Thoughts: What are they?
A neurologist surgeon was teasing his friend that he knew was spiritual. He asked him a rhetoric question: “Why the heart surgeon, while operating the heart, never found the spirit? The spiritual man stopped for a moment and with a smile in the face answered: “Did you ever found a thought while operating the brain?”.
Have you ever thought about a thought? It is not a game of words but a real question. What is a thought? Where does it come from? How does it move in our head? Why starting with a thought and ending up with completely different ones? Why so many thoughts at the same time? How do our thoughts affect us? Is it a mental process? Is it an idea or a belief?
Yet there is no clear definition about thoughts. It is the point where ancient/spiritual philosophies and neuroscience meet: Nobody really knows! It is still a mysterious topic from the neuro-scientific point of view.
What we know is that thoughts can appear as memory, idea, picture, fantasy etc. We think they are caused from brain function but to what extend, source, networking and engagement we are not sure.
We are yet at the very early stage of understanding the human brain and it’s functioning. However, what has been discovered in the last 10 years in regard to knowing the brain exceeds the history of brain scientific research.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world” – Norman Vincent Peele
Even though we don’t yet know what thoughts are and where do they come from, one thing we know for sure: they determine the way we feel. The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our life.
Strong statement! Yes, it is! But we can use it for our benefit. “How?” you would ask. By improving the quality of our thoughts.
It sounds easy when we say it but it is difficult to practice. The best thing we can do is to start with small steps (Kaizen technique).
What can you do:
- Observe your thoughts as often as you can and keep notes about them: positive, negative or neutral
- Write them down: you cannot identify them if you don’t write them on paper. Most people foolish themselves through the belief that they know everything.
- Gaze on them without judgment and let them go. They don’t have power over you unless you want to.
- It takes few seconds that you activate a series of thoughts after each other. Be aware to stop negativity at the very few seconds.
- If you are having struggle with a negative thought try to find something slightly better – You will be surprised!
- Don’t talk for too long about negative thoughts – by default they are deepening in your memories.