How to stop thinking useless thoughts.
Updated: May 26, 2021
Lets understand how the thought process happens and then it will be easier for you to not be bothered by useless thoughts. You should not worry about useless thoughts coming to your mind, but main thing to target is not associating with those useless thoughts and see them as just some passing away cloud, which has no power to disturb you.
Mind is a powerful tool, it has the power to make us or break us. All the thinking that we do, happens in the mind. All our actions we take are influenced by our thoughts. For any action to happen, thoughts play a big role in bringing those actions to life.
Lets learn how an input results in an action.
We have 6 sense doors: Eyes, Ears, Nose, Tongue, Touch and Mind. So any input on these sense doors goes through the filter of identification(culture, upbringing, religion, family, surroundings) things which influences us results as an imprint in our intelligence and makes or raises a memory. Based on these memories and identifications we produce sensations on the body. If the past memory which is also majorly affected by our identity, is good for similar situations we generate pleasant sensations otherwise we generate unpleasant sensations. Now based on the output of these sensations we generate reactions. Now these reactions are the final output towards the signal we received.
Cognition(Input)> Recognition(Memories and identifications)> Sensations (pleasant/unpleasant)> Reaction.
Lets understand clearly what I mean by identity and memory formation:
This recognition is a very crucial part, which leads to various sensation coming on the body. This sometimes could be very biased and false. We form memory based on what we see around us, our upbringing, our family culture and society majorly our identity. Why our memory could be misleading us: For eg. 1. for some group of people rock music could be ecstasy and for some it could just simply be noise. 2. A group of people don't like consuming certain types of animal meat, while the other group loves it like anything.
You see how we recognize things not based on their originality or truthfulness, but based on conditions which are personal to us means our identity. That's why certain things could stress some people while others are totally unaffected by them.
Another thing to notice is that, our mind and body are highly interconnected. The kind of thoughts you come up with, your body makes similar kinds of feelings. If you are thinking good( based on your memory), then your body produces good feelings and if thoughts are bad, then your body makes bad feelings. It's never the other way around. Furthermore, if I connect these two above points, it means if your thoughts are biased then it means your feelings could also be biased and could be false or misleading you. Means all of your anxieties, stresses, emotional instabilities could also be just your mind lying to you. This is a very important aspect which one needs to look into.
Now the final part which is our reaction, this is the most important part, this is what defines everything. How to deal with reactions? We need to react in such a way that breaks this pattern or kills the chain reaction, but we actually react in a way which enhances this chain reaction. And that is why we suffer. Learn more about it, in the topic choosing the right kind of intelligence, click here.
The best way is by observing your thoughts, by observing I mean see whatever sensations coming on the body, pleasant or unpleasant, see them just the way they are and not make any judgement towards them. Observe them and weaken them just then and there. This way you also stop the ongoing formation of bad memories and break the pattern of falling for false thoughts and feelings. This will also bring you in the present moment, more observant you are, less you will roll in your thoughts and feeling and less reactive you will be. Which is also called being available in the present moment. Why it is important to observe/Ignore most of your thoughts in order to live the most peaceful and happy life:
1. They change very randomly: Sit down for meditation, close your eyes and put your focus on your breath. You will find after just 5 seconds you are thinking about something random from the past or future. Then you will catch yourself thinking after 5 minute and you will decide okay let's put focus back on your breath and now you will find yourself thinking something different. You will find that our thoughts are very inconsistent and these thoughts are the main reason behind our feelings and emotions. Same way you can't trust a person who is never consistent with his words, how can we trust something random like this?
2. One thought taking over another: It is very common for one thought is taken over by the other thought. Or based on the activity you will just find yourself consumed into something random, that makes you forget your previous problem. For e.g Imagine you being super anxious about something and you put the TV on, now while watching some news you get worried about something happening in the far corner of the world and you will find yourself completely engulfed in this new worry. Tell me is it really worth worrying about some emotions or feelings which change so fast and are so random?
3. They worry you when you put focus on them: Your thoughts are the reason why we get an influx of feelings and emotions. No thoughts means no emotions or feelings. That is the reason we get bothered by some issues too much because we think about them in cycles. Less we think about them, the less we get worried. Best thing is not giving these thoughts too much importance. We give them importance by overthinking, by talking back to them, indulging in conversation with them, fighting with them, running away from them.
4: Thoughts are just thoughts: Like happy thoughts has the power of giving us a rush in our body and has power to excite us the same way bad thoughts especially fearful thoughts have the power of making us nervous or produce a shivering effect. An important thing to notice is the way exciting thoughts don't make us worried but rather happy, only when we give power to them, so why give power to bad thoughts for stressing us out. We need to treat our thoughts just as thoughts, more you give power to them, more they will have the power to swing your mood.
But if we just take them as thoughts, don't get scared from them and observe them as just any normal thought then they lose every possible power to scare us and hence we can get rid of our anxieties and depressions. Thoughts are just thoughts, nothing real about them, until we give them excess focus. Life will never be one sided, the way you see happy thoughts and don't get much affected by them, same way you should see the negative thoughts part of life.
5. Everything is impermanent: One day we will leave this body, all our worries and issues will end forever, but that is a long term implication. But even in the short term, day changes to night and night to day, so do our thoughts and so do we change with changing moments. When things are so impermanent, then what's the point of attaching to our thoughts either positive or negative.
6. The best way to observe is stop talking back to them: Stop this game of table tennis with your thoughts, whatever comes to your mind, the first thing we do is engage in conversation with our mind and try to rationalize every negative thought coming to your mind. What you are doing is playing this game of tennis with your mind, believe me you can never win with your mind. The best solution is just put the racket down, stop answering to your mind, no need to rationalize your mind or convince yourself. Let go is let it be also. So let them be for few minutes, do not reply back and they will all run away.
So there are many reasons why not getting bothered by thoughts and why sometimes even ignoring them could be the best solution for higher happiness. No harm will be done, and it's totally normal ignoring your own thoughts.
Thanks Calm Mind Power
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