The Power Of Your Thoughts: How To Reclaim Control And Create A Better Life

Published on: September 21, 2023

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The Impermanence of Thoughts

“You are not your thoughts; you are the awareness behind them.” — Eckhart Tolle

Our thoughts significantly influence the course of our lives. However, a belief exists that thoughts are permanent, likely stemming from a lack of awareness. Since thoughts are intangible, they often seem detached from our agency, as if they happen to us rather than emanate from within us. The impetus for writing this article arose from frustration and a keen observation of my cognitive processes. Just as I began to make headway in making peace with my thoughts, unforeseen events would disrupt my progress, undermining my achievements.

My thoughts were scattered aimlessly and changing daily, making them impossible to understand. However, my thoughts were tranquil, peaceful, and flowing upon waking the next day. They resembled the ocean tides, sometimes furious, yet other times calm and composed, and it wasn’t easy to make sense of it. The spiritual perspective suggests not resisting the flow of uncertain and dynamic thoughts. It requires becoming a silent witness observing waves coming into the shoreline. To look at things from a different perspective, the Eastern principle states you are not your thoughts but the awareness observing the thoughts. Therefore, working with thoughts can be challenging, and the critical difference between thoughts that persist and those that don’t is evident in the ease with which life flows.

But what if we can learn to accept our thoughts without buying into the narrative they promote? Acceptance means dropping resistance to what is happening. From a place of non-resistance arises the power to transform our inner struggle in line with our highest good. Often, thoughts pass through the mind quickly and become runaway thoughts, and we’re unable to recognize them, let alone recall them. Knowledge, awareness, and taking action are valuable tools to stop fearing the worst in most situations. Gradually, we realize that external conditions are not the source of our negative thoughts but our reactions and the meaning we assign to them. Therefore, reflect on areas of life to which you devote negative attention. How might you flip the switch and change the focus of your attention to a more positive aspect? It is possible to find peace and contentment within ourselves and not consider the worst-case scenario. It starts by renewing our commitment to change our perspective and uphold this new image.

The benefits of making peace with your thoughts include:

  1. Enhanced Emotional Resilience: You can better handle emotional ups and downs by understanding your thoughts. This leads to increased emotional resilience, which allows you to face challenges with a balanced mindset.
  2. Improved Decision-Making: By better understanding your thoughts, you can make clear, rational decisions more quickly. You can assess situations objectively and consider various perspectives before making choices.
  3. Elevated Self-Awareness: Managing your thoughts cultivates a deeper level of self-awareness. You become attuned to your own emotions, reactions, and triggers. This self-awareness empowers you to make conscious choices aligned with your values and goals.
  4. Enhanced Interpersonal Relationships: When mindful of your thoughts, you can communicate effectively and empathize with others. This can lead to substantial and harmonious personal and professional relationships.
  5. Increased Productivity and Focus: Maintaining balanced thoughts enables you to remain committed to your objectives and priorities. It reduces distractions and procrastination, increasing productivity and accomplishment in various areas of your life.

The Path to Resilience

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” — Marcus Aurelius

Our reactions to the external world reflect our balanced thoughts, making us less affected by upsetting situations. I handle other people’s emotional insecurities differently and remain composed and stable. It’s a stark contrast to the younger version of myself, trapped in a relentless cycle of unwanted thoughts that led to fruitless internal dialogues. The introduction of meditation marked a turning point for me. Embracing silence and confronting my thoughts head-on revolutionized my daily routines. Many in my circle shy away from solitary silence, seeking noise and company to validate their existence.

Our soul speaks in whispers deep within, and silence forms the perfect backdrop for its expansion. If you find sitting in quiet contemplation challenging, remember it’s a process that requires patience and time, especially in cultivating a serene mind. My journey began without force, which involved savoring each step. When your thoughts race uncontrollably in moments of turmoil, try not to slam on the brakes. Instead, let them flow, taking note of their prevailing themes. As you do, a keen awareness will emerge, guiding you toward calmer waters. Remember, resisting unwanted thoughts only amplifies the struggle.

Consider this profound journey of self-discovery as your vessel, where you take the helm, steering towards growth and development. As you engage in this choreography of thoughts, have faith in your capacity to attain equilibrium and serenity. You serve as the captain, guiding the ship, and the observer, keenly attuned to every twist and turn of your odyssey. I invite you to reflect on the following questions as prompts in your journal: What steps can I take today to further align my thoughts with my goals and values? In what areas of my life have I observed a positive shift in my response to external triggers? How can I nurture this growth? Recall a recent situation where you managed to maintain composure amidst the turmoil. What strategies did you employ, and how can you apply them in future challenges?

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