The truth about your thoughts is that they are’t true. Did you get that? Not all of your thoughts are based in reality. In fact, most of them aren’t.
Here’s why: At any given moment, there are billions of bits of information floating around us. We can see, feel, hear, taste, touch and smell these bits of information EXCEPT our brain only has the ability to process a few hundred thousand of the billions of bits. So what does a smart brain do? It deletes, distorts and generalises information so that it doesn’t have to process all the billions of bits.
Take the environment you are in right now. Your brain has generalised most of it for you already. You don’t “see” it fully each time. In fact if you’ve been in this environment before, your brain has already mapped it out, generalised the area and provides you with an approximation of the environment. This is why when an environment changes slowly, you don’t notice the changes.
Remember the last time you lost your keys? You knew exactly where they were but they weren’t there. Why? Because your brain recorded the map of where you last consciously paid attention to where you put your keys not to where you moved them when you were talking to someone on the phone. It left that bit out. It deleted it.
Our brains are deleting, distorting and generalising everything that happens to us so “reality” is never what we truly believe it is. Our thoughts are therefor not reality. They aren’t true. They are just our mind’s best guess at what is true.
And when your throw in lots of belief systems about what you can and can’t do, what is right and what is wrong, and what is possible and what isn’t, then your mind will distort whatever situation you’re in to match those beliefs you already have. If it didn’t do this, your brain would be calling you a liar everyday. So, instead of making you feel bad, it makes the situation match what “reality” you already have.
Let’s take the example of my diet. I believe that a whole-food, plant based diet is the best for optimum health and nutrition. I know lots of people who believe otherwise. If a study comes out that says eating eggs every day has no affect on your cholesterol levels and is good for you, my belief system will question who paid for the study (most likely the egg industry) and what was the basis for “being good for you.” Someone who eats eggs everyday will say to me, “See, I told you!” Neither one of us may be right. But our “reality” is based on our belief not on whether or not it’s true or real.
If you can’t believe things that you see (photoshop and false news releases on social media proves this), and you can’t believe things that you hear (listen to a politician before an election) and you can’t believe everything you read, then why believe the negative thoughts going on inside your head?
This week make a game out of laughing at some of your own thoughts. What’s silly about them? What could you be deleting from your thought? What could you be distorting? Is there anything being generalised? Have fun with this and poke at your thoughts for a week. Notice how you end up taking yourself a little less seriously.
To your improving happiness,