How are we affected by our thoughts?
Many philosophers, psychologist, life coaches and even theologians would have emphasized over the years, that there is definite impact of an individual’s mental state and the life they end up living. Each one of us has the power to create a reality of our choosing, through our thoughts and states of consciousness. In fact, literature has suggested that we do this on a daily basis. There is a significant amount of control we have as humans, in determining the outcome of our lives, this is embedded in our ability to make choices about our actions. These choices are most often formulated thoughts we may have entertained in our brains (thoughts) over a period of time. To this end, we should shy away from casting blame on external forces for the actions & speech we engage in, which then affects our emotional state. Free will and choice provides us with the power to respond either negatively or positively to any situation we may be confronted by and the choice made will be a by-product of the thoughts we formulated in our heads.
The Link Between Thoughts, Emotions, and Behavior
Thoughts, in and of themselves, have no power—it’s only when we actively invest our attention into them that they begin to seem real. And when we engage with specific thoughts, we begin to feel the emotions that were triggered by these thoughts—we enter a new emotional state which then influences how we act.
For example, if you regularly engage with the thought that you’re a failure and feed more attention to it, you’ll start to feel down, worthless, discouraged and perhaps even depressed. How does your body react to this? You sulk down, slump your shoulders, probably isolate yourself from loved ones and ultimately project no confidence.
The contrast is also true, if you engage with more empowering thoughts, they would boost your confidence and thus trigger a more positive emotional state which will then be reflected in how your body reacts: standing up straight, upbeat, making eye contact when communication and generally being energized and optimistic about your life.
From my experience, I have also noted this to be true, that our thoughts trigger emotions, and the vibration or frequency of these emotions then feed back into the original thought. And as we continue to give mental attention to the initial though, it reaffirms the emotion, which then energizes the thought. And so we experience a continuous cycle of think, feel, think, feel, think, and feel. This result in the emotional state you come to experience: stressed, depressed, discouraged, happy, energized, confident, etc…
How you think and how you feel directly impact how your body reacts, and all three influence how you behave and what actions you take.
This is how your thoughts create your reality. It’s in the way you behave and act that you define who you are and what you experience in life—and the way you behave and act is simply a construction of how you think, feel, and do. So, in short:
- Emotions are the reactions to the thoughts you give attention to.
- How you feel (and your body language) is a reflection of what you’re thinking about.
- Since emotions and the body’s reactions are triggered by the thoughts you give attention to, therefore, you’re living in a world of thought: Your thoughts create your experiences, and thus, you experience what you think.
This means that all the problems we experience are nothing more than a thinking problem.
The “real problem” is not the problem.
The “real problem” is how we think about our problem.
We are not our circumstances. We are what we think of our circumstances.
Our problems are nothing more than our emotional and body reactions to our thoughts about the problem. So if we can observe and change our attention or perception, we can change our emotional reaction, which then changes our body to react, which ultimately changes how we act and experience our reality.
And that’s exactly why true change begins from the inside, not the outside.
“We spend all our time and money and energy trying to change our experience on the outside, not realizing that the whole thing is being projected from the inside out.”—Michael Neill, Author
So if you think you’re a failure, you’ll feel like a failure, and then you’ll act like a failure. As long as you give attention to the thought that you’re a failure, you’ll continue to experience this reality, which then reinforces your belief that you must be a failure. This is called a thought pattern and it has the power to destroy your life.