Are you bothered by your thoughts?
“If the only thing people learned, was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world” – Sydney Banks.
Do you ever get those annoying thoughts that capture your attention, totally disturbing your peace of mind?
It’s like when you hear a song that gets stuck in your ear and no matter how much you try, you can’t stop it repeating over and over in your mind.
Have you noticed too that the more you try to stop it, the more agitated you become?
In the past, I was disturbed a lot by the habitual, fearful, and worrisome thoughts that would pop into my mind. Causing me to have uncomfortable sensations run through my body.
I would get caught up in an inner conversation about what those feelings were telling me about my life.
Causing the thought to grow. And keep me locked in those uncomfortable feelings for longer than necessary.
Due to adversities in my past. I would take these thoughts very seriously believing they were helping to keep me safe.
Thankfully I came to learn that thoughts are transient energy.
We have thousands of them pass through our minds every day. It is only when we focus our attention on one, either consciously or subconsciously. That we feel it in our body.
Understanding this is how thought works brought a huge amount of relief for me.
Realising I have a choice as to which thoughts I continue to give my attention to.
The power of our imagination
Know that our mind is like a magical movie set, it creates scenarios that can frighten or delight us.
For example, if you have to do something outside of your comfort zone such as public speaking or a job interview.
Each time the thought of it flashes onto your mind, you most likely will feel tension and fear in your body.
You might feel a tightening in your stomach, while your heart beats a little faster.
Nervous sensations continue to course through your body as you get sucked into the movie-like scenes that run through your mind.
Unfortunately we are wired to imagine the worst when it comes to the unknown. Especially so if we have experienced trauma.
As we do this our brain reacts as if we are under threat. Activating the nervous system, it prepares us for the fight/flight response.
Stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenalin are released into our bodies to give us extra energy and strength.
This is important if we are in danger and need to protect ourselves or to run away.
However, it is much more likely we have used our ability to think, to frighten ourselves. Forgetting that we are in fact perfectly safe at that moment.
We often “bother” ourselves even in the most beautiful surroundings
I remember lying on a beautiful beach in Bali but instead of relaxing, I was caught up in thoughts about the work I knew would be waiting for me when I got back to the office.
I was so engrossed by the thoughts of it, that I was mentally in the office. Rather than being in awareness of the beauty I was physically surrounded by at that moment.
Luckily I came to the realisation that no amount of worry would change the fact that the work would still be there when I got back.
As I let go of my bothersome thoughts, my mind got quiet. Getting still I began to notice the sound of the waves I sank into a beautiful feeling of peace.
The imprint of trauma
For those who have suffered trauma, our experiences effectively leave an imprint on our brain and nervous system.
They have memorised and been conditioned by those times we were in real danger. Reacting to our imagined fearful thoughts as if we are in that situation again.
We subconsciously become hyper-vigilant having been effectively primed to expect bad things to happen to us again.
This is exhausting on our bodies. As we develop a habit of paying too much attention to our fearful, worrisome thoughts.
This especially shows itself when we imagine what the outcome of a future situation might be.
The great thing is, no matter how challenging our past was, we can rewire our brain and nervous system.
The simplest way to do this is to become aware of how much time you are running on autopilot. As your attention is captured by your thoughts.
Research shows we spend 95% of our time in our subconscious mind. This means during these times our brain and nervous system are effectively running the show.
In those moments we are operating in patterns of behaviours that are driven by our past conditioning and learning.
The best example of this is when we are driving. We often get so lost in our thoughts that we arrive at our destination with no recollection of our journey there.
Noticing when we are getting agitated and pausing our thoughts, means we can choose not to stay in any unnecessary anxious feelings.
The PAUSE effect
For me the following simple actions instantly bring me back into awareness, soothing my nervous system.
Presence, taking a slow deep breath come into awareness of where your mind has brought you.
Allow the sensations in your body to settle as your mind begins to quieten.
Untangle your attention from any worrisome thoughts or stories you may be caught up in.
Surrender to the stillness, sinking deeper and deeper into the peaceful state available to all.
Embrace all of who you are, your strengths, fears, and past hurt, as you immerse yourself in the warmth of self-compassion, understanding, and love.
Scientifically proven results
Pausing your troublesome thoughts, you automatically come back into a more peaceful feeling state.
And while this may seem too simple to make a difference, being in a state of mindful presence is scientifically proven to have powerful effects on our brain and body.
It improves our mood, outlook, and our physical health. It gives us the ability to think more clearly and improves how we relate to others.
When practiced over time this becomes our new way of being.
You can read more about this understanding in my other blog, https://angelamcevitt.com/discover-the-truth-behind-where-your-anxious-feelings-are-coming-from/
Thanks for reading,
Namaste- I honour the place in you, in which the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you, of love, of light, of truth, and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.