize we are doing it. These thoughts if rooted in fear and allowed to fester may take us on a ride that we may not like.
Most of us have no problem being taken on a ride of thoughts that are laced with happy feelings. That can be pure bliss. Though when the thoughts are laced with worry, shame, guilt, anger, or regret, that can be a pretty horrible ride. And I am not sure who in their right minds would enjoy going down that path.
The problem comes when we get caught on this ride and don’t realize we are on it. In the recovery community that saved my life, we call this OBSESSION.
Obsession is THE LIE, that causes tremendous problems for those who fall susceptible to it. Getting caught in obsessive thinking can take people into terribly painful life choices. Depending on the depth of obsession an individual falls into, the more difficult it may be to get back on the right track. The process to get back may be simple, but not necessarily easy.
Thoughts can be Placed Back on Track.
By back on track, I mean that we can take a little control over them. And by this I mean we can slow them down, so they aren’t as much of the speeding train they may feel like sometimes.
It may seem that it is impossible to get obsessive thoughts back on track. We may even end up feeling like victims to them. But it doesn’t serve anybody well to claim victimhood over these thoughts, or the emotional turmoil that drives them.
You may be wondering how obsessive thoughts can be placed back on track. How can we go from a sometimes violent, obsessive, internal temper tantrum, back to stable mental and emotional states?
These steps can get our thoughts back on the right track.
- First, we have to catch ourselves obsessing on a thought.
- Second, we need to let ourselves know that we no longer want to stress ourselves out with this thought pattern.
- Third, we have to actively make an effort to slow down our thoughts and surrender to the moment.
Catch ourselves obsessing on a thought.
For me, thoughts tend to get of control when energy boils up to take care of my desires, and that energy does not get used up.
As an example. When procrastinating getting the taxes done or any other deadline, the approaching deadlines continue to excite the thought. Being either unwilling to take care of it, or not understanding how the unused energy continues to create more stress. Since the energy wasn’t used, it stays inside, possibly sending our brains for a loop.
Another problem is that we can end up defending our obsessive thoughts. Maybe believing that we need to be freaking out, or maybe blame someone else for the way we feel. These can both be dangerous defense mechanisms for obsession, so watch out!
But the good news is that if you realize you are stuck this crappy obsessive process, then at least you aren’t completely enveloped in it. This means that there is room to take control and get out of it!
Let ourselves know that we no longer want to stress ourselves out with the thought pattern.
Feel like crap because your brain is spinning of control? Willing to admit that you have some say in stopping the thought from terrorizing you?
Great! Now I am here to say that you are completely capable of working yourself through it.
I know that it is painful and probably overwhelming. And there may be disappointment, letting go, and grieving to be done. But there is a light out of this stressful thought process.
There is something to the power of positive thinking, a sort of acting as if I have the power to change something. Even if we don’t necessarily believe we can. I welcome you to believe that you can quit stressing yourself out with your thoughts.
If we want out, we need to admit it to at least ourselves. And even better if admitted to another person that can and will help stop the obsessive thinking.
It is only when we admit we want out and a better way to think, will another pathway begin presenting itself!
Actively make an effort to surrender our obsessive thoughts.
To me, the main message I can give is that there are all sorts of times all throughout the day when we can breathe a little bit and take our minds off of our routines and problems. We don’t necessarily need to set aside 20 minutes to meditate, although that would be extremely helpful.
Deciding not to think for a little bit and allowing the energy inside of us to settle is an act of surrender. Some may feel a surrender is an act of weakness, but this is the misleading nature of obsession, fighting to keep itself alive.
Through surrendering my thoughts to the moment we can get our thoughts back into the moment.
Even if driving in a car all day long we can turn off the radio, and do some relaxed breathing. If by some craziness there is not one single moment in the day to sit down, we can still watch our breathing and be mindful while taking care of daily business.
Don’t believe the lie that says surrendering to the moment just isn’t possible. It is good to believe the fear when actual danger is present. But for the majority of people reading this, most moments are not that dangerous.
So if you are caught in obsession or just thinking too many fearful thoughts, I welcome you to breathe and just slow down a bit. If you are obsessing, the thoughts will not slow immediately. It may take up to 20 minutes for the fight or flight storm to pass. But once it has, you will be happy that you surrendered and gave the storm a chance to move on!
Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.
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