Chloe Morgane - Mindful Moments

Why I Stopped Taking my Thoughts so Seriously

I’m practicing to stop taking my thoughts seriously. Why? Because they’re just stories created by my mind. That same kind of mind that was trying to keep my ancestor, the hunter-gatherer, alive. It made perfect sense to the mind of the hunter-gatherer to create stories in the lines of “don’t go in that cave, there might be a bear sleeping, and if you wake it up, it will kill you”! The better he could anticipate dangers, the better his chances of surviving.

If I compare the real dangers my ancestor was facing versus my imaginary dangers, I can easily figure out that my dangers will probably never materialize.

The problem is that even if I know, understand and even repeat to myself this concept over and over, thoughts will still be created by my mind. It’s what the thinking mind does. It almost never shuts up.

So instead of taking every thought seriously, and let them take over me, I try to see them for what they really are: words.

Some thoughts are scary, some are fun, others are like warnings against an (imaginary) threat, and some thoughts are useful. I try not to label or judge them as good or bad, and simply try to accept that the thought exists without merging or identifying myself with it.

I understand that there’s not point in trying to think positive, fight negative thoughts, or try to control my thoughts. I also know that it’s super easy to let thoughts captivate my attention, and make me believe (stupid) things. That’s why I’ve started practicing these two things:

  • stop taking all my thoughts so seriously, but use those that are useful
  • connect with the things that give meaning to my life

The way I try not to take my thoughts seriously is by simply noticing that I’m thinking. It could go like this “I’m noticing that I’m thinking that I want to eat chocolate”. Or I give a title to the thought, like so “Ah, yes! The Incapable Girl story, I know this one!”.

New and old thoughts will always be created by the mind. The goal is not to eradicate them, or change them into positive thoughts. The goal is to see them for what they are so that I’m not letting them take over my life.

If you’re interested to go deeper into the subject, read books about the ACT therapy. The Happiness Trap is a good one to start with.

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