Donna, a fellow member of Gulf Coast Bloggers, writes about our true emotions, so when I ran across the quote, “Don’t believe everything you think,” I asked her to write a guest post about it. She immediately said yes because “this is such an important topic,” she replied. Thank you, Donna, for sharing your thoughts with us.
Don’t Believe Everything You Think
It only seems natural to believe what you think.
After all these are your thoughts. If you dig a bit deeper you recognize that your thinking is not always accurate and maybe you can’t believe your thoughts.
How your brain works.
Understanding the brain can help us make sense of this quote. There is so much information in the world and we need a way to make sense of it. As a natural function, our brain deletes, generalizes, and distorts information to keep us from becoming overwhelmed. Most of the time this is helpful, but occasionally it can create problems.
Our thinking can become distorted when we jump to conclusions or take things out of context.
Distortion can also be a problem when we focus too much on problems and ignore the positive side of life.
The empty nest phase.
Since Kim writes for women who are in the empty nest phase of life, I will focus on some common issues for her readers. During life transitions, you can become overly focused on unhappy emotions. When your last child leaves home, you may feel sad, worried, or lost.
Your thinking can be come distorted during this phase of life. When you feel sad, you think sad thoughts which leads to more sad feelings and so on. You can find yourself in a downward spiral. It is easy to get caught up in negative thinking. Luckily for us, we can break this downward spiral with a few easy techniques.
Three super easy techniques
Anyone can do these techniques. All you need is pen and paper. I recommend writing by hand.
- Write it down
Write down your thoughts and feelings. Here are some examples: “I’m not hearing from my daughter enough” or “I worry my son will make bad choices” or “I don’t know how to fill the void in my life”. When you see your thoughts on paper you can engage in critical thinking. Studies have shown that by writing or journaling every day, we can clarify our thoughts, reduce our stress, and even improve our health.
- Use coping thoughts
If writing is not enough, you can write a powerful coping phrase for any resistant thoughts. Some examples might be: “I’ve been through other changes and I came out stronger” or “My daughter is a responsible young adult” or “I now have more time for my husband” or “I have time to pursue new interests”.
- Write a gratitude journal
Each day list three things you are grateful for. This technique has been around for a while. It may be simple, but it works. If you want to list more than three things, even better.
Does this mean you will no longer feel sad or worried? Not at all. These are normal emotions. You are looking for balance in your life.
No, you can’t always believe your thoughts, but with a few simple techniques you can make sure your thoughts more accurately reflect your life. Times of transition can become opportunities for new experiences. The choice is up to you.
Donna Weber, M.A., LPC is an emotional change consultant. Her goal is to help you release emotional wounds, reclaim your true self, and start living the life you dream about. To find more information and self-help techniques, visit her web site: www.ReclaimYourTrueEmotions.com
Photos are credited to Flickr: Creative Commons. Linked to each photographer’s URL.