The brain doesn't care how it's making you feel.
In my blog What's causing your emotions never comes from outside of you we learned that
- all our feelings and emotions are caused by our thoughts, and nothing outside of us
- our thoughts either makes us feel better or worse. Not the facts
- you are always 100% what happens in your mind
- in order to find the cause you need to separate facts from thoughts.
We need to know what's causing our feelings so that we can change them.
We can't always change the facts but we are always able to change how we feel about them, if we want and know how to do it.
Flipping the switch from negative thinking to positive thinking first thing is not what I recommend here, especially if you are recovering from anxiety and feeling too exhausted to even think. Learning to feel neutral towards the world is the first step. You do this by aligning yourself with reality and seeing the world from a factual point of view instead of automatically filtering it through your negative worldview.
Most of us choose to think negatively.
Because we are used to thinking in this way. Because it’s easy. Because it saves energy.
Insane? Maybe but I will explain to you exactly why this is, so hear me out.
Your brain has been designed to be efficient.
Simply because there are so many things to interpret in the world.
Some reachers say we are exposed to 2 million bits of information per second, others say 11 million billion bits of information per second. Go and figure.
In a nutshell: that's A LOT of information.
In order for the brain to tackle all this information overload, it will have to filter it somehow.
Once it hits a thought that you are thinking it wants to get really good at it. Regardless of what that thought is. Irrespective of how it's going to make you feel emotionally.
The brain LOVES to file and habituate your thinking. Because it saves it’s energy and functioning capacity.
It's also part of our survival.
It helps you to learn how to walk, read, ride a bicycle, drive a car, tie shoe laces, open doors and pour a glass of water - and never forget how to do it.
And this is the trick: sometimes it becomes so good at repeating something that it will push the learning into your unconscious mind so that you'll never have to think about it deliberately again. You just think and do something automatically.
Brain is so efficient that sometimes unlearning becomes more difficult that learning. But it is possible.
You simply use the same method as with all learning: repeat repeat repeat.
But your brain doesn’t care what you’re thinking or whether it's making you happy.
It only cares about what makes the brain happy.
And easy, energy-saving, million times repeated thoughts and habits is what it likes. A LOT.
No matter if it's something you don't want to continue doing or thinking again. Not even if the habit could end up killing you.
If left on its own devices and unsupervised, some of those automatic thoughts - that it has become really good at thinking (due plenty of repetition) - may be creating a lot of negative emotion in you.
Brain. Cares. Not.
It's just happy doing the things thing that it knows well.
Yay look mom, no hands!
So understand that you are dealing with a power machine that can help you to destroy yourself or make you go beyond your wildest dreams. When you really understand the power of the brain and how to harness it to serve you there is no going back. Ever.
What I get to witness on a daily basis with my clients who desperately want change but can't see any way out is thought patterns and processes that they have never been aware of.
Sometimes clients wouldn’t even realise that what they are thinking is actually choice or voluntary. They believe what they think is a fact when it isn't.
This happens because these thoughts are so subconscious that they’ve become automatised in their brain.
Sometimes they can't even see that what they think about the world is not what world is. Sometimes they've become so habituated thinking in this way that they don't see the way out from a trap they've build for themselves. They're like a fish that doesn't know it lives inside water.
These are the realisations that set them free.
And that's something you have to start paying attention to.
Because your thoughts create your feelings, you must tune in to see whats going on in there to see whats causing you to feel that way. Tuning to anything outside of you won’t be helpful to you.
You may be completely unaware whats going on in there.
Why is this important? Why can’t we just think what we think? Who cares?
Now, pay attention if you have any unwanted habits, you are reactive and aggressive or want to cut out procrastination.
Because your feelings cause all of your actions.
Circumstance (fact) -> Thoughts (meaning) causes -> Feelings & Emotions causes -> Actions (fact) causes -> Results (fact)
- Your thoughts create your feelings.
- Your feelings cause your actions.
- Your actions create your results.
All happens in this order. Every time.
If you don’t get the results in your life that you want it’s because of how you feel.
If you are getting the results you want in your life, it’s because of how you feel.
Your feelings determine your bottom line results.
It’s not some fluffy thing we can think about later when we have some time. It's a responsibility. For everyone who wants to feel better, not just those fighting with anxiety.
That’s why you may keep hearing a therapist asking you “and how does that make you feel?”
What you’re feeling will determine the results that you are getting in your life.
If you are not feeling good, if you’re anxious your results are most likely to NOT be what you want.
So step one: We have to understand that our mind and the external world are not the same thing.
Step two: we have to find the cause, the thoughts, that create our feelings.
Step three: Look at the results in your life and recognise what feelings created them.
Only by understanding this sequence we are able to start altering our thoughts. So that you can start feeling better, regardless of what’s going on around you. Regardless of who is involved in your life. So that you’ll be able to focus and feel calm and get stuff done that requires mental strength.
See you on the next blog!
If you are feeling like you’re going through challenges that you aren’t any longer able to brush aside, wipe under a carpet or think positively about it, it’s time to take advantage of our free consultation that you can apply for here.
I will be happy to help you to tackle them and break down the intricate thought patterns that are keeping you stuck in an anxious state. Reading free advice online, buying more self-help books and living in denial can only get you so far. When everything else fails, we are here for you.
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