It is your mind’s job to think, just as it is your stomach’s job to digest the food you eat. In meditation, you may feel you need to stop your thoughts, but thoughts come with supersonic speed: we think 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day.
We may try to slow, alter, or stop our thoughts when they cause us pain. But thoughts do not cause suffering. Attaching to your thoughts and believing they are absolutely true causes suffering. Because it is impossible to stop your thoughts entirely, consider releasing attachment to thoughts. Whether your thoughts are scattered and disorganized or intrusive and cyclical, you can change your relationship with your thoughts to reduce suffering. Be patient and compassionate with yourself in this process and know that thoughts, like breath, will come and go. When you catch yourself in the act of overthinking, breathe and see if you can drop into your body. Find center. There is no judgment in center, no inner critic. The judge lives in your head. For some, she owns a condo in your head, smokes Marlboros and likes a good beer on tap.
Be the witness of your thoughts. You are what observes, not what you observe. – Buddha
Thoughts happen spontaneously, popping up like a poorly filtered internet connection. Subjective thought and deliberate thought are very powerful over our state of mind. The old narrative was that if you’re feeling depressed, just smile and access your Power Stance. If that actually worked, there would be a lot less depression. The story you tell keeps you in a box. Especially when you repeat it, embellish it, revive it, dress it up in evening wear, and restore it in living color.
Negative thoughts tend to geyser up spontaneously, like a hot spring, and trying to suppress them doesn’t work. When they show up at the door like an uninvited guest, we have options. We can show them the guest room and cook them a cordon bleu paired with a glass of Cabernet. The negativity bias is our tendency not only to register negative stimuli more readily but also to dwell on these events. The negativity bias means that we feel the sting of a rebuke more powerfully than we feel the joy of praise. This psychological phenomenon explains why bad first impressions can be so difficult to overcome and why past traumas often have such long lingering effects. In many interactions, we are more likely to notice negative things and later remember them more vividly.
But thoughts can be deliberately introduced. I can decide to take a deliberate action which came from a thought. We can explore where those thoughts turn to blocked energy in our bodies, and commit to moving that energy. Instead of giving them dinner, invite them into your inner gym and physically move the energy that creates internal blocks.
At Next Generation Core, we explore where the negative energy is stuck in your body, and the patterns you have unconsciously created to keep it there. We work on releasing attachment to thoughts that create suffering. Interested in exploring our training? Reach out to us at [email protected] We’d love to explore this with you.