Our thoughts can feel automatic. As if we do not have control over them. Like knee-jerk reactions. We see a man wearing ragged clothes and we think he is homeless. We hear our co-worker say that they think our clothes are ragged and we get angry. Our thoughts seem to happen to us.
But, unless we have a chemical or physical issue in our brains, we do have control over our thoughts. The thoughts we have are learned. We learned that homeless people wear ragged clothes somewhere, or we wouldn’t have had that first thought.
We can unlearn the thoughts we have that do not serve us or make us happy. A great way to get started is to simply notice our thinking. Listen to our own thoughts. After that first, automatic-feeling, thought comes – we can have a second thought. It is in our second thoughts that we can being to make changes in our thinking.
Next time we see a man wearing ragged clothes and we think he is homeless, our second thought can be much more conscious. Our second thought can be – I bet he has a very interesting story. Be curious about your thoughts. Have a lot of second thoughts.
Photo credit: Dyan Diamond
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