I know, thoughts play an important part in the way I feel and how I subsequently behave.
Despite this, at times, I’ve had a tough time identifying my thoughts.
Often when people asked me what I was thinking I would say: ‘My mind is blank’ or ‘There’s nothing going through my mind’.
I found my worrying thoughts particularly hard to access. There are times when I was sure that I didn’t know what was going on in my mind; I was sure that what I was feeling was just an emotion — unattached to any particular thought.
I used to ‘beat myself’ up about this — but, once I got the hang of it I learned, bit by bit, how to access difficult thoughts.
Many people believe that we only have two types of thoughts: ‘negative thoughts’ and ‘positive thoughts’. This is not so.
When we encounter problems and things go wrong, it’s easy to identify negative thoughts. But there are many more thought types other than those easy-to-spot negative thoughts:
Positive thoughts: ‘Everything is tickety-boo.’
Neutral thoughts: ‘I wonder what to have for lunch today?’
Evaluative thoughts: ‘Is there a better way of doing this?’
Action-oriented thoughts: ‘I’m going to deal with this issue…’
Rational thoughts: ‘At first I believed this to be true, but, I can now see that there are alternatives.’
I now know that what we think decides how we feel but it works the other way too: how we feel can also decide what we think.
With this in mind, you may find it easier to identify your mood first, and then work out what the thoughts are that may have caused it.
If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. ~ Lao Tzu