Understanding how your brain works, and the nature of how thought works, can help you eliminate fearful thinking forever.
I've come to see how our thoughts create our reality, from moment to moment, 100% of the time.
This reality can be created instantly or as they quote on the left explains, ingrained patterns of thinking determine our words, actions, habits character and ultimately our destiny.
This is because neurons that "fire together, wire together", meaning that every thought, experience, feeling and physical sensation triggers thousands of neurons, creating a neural network. When we repeat an experience (both positive and negative), the brain learns to trigger the same neurons each time.
However, it’s also interesting to learn that it takes just 1.5 mins for an emotion to come and go, so it is possible to prevent the creation of neural pathways, by not adding to your thoughts fueling the emotion.
So a feeling of fear will only continue if you back that feeling up with more negative thinking about the person or circumstance that caused that fear.
This sub-cortical looping of fearful or negative thinking originates in the primitive part of our brain and leads to repeating cycles of behaviour that creates actions that are defensive, controlling, aggressive, judgmental, passive, anxious etc. When we live from this part of our brain we are living from a reality that is limited to a very small sense of who we are and we lose touch with that deep core of wellbeing that we all have.
Good news: You don't have to believe your thoughts!
Thanks to our senses, thoughts can feel very real. They can be strong and believable and really pull you in. But slowly, as you start to understand they don’t have any power over you, you get to the point where you become more the observer of your thoughts.
This where mindfulness is so helpful.
When we become more aware of our thoughts, we start to step outside and observe them rather than live inside them. The point is not to get rid of thoughts or to control our thoughts, but rather to understand the nature of thought process and not mistake our thoughts for reality.
The nature of thought
Thought is the creative energy behind which everything materialises. Just look at the dinner you ate last night - that entire meal came to being as a first a thought. As did the movie you watched, the sofa you sat on, the book you read. Everything is preceded by thought and then bought into reality through some form of action.
We have 70,000 thoughts a day but the ones that we connect, remember and react to are the ones that create an emotional response (feeling) inside us. So, feelings are no more (or less) than the response created from our thoughts, from moment to moment!
Fixing your thoughts or feelings is like trying to fix the weather
Mindfulness research shows that when we observe our thoughts, instead of react to them, it activates our prefrontal cortex and deactivates our limbic system (primitive brain) - leading to more reasoning rather than a pure emotional response.
Even simpler, understanding that the thought will pass is enough to step aside from getting entangled.
Just watching our thoughts as they come and go, like clouds in the sky, is enough to create a non-attachment and end the downward spiral into negative feelings, emotions, behaviours and actions.