It is easy to be affected by things in the external reality in a negative way. Maybe you actually feel pretty good when you wake up in the morning. Before you start thinking about something bad or read or hear something that evokes feelings that are not so pleasant. But who really gets to decide how you feel?
Who gets to decide how you feel?
There are many things in our outer world that can affect our thoughts and feelings. So-called news is an example. What it is that makes something “news” has always been a pretty interesting question I think, but nowadays it seems to be defined primarily as “something that triggers emotions”. Because in a world where many newspapers are primarily financed by advertising (instead of subscriptions), it is important to get the user to click. The more people who click on a headline, the more advertising revenue. So before you decide if you want to “check the news”, think about whether you really want someone to trigger your feelings. At best, you will only be a little disturbed and annoyed. Otherwise, the “news” has triggered a series of negative thoughts and feelings that can be difficult to stop. Do you want that?
Common to all thoughts is that they are happy to pick up speed after a while. Imagine that your thoughts are behind different doors. If you just open the door a little bit, you can close it again before they slip out. But if you open it wide, they rush out as if they were just sitting there waiting for you to look inside.
Imagine being able to control yourself and your thoughts by choosing which door to open. Maybe a door is news, another social media, another old junk from your past. But maybe there are also thought doors where it’s wonderful?
Think about these questions for a while:
What thoughts make you feel good? What do you like doing?
Feel free to think about those things often.
If thoughts that you really don’t feel good thinking about come up again and again, just state without any major drama: “oh, that’s right, I don’t think about that so much anymore”. Get up, get a glass of water, put on a good song, take a short walk, listen to a podcast… it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it makes you shift your focus. And remember: we are not our thoughts. We HAVE thoughts. Most come automatically without us actually choosing it. It is the brain’s way of “helping out”. Let them pass and don’t give them unnecessary attention.