Riddles of the Mind Part 4 - Mental Processing
The Mental Process... The Director of Your Movie
Your current mental state is influenced by many factors both past, present and future. Some of these I have already covered in the first 3 parts of this article series, and some you will find out in the final article following this one. That being said, your mental state is all about thoughts, choices and conscious action.
The Power of Choice
Sometimes there are going to be things that happen which are simply outside of your control. That is just life. However, what you do have is the power of choice. You always have the choice as to how you handle every situation – be it good or bad. Being mindful of the choices you make, and the process in which you go about making them, is the key to creating positive outcomes. When making decisions (especially important ones or those made under pressure situations) it is always important to approach them with the right intention, attitude, and inline with your greater goals. This is especially so when it comes to how you handle things which are outside of your control. Often people get frustrated when something bad happens and become aggravated, angry, flustered and typically make irrational decisions. It is always best to be consciously mindful of how you approach such situations. Perhaps next time this happens you can ask yourself:
Will getting angry or emotional help this situation?
If I made the same decision tomorrow would I still feel the same?
Is the decision I make going to serve my greater goals in life?
These really are common sense, but it is surprising the number of people, who in the heat of the moment, choose to ignore these simple principles. It can be said that everything that happens in your life has a purpose. Even in bad situations sometimes there are lessons to be learnt that will help in your greater journey. Building a solid mental platform for making choices and handling negative situations will go a long way to what you achieve in your life.
It is believed that the average person has 60 000 - 80 000 thoughts a day! If this were true, it would mean that if you acted upon each of these thoughts, that you would literally have a nervous breakdown. The key is to choose which thoughts you act upon and which ones you simply let go by. The vast majority of thoughts you may have during a typical day do not affect you directly and are best simply ignored. However, if you are having negative thoughts which are affecting your mental state, it is best to follow this simple quick internal process...
1. Acknowledge the thought does not serve your best interests
2. Identify the reason why you are having this thought
3. Change the way you view or feel about that thought into a positive context
4. Take action and directly address the issue & reason for it without making excuses
Recurring negative thoughts which are not addressed in this manner will keep you in a state of limbo or as I like to say “living in the clouds”. They can also have the effect of shifting your mindset to live in the past instead of the present. This is because you can only try and guess what your future may bring without putting closure to things that have already happened/happening.
Every thought you have has no power until you attach an emotion to it. Your thoughts are essentially there to review and reflect upon until such point you that make a decision to act upon them. When reflecting on a thought it is best to first do so without emotional attachment or judgement before you act. This allows a clear evaluation if it is something good that should be actioned, something bad that needs to be addressed, or simply nonsensical and is best ignored. One exceptionally effective way to help this process is to practice meditation. Meditation is essentially the process of nullifying all thoughts. Doing this helps create a sense of clarity, wherein after meditating, your mind is clear and ready to deal with any pressing thoughts or issues from a better perspective. Try meditating next time you are faced with excessive self-talk or negative thoughts and you'll be surprised how powerful it is.
A Final Word...
Your thoughts only affect you if you invite them into your conscious awareness and attach an emotion to them. I believe most thoughts are an external process and that our brain is the receptor that receives the information and processes it through our neurological pathways to create action. I also believe that our heart is the basis of emotion, which creates our internal thoughts. This is what I believe to be the source of 'spirit' or the intangible. Once internal thoughts collude with external thoughts, thus begins the process of spirituality and greater purpose. This being said, our thoughts truly are central to everything that comprises our greater self. Just like a computer where you switch it on and choose which files you want to use, so too do you choose which thoughts you want to load. If a computer is loaded with the wrong files or the files are not organised it will become sluggish and not work very well. This is once again the same as with our thoughts. Choosing to load the right 'files' so to speak, means that you will always get the best performance and ultimately live a happier life.