I recently saw a bumper sticker that said “Don’t believe everything you think.”
It caught my attention and led me down a rabbit hole on its deeper meaning.
As we go throughout our typical day, we are constantly thinking and unconsciously accepting the bulk of whatever random thoughts come to mind as truth.
If you ever attempt to witness this process, you’ll notice just how incessant it is.
One moment you recognize a thought that has just popped up seemingly out of thin air, bringing with it whatever emotions that arise, the next second it has disappeared just as quickly as it came to be and you’re already three thoughts removed from it.
I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve heard someone say something along the lines of “don’t believe everything you think”, but have you ever stopped and taken the point literally?
Let’s use an analogy to tie this together.
Think about two different types of people:
The first one being a person that watches the news and buys into, accepts and defends each and every bit of information that it televises, regardless of how preposterous it may be, without much introspection involved.
The second one being a person that watches the news, but takes a moment to observe and evaluate what is being televised based upon their system of beliefs, with the openness to changing their opinion if it logically makes sense to.
Which one do you believe is set up to live a calmer and more peaceful existence?
Humans are like a TV news channel, each broadcasting out from within their own individual thoughts and views.
We were never taught in school to become mindful of our thinking patterns or learn how to distinguish between and focus on the thoughts that serve us rather than emphasize the ones that are harmful.
So instead of growing up and being able to mentally prepare for the onslaught of impressions that bombard us on a daily basis, being the inherently lazy species that we are, we take the route of simply believing most of what we think, leading to unnecessary suffering.
We have tens of thousands of thoughts each day, most of them being recurring thoughts and many of them being negative based.
If we want to live happier and less stressful lives, it’s absolutely essential that we make it a habit to practice taking mental steps back and noticing the stream of thoughts that flow through our minds.
Every time you do so, you’re strengthening your ability to become aware of future thoughts.
And as time goes on you can get to a place where you’ll start to catch yourself mid thought and internally think, I have the power to choose whether or not I succumb to and accept this thought.
“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.” – Allan Lokos