Thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming and confusing sometimes. If we ever take the time to observe them consciously, we will notice that we never stop producing thoughts and that these thoughts generate emotional responses. It is as if our brain was a popcorn machine, always popping a new idea calling for our attention.
For some reason we assume that if a thought is generated within us, we are that thought. This is a fallacy. Thoughts are invitations to reflect on things, we are welcome to join in that discussion room or not, as we please. For the sake of sanity, we need to separate ourselves from our thoughts and create space between them and us, so we may consciously choose.
Imagine yourself at a train terminal, with each train going to a different place. You scan quickly on their destination information and let pass all the trains that do not concern you. The same needs to be done with thoughts, you read the headlines and only chose to ride the ones that will take you where you want to go. If you are headed for downtown, you will not take a train that goes to the suburbs. It is as simple as that.
Try the following exercise, sit in silence and contemplate your mind, with no judgement, as if you were watching a movie. Follow the thought to its second wagon and the third and so on to see where it takes you. By doing this you will realize that once we decide to pay attention to a thought, we begin to automatically thread a story, which will elicit an emotional response.
Now suddenly we are feeling worried, down, uncared for, lost, insecure, without even knowing why. But even if we took the wrong train that left us at an unpleasant place, that does not mean that we must stay there. Emotions on by themselves only last 90 seconds, that is as much chemical fuel as they carry. We can remember this and let it pass or we can choose to engage our attention, in which case, for as long as we are giving our energy into that thought, we will continue to produce the chemicals which will support the same unpleasant emotion (energy in motion). If we can only remember that we are cosmic antennas, tuning into information of all sorts and that we do not have to take residence in each thought, but allow it to pass by us with no judgement, we will be greatly contributing to our wellbeing.