I hope you found yesterday’s post regarding Socializing, Sleep, and Solitude to be helpful. If you just joined this journey, be sure to take the time to go back and read from the beginning. Without delay, let’s get to it and discuss the letter “T”.
Talking and Thoughts
Having someone to talk to where you are able to share your thoughts and feelings with will go a long way towards achieving happiness in your life. Previously, we talked about listening and relationships. The act of talking is the part needed to be heard and understood. Why do you want to do this?
Everyone needs to share their thoughts and feelings.
Being able to talk to someone in your life allows you the opportunity to express how you are feeling. When you are able to do this, you are better able to problem solve and ultimately feel better.
Here are 3 benefits of taking the time to talk to someone:
- Sorting through your problems. Talking out loud about what’s going on in your head and explaining it to someone else, will help you to clarify the things that are worrying you. Saying your thoughts out loud also helps to make them less scary.
- Putting things into perspective. Keeping your thoughts to yourself only allows them to build up and get out of control. Sharing with someone you trust provides the opportunity to hear their perspective as well. Most likely, the other person is going to be much more objective than yourself.
- Releasing tension. You have probably heard the expression, “Getting a load off my chest.” This is often how it feels. When you carry around all of those feelings and keep them to yourself, you will begin to experience physical tension as well. Commonly, this will occur in the form of muscle tension, back pain, sore shoulders, and headaches.
The benefits from talking about and sharing your feelings are the biggest reason why cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most commonly used practice in a clinical setting. CBT helps you understand how your feelings affect your thoughts and behavior.
What you need to know about your thoughts
How often do you consider your thoughts as facts? Let me explain. Many times when you are experiencing a negative thought about yourself, you will take it seriously and consider it a fact. You will give that thought all of your attention until you accept it as reality. But is it actually true?
As defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a thought is “something (such as an opinion or belief) in the mind, a result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating.” So, does this mean the thought is then automatically true? No!
Most of your thoughts are neither true nor false. Most of them are stories about how you see life, also known as, opinion, attitudes, judgments, morals, and beliefs. Your thoughts are just words. These words have no meaning at all until you start to give them meaning.
Your thoughts are merely words.
Begin to recognize the following about your thoughts:
- they are merely sounds, words, stories, or bits of language
- they may or may not be true, you don’t automatically have to believe them
- they may or may not be important, only pay attention when they are helpful
- they are not orders, you don’t have to obey them
- they may or may not be wise, you don’t automatically follow their advice
- they are never threats, even the most painful don’t represent a threat
What can you do now?
You need to remember that you don’t need to get rid of your thoughts. You just need to be aware of your thoughts and see them for what they really are. Whether or not a thought is helpful, that’s the most important part. Ask yourself, “Does this thought help me make the most of my life?” If the answer is no, then just let it be there without putting any energy into at all. Don’t fight it, just let it be.
Getting some practice at recognizing your thoughts for what they really represent – just words – then you are able to focus your attention on more important things, like living!
As we continue this journey together, I encourage you to keep reading. If you have yet to find your own how or why to happiness, I strongly believe you will. Please come back tomorrow as we explore the letter “U”.
Copyright © Julie Corbett 2017