Human beings are thinking creatures and every moment our minds are working and producing one thought or the other. No one knows how the thoughts are originated but they get their theme from our every day experiences. Thoughts are an integral part of our existence. As discussed in the other blog posts by the author, thoughts create feelings. For example, if you are feeling jealous of someone, it is happening because you must have entertained jealous thoughts in your head. Depressed feelings are also byproduct of depressive thoughts, for example, thoughts like,” life is worthless, why am I living? lead to feelings of sadness and depression. We are often not aware of these automatic thoughts and the impact they have on our feelings. If you ask depressed people,” Why are you sad ? they may not have an answer until you ask this question. When you ask, “what were you saying before you felt depressed?” then they might recognize that they had depressive thoughts before they felt sad. Since thoughts are produced automatically in our heads, we need to pause and reflect then we can be cognizant of our thoughts and the resulting feelings arising from these thoughts. In this way thoughts are the function of our consciousness- an ability that we as human beings have. Thoughts come from within and they determine our perceptions, attitude, actions and reactions.
It is very important to know that our moods are affected by what we think. The fact is that we are never in one place emotionally for too long. For example, when we feel hopeless suddenly, a ray of hope lifts our mood and everything appears all right again. Similarly, when things are going well in our lives, all of a sudden mood level drops and we feel sad. Moods are always changing and we cannot avoid them. We experience different types of events, interactions with others in a continuous manner and they trigger our thought process, which ultimately create a corresponding feeling.
It is important to understand that decisions made in low mood are not very rational so wait until you resume your normal mood before you make a serious decision. When we are in low mood we do not have access to our wisdom. Low moods give rise to confusion and resentment. We begin to read too much in other people’s words, behaviors, and actions. Feelings in low mood are not truly your feelings. You will have mainly negative feelings in low moods. However, the mood will rise on its own and then you can use your wisdom and make rational decisions. When you are in your low moods, it is not a good idea to discuss what is bothering you. Wait until you resume your normal mood then discuss it. It is likely that you will be able to use good rationale and wisdom when you are back in your high mood.
It is also not advisable to confront someone when you are in low mood because you will be having so many negative thoughts about the person, event and situation. The mood is the root cause of most disagreements, conflicts and interpersonal problems. People just do not have the patience and they vent their negative feelings when they are low in mood. Spouse, teen agers and parents, friends sometimes engage in confrontation when they are in low mood and they are not able to resolve anything. The fact is that things become so bad in the discussion that the quality of their relationship is deteriorated. Therefore it is important to ignore your low moods and do not analyze them. Low moods are a distortion in our thinking. Thoughts are distorted and we begin to distort reality. Psychotic people tend to believe every thought they get even though it is not a reality. They listen to the commands they get from their voices. Similarly normal people get thoughts every minute. Some of these thoughts may not represent reality but we tend to react to them. That is why it is a good idea to make sure that your mood is not low when you intend to make important decisions of life and interact with your loved ones. Techniques like thought stopping, affirmations, visualization, challenging mistaken beliefs help us stop the thoughts and then we take actions to change them, which will eventually change our mood. These techniques have been reviewed in detail in other blog posts written by the writer like, automatic self talk, treatment of panic disorder, PTSD and OCD. Writer will recommend the readers to read these blogs to learn these techniques.
Our feelings are helpful in detecting when our mind has slipped from the present moment. When we are bothered, annoyed or frustrated, our thinking tends to wander from the present moment. When we are under stress, we worry about the future or thoughts of past will preoccupy our minds. Thoughts will not be centered in the present when our mood is unhappy and we feel frustrated. Thoughts tend to take us virtually from a state of calm in the present moment into a state of unrest and turmoil. The solution is to become aware and conscious of your mind spinning forward toward problems, and deadlines, or backward toward reliving old hurt and setbacks. When you become aware that your thinking is engaged in this mental dynamic, you can then remind yourself to guide your thoughts back to the present when they are too much engrossed in problems. This practice will make you realize that which exists outside this moment is simply a part of your imagination and thinking. Once you learn to live in the present moment, you will be in charge of your thoughts. You need to become more proficient in living in the moment.
It is very important to observe your thoughts and as soon as you realize that your thoughts have digressed from the moment and they take you back in the past or future, simply direct your attention back to the present moment. Do not allow your thoughts to pull you away from happiness. When you begin to experience low mood, it is a good idea to put your thoughts on hold until you feel better. This is not denial. Learn to relax when you feel down or low and have faith that the low period will pass too. Happy people tend to live in the present moment and they understand that life is really nothing more than a series of present moments. They understand the past and what they learned from the past and they perceive the future as more present moments to experience. Above all, they understand that right now is the most crucial moment. Writer has written one article on Joy of Living in the Present. I would recommend the readers to read this blog to get more details on the power of now and how thoughts about the past and future can spoil the present moment and destroy inner peace. In order to be successful, try to focus on the present moment. Too many future oriented and past oriented thoughts tend to cloud your vision and also distract you from your current goals and aspirations. This practice will also enhance your capacity to concentrate and make wise decisions.
In summary, we see that our thoughts have a lot to do with our moods. With practice, it becomes easier to access your thoughts. Practice ignoring your low moods, try not to analyze them and you will see that unwanted thoughts will begin to vanish. You will be happier if you begin to accept low moods as a part of life. In order to have mental peace and psychological well being, it is best to ignore your low moods because your thoughts have led you to be there. Once you ignore them, thoughts will fade away and you will begin to replace negative thoughts with positive ones to charge you up and regain your high moods.
Hypnosis can also help with positive thinking and thus reduce anxiety and stress. Please visit our Blossom Hypnotherapy page to learn how hypnosis can help reduce symptoms of Anxiety disorders.