With many things in life we have brain chatter. Things are going on around us and we’re having thoughts that often come automatically about the things happening.
We often think that our thoughts throughout the day are the facts of the day, when really they’re just the things we’re thinking.
It’s important to understand the difference between thoughts and facts. When we recognize that our thoughts about something are creating a negative feeling we no longer feel like we need to change the facts and can instead take a look at our thinking.
Here’s an example, my husband tells me he doesn’t know what I do all day. My immediate thought is “he doesn’t respect me as a wife and mother of our children”. This might make me feel hurt and disrespected. I might even go further to say “if he truly loved me he would recognize my work as an at-home mom.”
Now a story that was just about my husband’s confusion turns into a story about him not loving me and not respecting me. This story hurts. It’s painful to think I’m married to a man that doesn’t see my work.
The power of knowing thoughts versus facts allows me to see this story might not be as painful as I’m currently making it.
Let’s take a step back, what are the facts. The facts are: I have a husband, he said words to me, and the words he said are “I don’t know what you do all day”.
When those facts are laid out like that they’re not as harmful right. There’s nothing about lack of love, respect, or recognition in those facts. There’s just a thought that a man shared with his wife. This shows that the feeling of hurt and disrespect are completely coming from the thoughts I had about my husband’s comment.
The circumstance wasn’t what was painful, it was all the thoughts that came after that made the situation painful.
Having the ability to know the difference between thoughts and circumstances can cut down on the amount of drama in our lives and allow us to choose how we react to circumstances.
Knowing my thoughts were causing me pain means I can maybe see my husbands words in a different view. Maybe I would be willing to ask him what he meant by that before thinking that he’s being rude.
I get to choose how I react but it takes understanding that I have the power over my reaction 100% of the time thanks to the power of thoughts.
When I don’t like the way I feel about a situation I always turn an activity that allows me to seperate the thoughts from the facts so I can see what’s really causing my feelings. I write out everything going on in the situation and then I write the facts on one side of the page and all my thoughts and emotions go on the other side of the page.
This really helps me see that my thoughts are not my circumstance and yes, there are things out of my control in the situation, but my feelings are always in my control.
Try out the above activity next time you’re feeling negatively and you’re not wanting to feel that way.